Proton Ventures leading innovation in Ammonia terminal design and safety improvement for over 20 years

Leading innovation in Ammonia terminal design and safety improvement for over 20 years

Schiedam, 21 March 2024 Proton Ventures is an ammonia-dedicated engineering and project management company from The Netherlands that covers the entire (green) ammonia value chain. Starting from both small- and large-scale green ammonia production (including electrolysis), to storage and handling, decomposition (cracking) and ammonia applications such as de-NOx, fertilizer and ammonia-to-power.

terminal designers with operational reference projects

Being one of the few terminal designers with operational reference projects (a.o. Estonia, Bulgaria and Morocco), from Feasibility study to FEED (including BEP and DEP) to EPC(m), Proton Ventures also has experience in developing decomposition technology. As such, it is able to better understand and integrate cracking licensor’s technology into terminal design and advise clients on the best configuration. In-house ammonia experts for commissioning and start-up (tank cool-down) as well as training of Operations & Maintenance personnel add immense value to the end-user/operator.

Proton Ventures’ know-how of ammonia operations (production & storage) is in its DNA since its inception. Back in the 90’s, the founder of Proton Ventures, Hans Vrijenhoef, was the Kemira ammonia plant & terminal manager and later co-owner of the (Microchemie) terminal which today is OCI’s ammonia terminal in Rotterdam. Since starting in 2002, Proton Ventures has gathered talented engineers specializing in ammonia technology and has grown to a team of nearly 70 employees today.


Invited to co-chair the revision of the Dutch ammonia storage & handling standard

Proton Ventures, recognized for its contribution to safe and state-of-the-art terminal designs, has been invited to co-chair the revision of the Dutch ammonia storage & handling standard, PGS-12. With the increasing import of large quantities of hydrogen in the form of ammonia, the demand for secure ammonia terminals and handling facilities in the Netherlands will rise. Therefore, there is a need to modernize the PGS-12 Ammoniak – Opslag en verlading to create a clear guideline for safe ammonia terminals in The Netherlands, which undoubtedly will be embraced internationally.

StockExpo 2024

The 4-chair working group, consisting of delegates from Yara International, OCI, Vopak, and Proton Ventures spent most of the second half 2023 improving the PGS-12 together with stakeholders such as DCMR (environmental & permitting authority of Rotterdam) and the fire brigade and made it ready for publication early this year. StockExpo 2024 is a brilliant platform to present the new standard and take questions from the audience (scheduled on Wednesday, 13thMarch from 13:00 to 15:00).

Improving safety and durability

The updated standard for new ammonia terminals introduces multiple changes aimed at improving safety and durability. These include extending the design lifetime to 50 years, implementing full containment tanks instead of double containment, eliminating bottom penetrations from the inner tank, incorporating in-tank pumps for improved operational efficiency, utilizing a concrete outer wall to shield the tank from external pressure waves and projectiles, omitting insulation in the annular space, and adopting a tabletop design that refrains from heat tracing in favor of natural ventilation underneath the tank.

New PGS-12 sets

This new PGS-12 sets the highest standards for ammonia terminal design and operation worldwide. An English version of the document is expected to circulate within the second quarter of 2024, facilitating its use and adoption from foreign designers and authorities too.

Although PGS-12 is the specific design standard for The Netherlands (mostly large-scale, import facilitating terminals in industrial complexes in the vicinity of urban areas), this doesn’t mean that this is the only safe design of an ammonia storage and handling facility. Proton Ventures is able to design, in close cooperation with its customers and local authorities, solutions that meet various international standards such as EN 14620 and API620/625.

So, if you have inquiries, specific needs, or want to learn more about our services, do not hesitate to reach out to one of our experts or representatives. Proton Ventures invites you to connect with us, and together, create a low-carbon, innovative future with ammonia as an important and safe energy carrier.