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Yara planning 500 kton/year green ammonia project in Norway

Leading fertilizer company Yara plans to electrify fully its ammonia plant in Porsgrunn, Norway with the potential to cut 800,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to the emissions from 300,000 passenger cars. Production from the electrified ammonia unit would be some 500,000 tonnes per year of green ammonia.

Ammonia is the most promising hydrogen carrier and zero-carbon shipping fuel, and Yara is the global ammonia champion; a leader within production, logistics and trade. I am excited to announce that a full-scale green ammonia project is possible in Norway, where we can fully electrify our Porsgrunn ammonia plant.

—Svein Tore Holsether, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yara

Ammonia’s chemical properties make it suited for the hydrogen economy. It does not require cooling to extreme temperatures, and has a higher energy density than liquid hydrogen (3.75 kWh/liter vs. 2.0 kWh/liter and 5.22 kWh/kg vs. 33.33 kWh/kg), making it more efficient to transport and store. Ammonia (NH3) is therefore the most promising hydrogen carrier and zero-carbon shipping fuel.

Building on its long experience and leading position within global ammonia production, logistics and trade, Yara aims to capture opportunities within shipping, agriculture and industrial applications, in a market expected to grow by 60% over the next two decades.

In 2019, the company partnered with Nel to test Nel’s new prototype water electrolyzer technology at Porsgrunn. The capacity of the electrolyzer will be 5 MW corresponding to 1% of the hydrogen production in Porsgrunn. It is expected to be installed in 2022.

To make its vision of zero-emission ammonia production in Norway a reality, Yara is seeking partners and government support. Currently, the cost of green ammonia is estimated to be 2-4x higher than conventional product. If the required public co-funding and regulatory framework is in place, the project could be operational in 2026.

The project would eliminate one of Norway’s largest static CO2 sources, and would be a major contributor for Norway to reach its Paris agreement commitments. Yara aims to fully remove CO2 emissions from its Porsgrunn ammonia production and thereby produce emission-free fuel for shipping, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.


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