Investors Sought for ‘Green Ammonia’ Plant Upgrade in Norway

Yara International ASA plans to convert a plant in Norway to produce green ammonia in a bet the chemical will become a go-to fuel for emission-free shipping.

The world’s No. 1 ammonia maker is looking for state backing as well as partners to fully electrify its Porsgrunn plant in Norway using renewable power, the Oslo-based company said in a statement Monday. It sees demand for the chemical surging 60% over the next two decades.

Ammonia is emerging as a front-runner as the European shipping industry scouts for options to decarbonize to meet stringent new regulations coming into force from January 2022.

Used widely in fertilizer and cleaning products, ammonia has a higher energy density than hydrogen and doesn’t require cooling to extreme temperatures, making it cheaper to store.

While attracting interest as an alternative carbon-free fuel, Yara faces a challenge to make ammonia viable for shipping, starting with the toxicity of the chemical and the expertise needed to handle it.

By 2030, the Norwegian company wants to reduce its CO2 pollution from factories as well as energy sources -- known as Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions --by 30%.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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