Oslo (2006-06-16): Yara International ASA and the Environmental Foundation Bellona have entered into a strategic cooperation with the aim of solving important environmental challenges. The partners will work for political framework conditions and policies, which prioritize the best available environmental technology and contribute to reducing emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitrogen oxide (NOx).
The cooperation will focus on measures to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas N2O, known commonly as laughing gas, and the pollutant NOx. Yara's position is special in that the company releases a significant amount of these gasses while, at the same time, has access to technological solutions that can contribute to reducing its own and others parties' emissions. Together, Bellona and Yara will work to achieve domestic and international political framework conditions that favor the best available environmental technology to reduce emissions. Yara's goal is to be at the forefront of the industry as regards environmental efficiency and the best environmental solutions, and to contribute to sustainable development within its core areas of business.
"Long-term value creation requires tough action when it comes to environmental challenges," says Yara International President and CEO Thorleif Enger, who wants to reduce emissions from Yara's plants, while he highlights the environmental benefits gained using many of the company's products. "In Bellona, we have a knowledgeable sparring partner to challenge us and one that we can work with on environmental issues."
"I am pleased that Bellona is to cooperate with an ambitious company, which has technology and products that are able to achieve significant emission reductions, both from the heavy industry and transport sectors," says Bellona's leader, Frederic Hauge.
Reduction of N2O emissions
Globally N2O is the third most important greenhouse gas, after carbon dioxide and methane. It is caused by microbiological activity in the soil, which transforms different nitrogen compounds to N2O.
Manmade increases in greenhouse gases, which have exacerbated the greenhouse effect, are a serious problem. In all probability, the effect will be global warming and climate change.
N2O contributed to nine percent of all Norway's greenhouse gas emissions in 2004. The production of mineral fertilizers accounted for 37 percent and the agricultural sector for another 51 percent. After 10 years of research and development, Yara is now able to significantly reduce (70-90 percent) N2O emissions from its plants. This technology will also be made available to other fertilizer producers.
The EU is preparing to base emission limits on Best Available Technology (BAT). Therefore Yara's technology for reducing emissions is expected to contribute to lower emissions from related industry.
Reduction of NOx emissions
NOx is a common symbol for the gases nitrogen oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), harmful to both nature and human health. Most NOx is formed through combustion processes, i.e. coal and oil-fired power stations, incinerator plants and diesel engines, and is released along with exhausts. The transport industry is the primary source of these manmade NOx pollutants. Nitrogen oxide contributes to the creation of ground level ozone and acidification.
Most of the acid rain falling on Norway originates from other European counties, but during the last few years, acid rain from abroad has decreased significantly while Norwegian emissions have increased. Today Norway is one of the European countries that is furthest away from fulfilling its NOx commitments.
According to the Gothenburg protocol, which came into effect on May 17, 2005, Norway is committed to reducing its emissions to less than 156,000 tonnes by 2010, which amounts to a 30 percent reduction on 1990 emission levels. In 2005 Norwegian NOx emissions were almost 216,000 tonnes, some 38 percent more than the protocol stipulates. Yara has developed products that can help the transport industry meet the demands of the Gothenburg protocol. NOx emissions from a variety of combustion engines can be reduced by more than 90 percent in a process that transforms NOx into harmless water vapor and nitrogen. Globally, Yara's nitrogen-based products cleaned approximately 300,000 tonnes of NOx in 2005. This is more than the total amount of NOx emissions from all of Norway.
Hamed Brodersen, Yara International
Cellular (+47) 40 46 81 10
Frederic Hauge, Environmental Foundation Bellona
Telephone (+47) 23 23 46 00
Yara International ASA is a leading chemical company that converts energy and nitrogen from the air into essential products for farmers and industrial customers. As the number one global supplier of mineral fertilizers and agronomic solutions, we help provide food for a growing world population. Our industrial product portfolio includes environmental protection agents that safeguard air and water purity and preserve food quality. Yara's global workforce of 6800 employees represents great diversity and talent enabling Yara to remain a leading performer in its industry.