TOPIC PAGE: Sustainability in the fertilizers industry

Author: Erica Sesay


Updated on 12 October.

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.


Australian fertilizer major Incitec Pivot teams up for green ammonia study

By Richard Ewing 11-Oct-21 14:29 LONDON (ICIS)--Australia's Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) have agreed a feasibility study into industrial-scale production of green ammonia at IPL's Gibson Island production complex in Queensland.

Yara partners up to explore clean ammonia bunkering and distribution in Japan

By Richard Ewing 05-Oct-21 13:09 LONDON (ICIS)--Norwegian fertilizer group Yara on Tuesday teamed up with two Japanese companies to explore the establishment of a clean ammonia distribution network and bunkering business in the Asian nation.

Fertilizer Canada concerned cutting fertilizers to meet emissions target could impact farmers
By Mark Milam 28-Sep-21 23:21 HOUSTON (ICIS)--A report commissioned by industry group Fertilizer Canada shows that cutting fertilizer use in order to reduce on-farm emissions and achieve a national reduction target could cost growers nearly C$48bn ($37.8bn) over the next eight years.

Yara and Kyushu Electric Power explore clean ammonia collaboration in Japan

By Richard Ewing 27-Sep-21 17:26 LONDON (ICIS)--Norwegian fertilizer group Yara and power generation company Kyushu Electric Power Co on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on establishing “clean ammonia” supply chains in Japan.

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

By Joseph Chang 22-Sep-21 17:13 NEW YORK (ICIS)--Germany-based BASF aims to scale up two key decarbonisation technologies in the second half of the decade, its CEO said.

Australian Minbos Resources completes bulk sample from Cabinda Phosphate project

By Mark Milam 13-Sep-21 23:40 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Australian fertilizer developer Minbos Resources announced that it has completed a 14-tonne bulk sample, targeting phosphate rock material from the high-grade zone at its Cabinda Phosphate project in Angola.

India asks fertilizer companies to speed up production of nano DAP

By Sylvia Traganida 13-Sep-21 17:13 LONDON (ICIS)--The Indian Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has asked local fertilizer producers to start commercial production of nano diammonium phosphate (DAP) within a year to reduce the country's dependence on imports.

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

By Richard Ewing 02-Sep-21 21:47 LONDON (ICIS)--Japanese trading house Itochu Corp on Thursday announced it is poised to take delivery of the country's first ever imported blue ammonia cargo for use in fertilizer production.

Norway's Yara acquires recycled fertilizers maker Ecolan

By Nurluqman Suratman SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Yara has acquired Finland-based recycled fertilizers maker Ecolan for undisclosed fee, the Norwegian firm said on Wednesday.

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

By Erica Sesay 23-Aug-21 12:57 LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s Bayer and other investors are injecting $45m into an agriculture start-up that says its products can curb global nitrogen fertilizer use.


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. Should it decide to restrict the use of urea, that would leave growers with just ammonium nitrate-based fertilizers.


ADNOC concludes fresh sale of blue ammonia from the UAE to Japan

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies selects St Louis for new Crystal Green fertilizer facility

India to launch $1.35tr infra plan, enhance green hydrogen output

Norway Yara partners with Aker, Statkraft to launch green ammonia firm

Blue and green ammonia to advance rapidly

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

Canadian Progressive Planet to process Australian producer Fertoz’s phosphate products

Pupuk Indonesia signs deal to explore hydrogen, clean energy supply

Japan's Itochu buys first cargoes of blue ammonia from the UAE

Canada not on track to meet climate targets-institute

INSIGHT: Canadian fertilizer major Nutrien talks blue and green ammonia

India plans to oblige petchems and fertz firms to use green hydrogen

Green ammonia mega project announced for Australia

ADNOC joins Hydrogen Council amid blue ammonia drive

INSIGHT: Fertilizer industry will be hit by EU carbon charge proposals, not petchems

Plans for blue ammonia chain between Siberia and Japan accelerate

Tessenderlo Kerley International to build new ammonium thiophosphate plant in the Netherlands

Canada EarthRenew undertaking potato field trials to test impact of fertilizers on soil health

World's first dynamic green ammonia demo plant in Denmark gets funding boost

Canada's oil sands producers form alliance to reach net-zero GHG by 2050

Micro-irrigation initiatives to boost specialty fertilizer demand in India

China’s specialty fertilizers demand to grow almost 10% in next five years

India’s IFFCO launches nano fertilizer to reduce urea use by 50%

Yara launches Agoro Carbon to help farmers decarbonise

OCI Beaumont to decarbonise in blue ammonia drive

Sri Lanka aims to halt chemical fertilizer imports in future

Biden seeks to reduce US CO2 emissions by as much as 52% by '30

Canada raises GHG target, boosts spending on 'green recovery'

Swiss Glencore addresses water incidents, provides stewardship update in sustainability report

Nutrien to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030