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Yara calls for action to secure continued supply of nitrogen essentials such as AdBlue

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Fertilizer,

Yara has called on the European Union and national governments to act urgently and decisively to ensure Europe reinforces its strategic autonomy.

Produced in the same plants that make fertilizers, AdBlue is essential for a functioning transport sector and for cleaning the air we breathe. More than 29 million vehicles in Europe require AdBlue, allowing them to run without emitting dangerous NOx from their exhausts. That includes 25 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles and roughly half of Europe’s trucks, lorries, and buses. Without AdBlue, they will not function.

“Continuous and undisrupted supply of AdBlue is vital. Clean air to breathe and a functioning transport sector are fundamental for society. Fertilizer and food supplies, pharmaceutical and hospital supplies – they all rely on AdBlue,” says Jorge Noval, President of Yara Industrial Solutions.

The manufacture of AdBlue is an integrated part of the production of nitrogen for fertilizers. This vital industry uses natural gas as feedstock.

The critical resource is now at risk. Skyrocketing natural gas prices have already led to widespread production curtailments. But an outright stop of gas supplies would hit more than just the production of fertilizers. The European food chain relies on nitrogen industry outputs essential also for the meat, food processing and beverage industries. And most critically, for the unbroken low temperature-controlled network necessary for preserving food as it travels through the supply chain.

Beyond the food chain, the European industry needs nitrogen products in the health sector, the pharmaceutical industry, the construction industry and many more. Coal-fired power plants – now restarting to produce the electricity Europe is so short of – need nitrogen solutions to operate without dangerous NOx emissions.

With carbon emissions considerably below global averages, Europe’s nitrogen industry is instrumental for keeping the lights on and the wheels turning.

The very functioning of Europe is in peril without a strong European nitrogen industry. The EU’s package of solutions for the European fertilizer industry should therefore include measures to:

Secure continued access to natural gas to fertilizer plants. Natural gas is the feedstock, the raw material needed to keep the production running. To keep the lights on and the wheels turning.

Reinforce Europe's strategic autonomy. Rather than lowering barriers to imports from Russia or elsewhere, European authorities should prioritise the supply of raw materials for European nitrogen production – to avoid increased carbon emissions and prevent new dependencies. The commission should also monitor and control the volumes coming into Europe from Russia.

Yara looks forward to contributing to the debate within the European Parliament and with national governments on the EU fertilizer communication. Europe needs a robust nitrogen industry to ensure food security and a functioning, autonomous and resilient Europe.

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