Kenya Farm to Host First On Site-Hydrogen-to-Fertilizer Plant.

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The first modular green ammonia plant in the world is opening in Kenya, and the company developing the fertilizer-making technology intends to spread its facilities as far as Iowa in the US.

The project, which was constructed and will be operated by US-based Talus Renewables, is located just outside Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, close to Naivasha. Talus will supply Kenya Nut Co., which farms a variety of crops, under a 15-year off-take agreement.

In Kenya Nut’s case, the ammonia plant will use electricity from an on-site solar farm to split water atoms, releasing hydrogen that may then be combined with nitrogen to generate fertilizer. As a result, there is no longer a need to import fertilizer from nations like Russia, which lowers costs, secures supply, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

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Hiro Iwanaga, the founder of Talus said in an interview that “the average bag of fertilizer in sub-Saharan Africa travels 10,000km”. He said with this plant “you can locally produce a critical raw material, carbon-free.” Ammonia used in fertilizer is mostly made through natural gas. 

Although the Kenya Nut plant is small, producing only 1 t of fertilizer per day, the business intends to eventually have Talus generate 200 t per day from larger plants on its sites to meet 95% of its demands, according to Graeme Rust, Kenya Nut’s chief executive officer. The plants are available in two sizes: the one used at Kenya Nut and a 10-t/day plant. 11.5 megawatts of power are required for the larger ones.

In an agreement with Iowa-based Landus Cooperative, which is owned by farmers, Talus is attempting to establish its plants in a variety of areas both within Africa and in the US. In order to create the ammonia used in blasting, it also intends to collaborate with mining firms.

Iwanaga stated that the business is now conducting a funding round and anticipates conducting a larger one the following year, which will also include getting project financing.

“The green ammonia that Talus’s systems produce is both reliable and locally produced, which reduces costs by addressing supply chain insecurity and challenges,” Matt Carstens, Landus’s CEO and president, said in a response to questions. Green ammonia is “an exciting innovation to consider,” he said. 

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