Yara ready to enable the hydrogen economy with historic full-scale green ammonia project


07 December, 2020


Member spotlight



WBCSD Communications

Oslo, 7 December 2020: Yara announces plans for 500,000 tonnes per annum green ammonia production in Norway, powering emission-free shipping fuels and decarbonized food solutions. At its ESG investor seminar today, Yara sets out plans to broaden its core as a leading food solutions company, enable the hydrogen economy and drive sustainable performance.

“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,” says Svein Tore Holsether, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yara.

Enabling the hydrogen economy

Ammonia’s chemical properties make it ideally suited for the hydrogen economy. It does not require cooling to extreme temperatures, and has a higher energy density than liquid hydrogen, making it more efficient to transport and store. Ammonia 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 percent over the next two decades. Against this backdrop, Yara announces plans to fully electrify its ammonia plant in Porsgrunn, Norway with the potential to cut 800,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum, equivalent to the emissions from 300,000 passenger cars.

To make its vision of zero-emission ammonia production in Norway a reality, Yara is seeking partners and government support. 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.

Broadening Yara’s core

Among several growth and improvement initiatives, Yara outlines a transformation of its commercial business models, sales channels and offerings, targeting revenue growth from new online services, outcome-based models and carbon market digital services, with an ambition to add USD 300-600 million new EBITDA by 2025 on top of existing initiatives.

“Yara is uniquely positioned to help decarbonize the food chain, with trusted relationships with millions of farmers in 65 countries,” says Terje Knutsen, EVP Farming Solutions. “We see a clear opportunity to contribute to sustainable agriculture, while at the same building new business for both farmers and for Yara. As an example, we can directly address 70% of corn crop emissions with optimal crop nutrition and soil health measures.”

Driving sustainable performance

Yara is targeting a 30% reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2030, and is committing to establishing Science Based Targets, based on an industry-shaping collaboration with Nutrien and WBCSD, and supporting a Sectoral Decarbonization Approach analysis for the nitrogen fertilizer industry.

“We believe that shareholder value creation is stronger when the perspectives of people, planet and prosperity together shape the basis of our performance management. By improving our diversity, stepping up our climate ambitions and strengthening our financial returns we are making an even stronger Yara going forward,” says EVP & CFO Lars Røsæg.

Yara will maintain a strong focus on capital discipline and commitment to its capital allocation policy, targeting a mid-cycle Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) above ten percent, and keeping total capex for 2020 and 2021 combined unchanged at maximum USD 2.2 billion, with a total annual capex of maximum USD 1.2 billion for 2022 onwards.

Link to Yara’s online ESG Investor Seminar presentation and webcast today at 09:00 CET:
More information here