Fertiliser maker Yara joins Norway's Hystar for green ammonia trial

By Nora Buli

OSLO (Reuters) - Global fertiliser producer Yara has joined a pilot project to test a new method of producing green ammonia being developed by fellow Norwegian company Hystar, the two firms said on Wednesday.

Yara Clean Ammonia has joined the HyPilot PEM electrolyser project to be commissioned in the second half of 2023, Hystar said.

Electrolysers produce green hydrogen by splitting water with the use of electricity, allowing for the decarbonisation of otherwise hard-to-abate industry sectors.

Hystar says its technology will use 10% less energy compared to currently available models.

"For customers concerned about energy efficiency, this can reduce their electricity costs for the production of hydrogen or ammonia considerably," Hystar's Chief Executive Fredrik Mowill told Reuters.

Yara's interest in the project is primarily around the use of hydrogen for the production of green ammonia, a key fertiliser component and potential future zero-carbon shipping fuel option.

Norwegian energy firm Equinor is already a partner and joined to test the electrolyser for variable output conditions in connection with offshore wind.

Both companies are seen as potential future customers of Hystar, Mowill said.

Global sales of electrolyser systems reached 300 MW last year and would be substantially higher this year, he added.

"We want to be a leading player in this growing global market," the Hystar CEO said.

The pilot is intended to run for 10,000 hours using a 1 megawatt containerised electrolyser - the smallest size in Hystar's portfolio - and is budgeted to cost 73.2 million Norwegian crowns ($6.75 million), he added.

($1 = 10.8373 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Terje Solsvik)