200,000 tonne hydrogen-based fertiliser project to be developed in Uganda

Summary

  • Under a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) signed with the Government of Uganda, the organisations plan to produce 200,000 tonnes of locally produced fertiliser a year.

Norfund has partnered with Westgass and Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) to invest in hydrogen-based fertilisers in Uganda.

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Under a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) signed with the Government of Uganda, the organisations plan to produce 200,000 tonnes of locally produced fertiliser a year.

The hydrogen will be produced via an undisclosed electrolyser capacity. The project will also gain support of 100MW of renewable energy from a local 600MW hydropower plant.

Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for developing countries, is co-financing the project through a convertible loan, alongside grant funding from Norad – the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

Westgass Hydrogen’s international project development arm, Norwegian Westgass Internasjonal, and IPS, the industry and infrastructure arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, will develop the project.

Westgass CEO, Kinar Kent, believes that by establishing local production of sustainable fertiliser, Uganda will “become a pioneering country when it comes to adopting green technology.”

Uganda’s fertiliser consumption is between 0.23-1.5kg/hectare, according to Norfund, which is below the average of 8kg/hectare in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Kent added, “A local production facility for mineral fertiliser will reduce costs and provide greater opportunities to use fertiliser to increase yields, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact.”

The process expected to be used for the project will ensure the green hydrogen is combined with nitrogen – produced by an air separation unit – to produce green ammonia.

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This is then further processed with dolomite or phosphates to produce calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) and fertilisers based on nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK), which are types of fertilisers already in use in the region.

Tellef Thorleifsson, CEO at Norfund, said, “With such strong partners who combine industrial expertise with local experience, we believe this project will create great opportunities that eventually can be scaled up further.”

Norfund aims to create 300 direct jobs in relation to the project.

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