Early this year, Yara International signed a Letter of Intent with Statkraft, and Aker Horizons, aiming to establish Europe’s first large-scale green ammonia project in Norway. As a result, a new company Hegra has been launched at Herøya, Porsgrunn, with former Statnett CEO, Auke Lont as Chairman. The company aims to electrify and decarbonise the ammonia plant at Herøya, enabling large-scale green ammonia production.
Hegra is short for HErøya GReen Ammonia, and is co-owned by Yara, Aker Clean Hydrogen and Statkraft each owning 1/3.
Hegra is set up with the ambition of creating 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, say 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 is more than a new industrial company, it is Norway’s largest climate initiative. The decarbonisation project will 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.
The costs of emissions in the processing industry are expected to increase in the international market as a result of regulations and customer demands. To achieve the necessary emission reductions, the Norwegian industry and maritime sector need access to clean hydrogen and ammonia.
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% by 2030. It will give Norway a competitive advantage within renewable energy and hydrogen and put Norway in a great position to reach climate ambitions, says Lont.
The Norwegian maritime industry is set to cut their 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. With renewable energy in abundance, Norway is in a good position to capture a large share of the emerging global green hydrogen and ammonia value chain.
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 NOK10 billion in 2030 and NOK70 billion in 2050.
“The timing of Hegra is important because it will be key to establish a well-functioning domestic and regional market before the global demand for ammonia increases. We look forward to engaging with authorities and the industry on how to realise one of the first large-scale industrial projects within green hydrogen and ammonia in Norway,” concludes Lont.