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Yara and ENGIE to test green hydrogen technology in fertilizer production

Norway-headed mineral fertiliser major Yara International ASA and ENGIE Hydrogen, a subsidiary of France-headed energy major ENGIE SA have signed an agreement to carry out a feasibility study to test green hydrogen technology in fertilizer production at Yara’s existing ammonia plant in Pilbara, Western Australia.

On February 5, 2019, Yara International and ENGIE Hydrogen agreed to carry out a feasibility study together, an important step in realizing “green” fertilizer. The study’s goal is to design a green hydrogen plant integrated with Yara’s existing ammonia plant in Pilbara, Western Australia. The Pilbara region is the ideal location for the study, with plenty of sun and seawater – key ingredients to producing renewable hydrogen. Michèle Azalbert (left) CEO of ENGIE Hydrogen and Yves Bonte, EVP New Business, Yara International at the agreement signing (photo courtesy Yara).

According to a statement, Yara is working towards making carbon-free fertilizer, and clean hydrogen is the major enabler for making carbon dioxide (CO2) free or “green” ammonia, which is the key ingredient for “green” fertilizer. The Pilbara region is the ideal location for the study, with plenty of sun and seawater – key ingredients to producing renewable hydrogen.

This project is in line with ENGIE’s goal to be a pioneer in the new energy world, a decarbonized world, accessible to everyone everywhere, said Michèle Azalbert, CEO ENGIE Hydrogen.

The goal of the feasibility study is to convert the Pilbara ammonia plant from one that relies completely on natural gas for its hydrogen to one where a significant share of its hydrogen comes from renewable power. Reaching the goal will significantly reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions.

Yara and ENGIE have the complementary expertise and experience to take on such a complex project, but the key ingredient in this venture is our mutual commitment to a healthier planet and a sustainable future, said  Yves Bonte, EVP New Business at Yara.

Real-world, real-time analysis

The transition away from fossil fuels will require a global, collective commitment. But as renewable sources like solar and wind are unpredictable, clean hydrogen will likely become a key component in clean energy networks.

Reducing the costs associated with producing, storing, transporting and deploying hydrogen is crucial for its environmental impact. Integrated projects like the green hydrogen plant at Yara Pilbara allow for a real-world, real-time analysis of costs and processes.

Together, Yara and ENGIE are acting to better understand how to make green hydrogen technology work, and for Yara, it is of particular importance to understand how this can help us to make our fertilizers carbon-free at an acceptable cost, said Bonte.

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