Consortium of Danish Companies to Provide Nuclear Power and other Technologies to Produce Fertilizer in Indonesia

Jun 2023

Four Danish companies, Topsoe, Alfa Laval, Copenhagen Atomics and Aalborg CSP, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indonesian ammonia producer Pupuk Kaltim, and with Pertamina New & Renewable Energy, both of which are owned by the Indonesian state, for a project involving the construction of a facility in Bontang producing one million tons of ultra-low emission ammonia per year. This is enough to produce fertilizer for the production of food for 45 million people, around one sixth of the Indonesian population.

Interestingly, the facility will be powered by nuclear power from the Danish company Copenhagen Atomics, which is supplies small, modular nuclear reactors known as SMRs. The nuclear power plant will be 1GW, consisting of 25 SMRs and the entire plant must run for 50 years.

The facility is expected to open in 2028 and the project will be among the first where Copenhagen Atomics’ modular molten salt thorium reactors come into operation. The plant will save the emission of 1.7 million tons CO2 per year compared to natural gas-based fertilizer production.

In addition to the ammonia synthesis, Topsoe will supply newly developed electrolysis cell technology, called SOEC. SOEC makes the production of hydrogen significantly more efficient and cheaper. Hydrogen is an intermediate stage in the production of ammonia.

Alfa Laval will deliver heat exchangers to optimize the energy balance of the plant, and desalination to produce ultra-pure water for the electrolysis process.

Aalborg CSP will design and supply thermal energy storage systems, Molten Salt based Steam Boilers thus providing the energy balancing required to integrate the energy production from the SMR modules with electricity production and waste heat from power turbines with production of ultra clean water.

The construction is expected to cost around USD 4 billion, plus operation and maintenance of the plant, as well as the supply of power to the plant from the SMR reactors afterwards. During the plant’s lifetime, it will produce ammonia worth USD 25 billion at today’s prices. The ammonia from the plant can also potentially be used as CO2 free marine e-fuel.

(Sources: EU Business News; Copenhagen Atomics)

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