May 06, 2021

Yara Pilbara to host renewable hydrogen and ammonia production facility

THE Australian government has provided a $42.5 million grant to Yara Pilbara and ENGIE to build one of the world’s first industrial-scale renewable hydrogen production operations.

Yara Pilbara panorama RESIZE web.jpg

Yara Pilbara, WA


Renewable hydrogen, a precursor to the production of ammonia, is seen as one of the most promising fuels for decarbonising emissions associated with power generation and shipping.

Renewable hydrogen is produced using hydrogen obtained through the electrolysis of water and nitrogen obtained from the air using renewable energy sources.

In turn, this hydrogen can be used in the manufacture of ‘green’ ammonia, an intermediary chemical used in the production of urea, nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) compound fertilisers and explosives.

More than 180 million tonnes of ammonia are produced globally every year, with the vast majority of this used in agriculture as fertiliser.

Yara is the leading global, fully-integrated producer of ammonia and crop nutrition programs for sustainable agriculture.

ENGIE is a global low-carbon energy and services group.

The renewable hydrogen production plant will be constructed within the existing Yara Pilbara ammonia plant, complimenting the region’s existing export infrastructure and abundant source of sunlight and seawater.

Scheduled for completion in 2023, the first phase of the project will see the construction of a 10 MW electrolyser, on-site photovoltaic panels and a battery storage system that will allow the plant to operate without being connected to the main electrical grid.

It will produce up to 625 tons of renewable hydrogen and 3,700 tons of ‘green’ ammonia per year.

The grant was provided under the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round, which has previously provided funding for the project’s feasibility study.

In addition, the WA Government has provided $2 million grant to assist with site selection, permitting and stakeholder engagement.


Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, Sarah Hicks (left) and Yara Pilbara General Manager, Laurent Trost (right).


Yara International President – Clean Ammonia, Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, says the funding will put Western Australia on the world-map for renewable energy production and further enhance Yara’s commitment to a cleaner, greener future.  “Yara will integrate the clean hydrogen produced in the project into the existing ammonia operations to demonstrate that increased renewable hydrogen use can reduce the dependence on fossil fuels,” he says.

ENGIE Hydrogen Business Unit CEO, Michèle Azalbert, says renewable hydrogen will play a critical role in the decarbonisation of energy-intensive sectors.  “We are heartened by ARENA’s support for this project, which will not only contribute to the development of the renewable hydrogen industry in Australia but will also become one of the world’s first industrial-scale renewable hydrogen facilities,” he says.

Yara Pilbara General Manager, Laurent Trost, says renewable hydrogen could play a major role in decarbonising ammonia production.  “Renewable ammonia can serve as renewable feedstock for a variety of industrial uses, and even more importantly, renewable ammonia is one of the world’s most promising fuels for green power generation and shipping,” he says.

Yara Crop Nutrition Commercial Director – Australia and New Zealand, Michael Waites, says the development of ‘green ammonia’ capabilities is part of a range of initiatives the company is undertaking to reduce its carbon footprint.

“Yara has already reduced the carbon footprint of its nitrate fertiliser production by 40% by making its production plants and processes among the most energy-efficient in the world,” he says.

“The ongoing development of ‘green’ ammonia technology and climate-smart agricultural practices means the company is on track to reduce emissions by another 30% within a decade and become carbon neutral by 2050.”


Yara Pilbara media contacts:

Luke Blackbourn, 0436 650 194

Casey Cahill, Counsel Communications, 0413 992 195



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