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Yara International works to decarbonise food production and shipping

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Fertilizer,

Yara International, a leading global ammonia player, and Northern Lights, a CO2 transport and storage supplier, have signed a binding commercial agreement, enabling the first cross-border transportation and storage of CO2. Yara aims to reduce its annual CO2 emissions by 800 000 t from the ammonia production at Yara Sluiskil. The CO2 will be liquefied and shipped by Northern Lights from the Netherlands to permanent storage on the Norwegian continental shelf, 2.6 km under the seabed.

This is a milestone for decarbonising hard-to-abate industry in Europe and for Yara it’s an important step towards decarbonising the company’s ammonia production, product lines and the food value chain at large, says Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara International.

“We are very pleased that Yara has selected Northern Lights as CO2 transport and storage provider. This commercial agreement gives us the opportunity to further utilise the capacity at our storage site below the North Sea. It confirms the commercial potential for CCS and demonstrates that the market for transport and storage of CO2 is evolving rapidly,” says Børre Jacobsen, Managing Director of Northern Lights.

Cutting 12 million t of CO2 over the next 15 years

Cutting 800 000 t of CO2 in Yara Sluiskil corresponds to 0.5% of the total annual emissions (2022) in the Netherlands. Over the next 15 years, Yara will remove approximately 12 million t of CO2 from its production in Sluiskil.

Since 1990 Yara Sluiskil has cut 3.4 million tpy of CO2 equivalents from its ammonia and fertilizer production, whilst at the same time almost doubling its production. The company hopes to continue by reducing one of the biggest emission points in the Netherlands, says Michael Schlaug, VP Yara Netherlands.

Decarbonised future for food production and shipping

“Clean ammonia can decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors like shipping, chemical production, and power production. It will enable the hydrogen economy, and the time to start using clean ammonia and hydrogen to decarbonise Europe is now,” says Magnus Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia.

This project forms part of Yara’s ongoing strategic transition to decarbonise and future-proof its core production assets as Yara Sluiskil is one of the world’s largest ammonia and mineral fertilizer plants. In addition to this project, Yara is evaluating potential large-scale blue ammonia production projects with CCS in the US. Coupling these investments with its global ammonia position, Yara hopes to decarbonise its premium product operations in Europe while also diversifying its energy position. To allocate capital to this transition, Yara is considering a number of options including a minority divestment of YCA, asset divestments and other available funding sources.

CCS is key to decarbonise hard-to-abate industries in Europe

The world is closing in on 2030 and action is required to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. UN Secretary General Guterres stated in an address to the UN General Assembly on 20 September 2023: “We can – and we must turn up the tempo”. On 27 October 2022 in Oslo, EU Commissioner Simson expressed her conviction “that CCUS has incredible potential in our race to reach climate neutrality”. CCS provides a decarbonisation solution to reduce climate emissions. The agreement between Yara and Northern Lights will kickstart the commercial market for CCS in Europe.

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