Europe's largest green hydrogen plant inaugurated by fertiliser giant Yara




Norwegian fertiliser company Yara has today (Monday) inaugurated a green hydrogen and ammonia plant in the southern town of Porsgrunn, which at 24MW of capacity is the largest to start operations in Europe so far.


Prior to the Porsgrunn project's start-up, multiple 20MW plants — Ovako’s green steel project in Sweden, Iberdrola’s Puertollano plant in Spain, and a P2X facility in western Finland — had claimed the joint title of biggest in Europe.


Yara says it has already produced its first volumes of low-carbon fertiliser using ammonia from the Norwegian Porsgrunn facility, which it has delivered to Swedish agricultural cooperative Lantmännen.


The Norwegian company last year signed an agreement with flour mill company Bindewald & Gutting Milling Group and baked goods chain Harry Brot to supply green fertiliser for German cereal crops.


The firm has further signed a letter of intent with retailer Reitan Retail, milling group Norgesmøllene, and farmers’ cooperative Felleskjøpet Agri to produce green hydrogen-based fertilisers to grow oats for bread.


The 24MW PEM electrolyser at Porsgrunn, supplied by ITM Power, will be powered by hydroelectricity to generate ten tonnes of H2 a day. From this, Yara will produce up to 20,500 tonnes of green ammonia per year, which could be further processed into 60,000-80,000 tonnes of fertiliser.


However, the Norwegian company also stresses that carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be the main route for reducing emissions from its operations.


"Renewable ammonia is an important part of the decarbonization puzzle, however developing it at scale takes time,” said Hans Olav Raen, CEO of Yara’s clean ammonia business.


“As the world is rapidly approaching 2030, we are also working to produce low-carbon ammonia with CCS to enable the hydrogen economy and develop the emerging markets for low-emission ammonia.”


Earlier this year, Yara started building out CCS infrastructure for its Sluiskil facility, one of the largest in the world for ammonia and mineral fertiliser production.


The Norwegian firm plans to capture 800,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, liquefy the greenhouse gas, and ship it for subsea storage via the country’s flagship Northern Lights project from 2025.


The company is further developing two large-scale blue ammonia projects in the US, although these are still at an early stage, which are expected to leverage much cheaper gas prices than in Europe.


Yara is also on track to import green NH3 from Oman, where high wind and solar resource is expected to result in much lower-priced renewable hydrogen and its derivatives.



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