TOPIC PAGE: Sustainability in the fertilizers industry

Erica Sesay


Updated on 2 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.


US ADM and Syngenta sign MoU to collaborate on low carbon oilseeds to meet biofuel demand By Mark Milam 28-Sep-23 HOUSTON (ICIS)–US Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Syngenta Group announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate in scaling research and commercialization of low carbon oilseeds to help meet rising demand for biofuels and other sustainably sourced products.

Tecnicas Reunidas, Allied Green Ammonia to build green hydrogen and green ammonia plant in Australia

By Sylvia Traganida 22-Sep-23 LONDON (ICIS)–Tecnicas Reunidas and Allied Green Ammonia have signed an agreement to start the first phases of green hydrogen and green ammonia production facilities in the Northern Territory, Australia.

Australian fertilizer producer Orica accelerates climate change targets

By Sylvia Traganida 19-Sep-23 LONDON (ICIS)–Australian fertilizers and explosive manufacturer Orica has stepped up its climate change targets amid a strong business performance.

Nestle, Cargill and CCm Technologies launch joint UK trial on sustainable fertilizer

By Chris Vlachopoulos 12-Sep-23 LONDON (ICIS)–Nestle and Cargill have launched a UK, two-year trial to assess whether cocoa shells from a local confectionery could be used to create low-carbon fertilizer. The volumes of cocoa shells are provided by Cargill, as well as CCm Technologies.

EnBW acquires stake in planned Norwegian ammonia plant 

By Amun Lie 29-Aug-23 LONDON (ICIS)–German utility EnBW announced on 29 August it has acquired a 10% equity stake and offtake right for a renewable ammonia production plant developed by Norwegian company Skipavika Green Ammonia (SkiGA).

The production facility is set to completed in 2026, to be powered by renewable electricity and with a planned production capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year.

Yara Germany signs agreement for decarbonisation of cereal cultivation using green fertilizers

By Sylvia Traganida 10-Aug-23 LONDON (ICIS)–Yara Germany has signed a co-operation agreement with the Bindewald & Gutting Milling Group and Harry-Brot for the decarbonisation of cereal cultivation in Germany through the use of green fertilizers.

Hyphen, ITOCHU ink MoU to explore potential Namibia hydrogen collaboration By Gary Hornby 09-Aug-23 LONDON (ICIS)–Hyphen Hydrogen Energy and the ITOCHU Corporation announced 8 August that the two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) surrounding hydrogen in Namibia.

INSIGHT: BASF grapples with demand trough, slow road back
By Tom Brown 02-Aug-23 14:12 LONDON (ICIS)–BASF and the wider chemicals sector is dealing with an environment more singular even than the conditions seen in the pandemic and 2008 financial crash according to BASF chief Martin Brudermuller, with little sign of a V-shaped recovery from the current demand trough.


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.


SABIC AN ships low-carbon urea to New Zealand

US Cargill and John Deere collaborate to enable revenue for farmers adopting sustainability

Canada’s Lucent Bio announces approval of biodegradable nutrient delivery patent

Aker, Statkraft’s 10-year PPA to spur European renewable ammonia push further

BASF, Yara Clean Ammonia to evaluate low-carbon blue ammonia production facility in US Gulf Coast

Yara Clean Ammonia, Cepsa to launch clean hydrogen maritime corridor

EU details CBAM reporting obligations

Saudi Arabia’s Ma’aden exports its first low-carbon blue ammonia shipments to China

US Bunge and Nutrien Ag announce alliance to support sustainable farming practices

Maire subsidiary Stamicarbon wins US green ammonia engineering contract

India’s IFFCO launches liquid nano-DAP fertilizer

EU Parliament backs CBAM, emissions trading measures

OCP granted €100m green loan to build solar plants at Morocco facilities

EU unveils plans to tackle greenwashing

India’s IFFCO and CIL to manufacture nano DAP for three years

USDA awards Ostara funds to boost sustainable phosphate fertilizer output

Canadian prime minister confirms fertilizer emission goal is voluntary

US fertilizers industry increases carbon capture in 2021 – TFI

Indian president calls for reduction in chemical fertilizer use

IFFCO plans to export nano urea to 25 countries

Amman selects Elessent Clean Technologies for Indonesia sulphuric acid plant

Lotte Chemical forms clean ammonia consultative body with RWE and Mitsubishi Corporation

Global 2020-2021 specialty fertilizer demand growth led by north America, Asia

BASF and Cargill extend enzymes business and distribution to US

Saudi Aramco awards sulphur facilities overhaul contract to Technip

India sets green hydrogen targets for shipping, oil & gas, fertilizer sectors

Germany misses climate target despite lower energy consumption

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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