TOPIC PAGE: Sustainability in the fertilizers industry

Erica Sesay


Updated on 17 May.

On this topic page, we gather the latest news, analysis and resources, to help you to keep track of developments in the area of sustainability in the fertilizers industry.


US Bunge and Nutrien Ag announce alliance to support sustainable farming practices
By Mark Milam 16-May-23 23:07 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Global agribusiness titan Bunge Limited and Nutrien Ag Solutions, the retail division of fertilizer producer Nutrien have announced a strategic alliance and commercial agreement to support US farmers in the implementation of sustainable farming practices that will help increase the development of lower carbon products.

Maire subsidiary Stamicarbon wins US green ammonia engineering contract
By Tom Brown 15-May-23 17:54 LONDON (ICIS)–Maire Tecnimont subsidiary Stamicarbon has been awarded an engineering contract for a 450 tonne/day green ammonia plant under development in the US.

India’s IFFCO launches liquid nano-DAP fertilizer
By Chris Vlachopoulos 27-Apr-23 11:06 LONDON (ICIS)–What is thought to be the world’s first liquid nano-diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer was launched at a ceremony held by India’s IFFCO and India’s Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Co-operation, Amit Anil Chandra Shah, on Wednesday.

EU Parliament backs CBAM, emissions trading measures
By Tom Brown 18-Apr-23 13:58 LONDON (ICIS)–A plenary session of the European Parliament on Tuesday backed reforms to the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS), as well as endorsing the proposed carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) system and other pillars of the bloc’s Fit for 55 decarbonisation plans.

OCP granted €100m green loan to build solar plants at Morocco facilities
By Morgan Condon 14-Apr-23 15:02 LONDON (ICIS)–Fertilizers producer OCP has been granted a €100m green loan by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to build four solar plants at its production facility in Morocco to reduce the firm’s carbon footprint.

EU unveils plans to tackle greenwashing
By Morgan Condon 23-Mar-23 13:39 LONDON (ICIS)–The European Commission has launched a proposal to stamp out greenwashing in a bid to support consumers seeking sustainable alternatives.

India’s IFFCO and CIL to manufacture nano DAP for three years
By Chris Vlachopoulos 20-Mar-23 15:35 LONDON (ICIS)–The Indian Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Bhagwanth Khuba, has confirmed that Fertilizer cooperative IFFCO and Coromandel International Ltd (CIL) will manufacture nano diammonium phosphate (DAP) for a period of three years.

USDA awards Ostara funds to boost sustainable phosphate fertilizer output
By Chris Vlachopoulos 15-Mar-23 11:48 LONDON (ICIS)–The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded Ostara $7.6m as part of its initiative to increase its domestic fertilizer production, with a focus on sustainability and innovation.

Canadian prime minister confirms fertilizer emission goal is voluntary
By Erica Sesay 07-Mar-23 14:26 LONDON (ICIS)–Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau assured farmers this week that the fertilizer emissions reduction target proposed by the government is voluntary, not mandatory.

US fertilizers industry increases carbon capture in 2021 – TFI
By Erica Sesay 20-Feb-23 17:10 London (ICIS)–The US fertilizers industry captured 31% of all CO2 generated per tonne of nutrient produced in 2021, up from 9% captured in 2013 according to The Fertilizers Institute (TFI’s) 2022 sustainability report.

Indian president calls for reduction in chemical fertilizer use
By Erica Sesay 13-Feb-23 11:54 LONDON (ICIS)–Indian president Droupadi Murmu has called for a reduction in chemical fertilisers use in order to protect the country’s soil health.

IFFCO plans to export nano urea to 25 countries
By Sylvia Traganida 10-Feb-23 16:06 LONDON (ICIS)–Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) is planning to export nano urea to 25 countries and expects its output to reach 300m bottles by December 2024, according to local media reports.

Amman selects Elessent Clean Technologies for Indonesia sulphuric acid plant
By Mark Milam 08-Feb-23 21:46 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Indonesian mining company Amman Mineral Industri (AMIN) has selected Elessent Clean Technologies to provide the process technology for the new smelter off-gas sulphuric acid plant equipped with wet gas scrubbing technology that it will construct in Sumbawa, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Indonesia.

Lotte Chemical forms clean ammonia consultative body with RWE and Mitsubishi Corporation
By Mark Milam 08-Feb-23 23:32 HOUSTON (ICIS)–Lotte Chemical announced it has formed a clean ammonia global consultative body with RWE, a German energy company, and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, with a goal to cooperate and jointly develop a large-scale clean ammonia production and supply chain in Asia, Europe and US.

Global 2020-2021 specialty fertilizer demand growth led by north America, Asia
By Sylvia Traganida 08-Feb-23 10:19 LONDON (ICIS)–Global demand for specialty fertilizers has grown by 5.7-6.7% in 2020-2021, according to the International Fertilizer Association (IFA).

BASF and Cargill extend enzymes business and distribution to US
By Morgan Condon 25-Jan-23 12:59 LONDON (ICIS)–BASF and Cargill are expanding their partnership by rolling out their enzyme solutions to animal protein producers in the US, the German major announced on Wednesday.

Saudi Aramco awards sulphur facilities overhaul contract to Technip
By Erica Sesay 24-Jan-23 12:50 LONDON (ICIS)–Saudi Aramco has awarded a contract to engineering firm Technip Energies to upgrade the sulphur recovery facilities at its Riyadh refinery, Technip announced on Tuesday.

The contract covers improving the performance of the existing three sulphur recovery units to comply with more stringent regulations for sulphur dioxide emissions, with recovery efficiency at more than 99.9%.

India sets green hydrogen targets for shipping, oil & gas, fertilizer sectors
By Priya Jestin 16-Jan-23 09:42 MUMBAI (ICIS)–As part of its aim to achieve its net zero carbon emission goal by 2070, the Indian government has released a blueprint for its National Green Hydrogen Mission which has set consumption targets for various industries, including the oil and gas and fertilizer industrie

Germany misses climate target despite lower energy consumption

By Stefan Baumgarten 06-Jan-23 16:00 LONDON (ICIS)–Germany missed its 2022 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction target despite declining energy consumption and an increase in the use of renewables, according to a study this week.


What is it?

The risk of carbon leakage frustrates the EU’s efforts to meet climate objectives. It occurs when companies transfer production to countries that are less strict on emissions, or when EU products are replaced by more carbon-intensive imports.

This new mechanism would counteract this risk by putting a carbon price on imports of certain goods from outside of the EU.

How will it work?

EU importers will buy carbon certificates corresponding to the carbon price that would have been paid, had the goods been produced under the EU’s carbon pricing rules.

Conversely, once a non-EU producer can show that they have already paid a price for the carbon used in the production of the imported goods, the corresponding cost can be fully deducted for the EU importer.

This will help reduce the risk of carbon leakage by encouraging producers in non-EU countries to make their production processes greener.

A reporting system will apply from 2023 with the objective of facilitating a smooth roll out and to facilitate dialogue with non-EU countries. Importers will start paying a financial adjustment in 2026.

How is the fertilizer industry affected?

The fertilizer industry is one of the sectors to fall under the CBAM.

The more energy-intensive nitrogen fertilizers will be affected most in the sector by the mechanism.


The UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) launched a consultation at the beginning of November 2020 on reducing ammonia emissions from urea fertilizers. The consultation ran until 26 January 2021.

It set out three options for tackling ammonia emissions:

  • A total ban on solid urea fertilizers
  • A requirement to stabilise solid urea fertilizers with the addition of a urease inhibitor.
  • A requirement to restrict the spreading of solid urea fertilizers to between 15 January and 31 March of a given year.

Liquid urea is excluded from any new rules or restrictions.

DEFRA is currently analysing the feedback received.

In March 2022, DEFRA announced that it had delayed introducing restrictions on the use of urea by at least a year to support farmers with fertilizer availability and keep their costs down

Should DEFRA decide to restrict the use of urea in the future, growers would be left with just ammonium nitrate-based fertilizers.


TFI reacts to US Congress passing the Water Resources Development ActHelm becomes a shareholder in UK bio-fertilizer company Unium Bioscience

Yara inks deal to deliver fossil-free green fertilizers to Argentina

Canadian firms plan fuel cell generator pilot using green ammonia

Deepak Fertilizers awards contract to reduce emissions, increase productivity

Saudi Aramco launches $1.5bn sustainability fund to support net zero ambition

CF Industries and ExxonMobil plan CCS project in Louisiana

Canada’s plan to cut fertilizer emissions is voluntary – minister

Canada’s fertilizer emission goal raises food production concerns

Uniper, Vesta to cooperate on renewable ammonia site in the Netherlands

German Uniper to work with Japan’s JERA on US clean ammonia projects

ADNOC ships first cargo of low-carbon ammonia to Germany

US Mosaic and BioConsortia expand collaboration to microbial biostimulant

IMO deems Mediterranean Sea area for sulphur oxides emissions control

Canada’s Soilgenic launches new enhanced efficiency fertilizers technology for retail

Austria’s Borealis aims to produce 1.8m tonnes/year of circular products by 2030

European Parliament rejects proposed carbon market reform

IFA ’22: southern Africa looks to bio-fertilizer as cheaper, sustainable option

IFA ’22: Indian farmers will struggle to embrace specialty fertilizers – producer

Canadian Nutrien plans to build world’s largest clean ammonia facility in Louisiana

Japan’s JGC Holdings awards green ammonia plant contract to KBR

Bayer to partner with Ginkgo to produce sustainable fertilizers

Australia Orica and H2U Group partner on Gladstone green ammonia project

Canada sets tax credit of up to 60% for carbon capture projects

UK delays urea restrictions to support farmers as fertilizer costs at record high

EU states agree to back carbon border tax

Yara to develop novel green fertilizer from recycled nutrients

USDA announces plans for $250m grant programme to support American-made fertilizer

Canada seeks guidance to achieve fertilizer emissions target

Fertilizer titan Pupuk Indonesia develops hydrogen/blue ammonia business

India launches green hydrogen/ammonia policy, targets exports
Canada AmmPower to develop green hydrogen and ammonia facility in Louisiana

US DOE awards grant to project to recover rare earth elements from phosphate production

Fertiglobe, Masdar, Engie to develop green hydrogen for ammonia production

Czech Republic’s Spolana enhances granular AS production

India’s Reliance to invest $80bn in green energy projects

Yara, Sweden’s Lantmannen aim to commercialise green ammonia by 2023

Novatek and Uniper target Russia to Germany blue-ammonia supply chain

Fertz giant Yara goes green with electrification of Norwegian factoryCanada

Arianne Phosphate exploring use of phosphate for hydrogen technology

FAO and IFA renew MoU to promote sustainable fertilizer use

Sumitomo Chemical, Yara to explore clean ammonia collaboration

Sri Lanka revokes ban on imports

Tokyo scientists convert bioplastic into nitrogen fertilizer

Aramco plans Saudi green hydrogen, ammonia project

China announces action plan for carbon peaking & neutrality

Saudi Aramco targets net zero emissions from operations by 2050

Fertiglobe goes green with Red Sea zero-carbon ammonia pro

Australian fertilizer major Incitec Pivot teams up for green ammonia study

INTERVIEW: BASF to scale up new decarbonisation tech in second half of decade – CEO

India asks fertilizer companies to speed up production of nano DAP

Japan’s Itochu set to receive first cargo of blue ammonia for fertilizer use

Norway’s Yara acquires recycled fertilizers maker Ecolan

Bayer Funds US start-up aims to cut nitrogen fertilizer use by 30%

BP: Green ammonia production in Australia feasible, but needs huge investment

Origin and MOL explore shipping green ammonia from Australia

India’s IFFCO seeks to export nano urea fertilizer

Sri Lanka reinstates ban on import of chemical fertilizers

Nutrien to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030


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