When renewable ammonia arrives by bulk tanker at a receiving port, it can stay at sea and be safely stored there indefinitely on offshore platforms until needed. Large-scale electricity generation and hydrogen production can happen on the same offshore platforms, moored safely away from residential areas and important estuarine ecosystems. Bulk tankers delivering the renewable ammonia won't need to come to shore to unload in congested ports.
Renewable ammonia is zero-carbon energy, stored in liquid form. It is easily stored and transported as a liquid at industrial scale, and can stay in liquid form indefinitely (without degrading) until it is needed - for electricity generation, or hydrogen supply, or as ammonia (for industrial and agricultural uses).
This provides a lot of efficiency - and flexibility - in terms of shipping, offloading, storage and use of the energy embedded in the renewable ammonia.
Shipping tanker size has increased significantly over recent decades, presenting challenges for receiving ports that need to cater for ever-increasing channel depth and wharf size.
However, unlike other bulk commodities such as coal or iron ore, being a liquid, the renewable ammonia does not need to be landed and used on shore. Floating, or fixed, platforms can be constructed and moored offshore, so the large bulk carrier vessels for ammonia transport can safely transfer the clean ammonia cargo without the need for shore-based offloading or storage facilities.
Highly efficient power generation systems can be deployed on these platforms, using the renewable ammonia or the hydrogen it carries, for zero-carbon electricity generation, connected to the electricity grid ashore by high-efficiency transmission cables.
Zero-carbon hydrogen can also be recovered and purified onboard these platforms (a process known as ammonia 'cracking'), and the clean hydrogen can then be piped to shore for transport and industry uses.