Yara Brunsbüttel received a visit by Member of the European Parliament Mrs. Britta Reimers after enhancements made to increase productivity and reduce environmental impact attracted European parliamentary attention.
Last summer, Yara concluded the transformation of the plant starting back in 2010 when the first auxiliary steam boiler was converted from oil-fuelled to gas-driven, with the second auxiliary steam boiler following suit in 2012. Since then natural gas is also used as feedstock for hydrogen production. This project has given the Brunsbüttel facility a good opportunity for the future - it has improved the plant in all areas, not least environmentally. The Yara facility can now demonstrate intensely reduced emissions. Compared to the beginning of 2010, emissions are down by 2,000 tons SO2 per year; 400 tons NOx per year; and about 450,000 tons CO2 per year.
In early May, May Britta Reimers, chairwoman of the European Parliament's 'Fertilizers & Nutrient Growth' forum, visited the Brunsbüttel site after becoming interested in the recent investment in Multiple Purpose Gasification (MPG), which has allowed the site to change feedstock from high viscosity residue oil to natural gas.
"The visit gave us a chance to explain how the European nitrogen industry is vital for the safe supply of nutrients and environmental solutions, and how our performance improvement has benefited the environment in Germany," says Jürgen Maaz, Business Development, Yara Brunsbüttel.
"There is increasing interest from the European Parliament on how mineral fertilizers can contribute in meeting the global challenges for food security and quality," adds Jean-Paul Beens, Head of Yara’s Public Affairs and Industry Relations.
The visitors wanted to learn more about the changes, which allowed Brunsbüttel, Europe's biggest ammonia plant, to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent, NOx by 75 and SO2 by over 95 over three years - all by the ability to switch seasonally from refinery residues to natural gas.
Relevant topics of conversation included MPG-related process flexibility, environmental benefits, the environmental solutions product portfolio - and general challenges for the industry sector connected to high European energy prices.
The delegation learned a lot more about Yara operations than just the energy related issues. Jürgen Maaz explained the daily effort related to the 'Safe by Choice' team culture before they had a chance to see this in action.
"A loudspeaker emergency call followed by the immediate rush in of the industrial park response vehicles impressed the visitors," Jürgen says. "Happily, they witnessed a training exercise - this was completely coincidental - only the HESQ personnel (health, Environment, Safety Quality) know the timing of these events.
"MEP Britta Reimers visited the Brunsbüttel plant site with a genuine curiosity about how the European fertilizer industry in general - and Yara in particular - produces plant nutrients and industrial solutions in a sustainable fashion," says Jean-Paul. "We can all only benefit from such an engagement, in order to achieve supportive policies and an industrial renaissance."