Oslo (2007-11-07): His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway awarded Norway's prestigious environmental prize "Glassbjørnen" - The Glass Bear - on Tuesday afternoon in Oslo. Yara's technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions won the Prize of Honor, as well as being a Product finalist.
"This is a wonderful recognition of Yara's longstanding environmental efforts. I am proud of our research team in Porsgrunn that have developed a technology that can substantially reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions by 25% before 2009 and can play an important role in reducing global emissions from nitric acid plants. The changes in our climate system demand practical action and Yara's de- N2O catalyst is an excellent example of how industry can contribute to climate solutions in a proactive way," says Thorleif Enger, President and CEO of Yara International ASA.
The Prize was awarded by GRIP, the Norwegian Foundation for Sustainable Consumption and Production, which was established by the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment to promote and support sustainable production and consumption patterns.
The jury based their decision on the combination of utility and importance of the catalyst in the fight against a key greenhouse gas, noting that: "Implementation is possible in both new and older factories at low investment cost, without negative impact on production, new risks, or other environmental emissions."
Yara's "catalyst for the reduction of greenhouse gas N2O from nitric acid plants" was also one of the four finalists in the product category, and this distinction alone guarantees further attention for the breakthrough technology that slashes nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions.
"Glassbjørn" finalists also have a chance to compete for the European Environmental Press (EEP) awards, a prize designed to spotlight creative European companies that improve the environment through technological innovation.
The patience behind the catalyst project - which Yara began implementing in its own plants in 2005 after a ten-year research process - qualified the catalyst for the "Glassbjørn" Prize of Honor, awarded for an "especially significant and worthy contribution to advancing environmental effort" over a longer period of time.
Nitrous oxide has over 300 times the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide, and the Yara catalyst reduces N2O emissions by 70-90%. It is already in place at eight Yara plants in Europe, and is being introduced in other Yara facilities around the world. By the end of 2008 the catalyst will have reduced Yara's N2O emissions by 5 million tons of CO2 equivalents annually, a 25% reduction of the company's greenhouse gas emission level in 2004.
The catalyst has been made available to other companies and is already being implemented in 23 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects around the world, including 18 factories in China. Yara, along with licence partner Johnson Matthey, has a market share of 50% for CDM projects.
The de-N2O catalyst could reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by 30 million tons a year if implemented in all European nitric acid plants - and global implementation would at least double its impact.
Torgeir Kvidal, Investor Relations
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Hamed Brodersen, Media Relations
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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 7000 employees represents great diversity and talent enabling Yara to remain a leading performer in its industry.www.yara.com