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HØST: Green ammonia on a gigawatt scale

16. August 2022
green ammonia plant

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Sectors like agriculture and shipping are in dire need of new green solutions, as a their decarbonisation cannot rely on direct electrification.

For the agriculture sector, fertilisers are necessary to continue to hold a high level of production. Conventional ammonia production contributes to roughly 1.4 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Beyond that, the shipping industry also needs to have its current fossil fuels replaced with green alternatives. Currently, emissions from Danish international shipping alone amount to 38 million tonnes of Co2 annually.

Additionally, the ammonia currently used in these hard to abate sectors in Denmark is currently being imported rather than creating local opportunities for growth.

In Esbjerg, Europe’s largest Power-to-X facility is underway to meet those exact challenges with green ammonia production on a gigawatt scale.


HØST PtX Esbjerg is a green ammonia plant under development, deploying industrial use of electrolysis-technology on GW-level. The plant will rely on electricity from renewables as the sole source of energy. The outcome of this CO2-free production process is green hydrogen and ultimately the end-product green ammonia.

The ammonia plant is relying on proven electrolysis technology, which is considered fully mature and ready for commercial scale deployment​. HØST PtX Esbjerg will furthermore deploy the conventional Haber-Bosch process. Haber-Bosch is the main industrial procedure for the production of ammonia today, in which nitrogen reacts with hydrogen under high temperature and pressure using a catalyst to produce ammonia.

By producing green ammonia, HØST PtX Esbjerg will open the door to decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors such as shipping, agriculture and industrial applications. Five Danish industry leaders  have committed themselves to offtake green ammonia from the plant. DLGDanish Crown and Arla  represent the dairy and agricultural industry, while DFDS and Maersk are the leading shipping and logistics companies in the group.

But the benefits of the facility don’t stop there. The flexible operation of HØST PtX Esbjerg will ensure efficient use of the electricity being fed into the Danish energy system from the planned 10GW offshore wind build-out in the North Sea. Furthermore, the process heat from the production of hydrogen and ammonia will be utilized for district heating of 15,000 households in the Esbjerg/Varde area by the local utility company, DIN Forsyning. Additionally, because the PtX process requires large volumes of water DIN Forsyning is now investigating whether treated wastewater can be used in the process, instead of using groundwater, adding to the sustainable potential of the project.

With a capital investment of more than 1 billion EUR, HØST PtX Esbjerg will be the leading PtX plant in Denmark. The project will also be among the first gigawatt-scale PtX facilities in Europe, contributing to the much-needed acceleration of the decarbonization journey towards carbon neutrality in 2050. HØST PtX Esbjerg will make a 1GW contribution to EU’s target of 40GW of electricity coming from renewable hydrogen electrolysers by 2030.

The development of the project is expected to be made in 2-3 years, followed by final investment decision in early 2023. Construction of the project is expected to be finalized in 2026. HØST is a project company under the management of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). CIP specialises in energy infrastructure investments and is among the largest fund managers globally within renewables.

Facts and figures about HØST



When in operation, the HØST PtX Esbjerg is expected to have an annual production of 600,000 tonnes green ammonia, which can potentially yield 1,5 m tonnes of fertilizer  or 5-600,000 tonnes of bunkering fuel. Compared to conventional ammonia production, the plant is expected to contribute with a CO2 reduction of approximately 1.5 million tonnes annually, equivalent to removing 750,000 cars from the roads. In addition, the use of the plant’s excess heat will contribute with a CO2 reduction of an additional 40,000 tonnes of emission-free district heating.

The operation of  the plant will not only yield large scale emission reductions with global impact. It will provide benifits on a national and local level.

By producing green ammonia in Denmark, HØST PtX Esbjerg ensures local security of supply and in principle eliminates the current need to import ammonia. Futhermore, it is estimated, that the plant will generate 100-150 permanent jobs, adding to both the economic and social sustainability of the venture.

In a wider perspective, HØST PtX Esbjerg will support the ongoing transformation from fossil energy to renewable energy and provide valuable learnings to be carried further in other large-scale PtX projects. The project therefore has the potential to act as one of the catalysts for a new PtX industry in Esbjerg based on the massive knowledge and experience already at hand in the local energy industry. HØST PtX Esbjerg offers a unique opportunity to strengthen Denmark’s role within renewable energy and ensure job creation in next generation renewable technologies.

Green hydrogen is Danish hydrogen

This case is a part of the white paper “Green hydrogen is Danish hydrogen”. Discover Denmark’s plans to produce green fuels and decarbonise global transport and energy-intensive industries.

Explore the white paper