Norwegian trio to boost green ammonia production

by 18, Aug, 2021Innovation, Maritime 4.00 comments

The Yara plant at Herøya. Image courtesy of Dag Frode Heiland

Aker, Yara and Statkraft have established a new company with the aim of electrifying and decarbonising the ammonia plant at Herøya to enable large-scale green ammonia production.

HEGRA, which is short for HErøya GReen Ammonia is co-owned by the three companies, each owning one third. The aim is to create a new industry in Norway that provides a competitive advantage in a growing global hydrogen economy, establishes green jobs for the future and forms the basis for a future Norwegian export industry, says CEOs Svein Tore Holsether, Øyvind Eriksen and Christian Rynning-Tønnesen in Yara, Aker and Statkraft, respectively, in a joint statement.

Green ammonia, produced using renewable energy, would enable the production of carbon-free fertiliser, and is a promising zero-emission fuel for the maritime sector. HEGRA will contribute to creating a new industry based on a regional hydrogen and ammonia market, whilst ensuring the survival and competitiveness of the Norwegian maritime and processing industries.

HEGRA aims to reduce CO2-emissions by 800,000 tonnes annually, equivalent to 300,000 fossil-fuelled cars. It marks the beginning of developing a Norwegian value chain for green ammonia and hydrogen, says Auke Lont, Chair of HEGRA’s board.

The maritime and processing industries in Norway are important export industries and comprises more than 100,000 jobs. HEGRA will contribute to securing and creating jobs in new supply chains and through ripple effects that these industries create.

HEGRA brings together Norway’s foremost experts in ammonia, project development and energy markets. Provided that power is available at site and the required public co-funding is in place, the project could be realised already 5-7 years from now.

HEGRA is geared specifically at meeting the ambition of the European Commission’s Fit for 55 package, which aims to reduce EU emissions by 55 per cent by 2030.

The Norwegian maritime industry is set to cut its emissions in half by 2030. Access to emission-free fuel will be key to reach this goal. The existing global infrastructure for ammonia will facilitate Norwegian green ammonia to become a global commodity immediately.

A report published in 2020 by The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise found that the hydrogen industry can become a significant Norwegian export industry, with an estimated turnover of NOK 10 billion in 2030 and NOK 70 billion in 2050.