Global fertilizer company boosts energy efficiency with ABB motors and drives

Global fertilizer company boosts energy efficiency with ABB motors and drives

• Yara is upgrading one of its largest international production sites with high-efficiency technology

• Around 1,000 motors have been upgraded, while second phase will see approximately 2,500 motors replaced with IE5 Synchronous reluctance motors and drives

• Projected annual savings up to 40 GWh and 19 kt CO2 emissions

ABB is supplying highly efficient motors and drives to enable Yara, the world’s leading producer of nitrogen-based complex fertilizers, to boost energy efficiency at its main production site in Porsgrunn, Norway. The long-term upgrade project will yield annual energy savings of 32-40 gigawatt hours (GWh) and cut CO2 emissions by 12-19 kilotons (kt) – equivalent to emissions produced by nearly 14,000 standard cars.

In the first project phase, around 1,000 low voltage electrical motors at Porsgrunn have already been replaced with IE3 motors. This is the current minimum efficiency level required by the latest Ecodesign regulation that came into force in July 2021. Variable speed drives (VSDs) were added to 75 percent of these motors, offering a major increase in energy efficiency, saving around 16 GWh per year.

Long-term Planning is now ongoing for the next phase that will be executed during equipment upgrades and replacements as well as within new projects. This will eventually include 2,500 motors with an average power of 75 kilowatt (kW) upgraded with SynRM motor and drive packages offering ultra-premium IE5 efficiency. Nearly 70 percent of these motors are fitted to pump and fan applications which offer significant energy saving opportunities.

In additions to energy savings and reduction in carbon emissions, Yara further expects significant savings in maintenance costs due to lower wear and tear, attributable to the longer lifetime of motors and VSD-driven machinery due to lower mechanical stress.

“ABB helped evaluate our systems and outline all the benefits of upgrading,” said Perry Jaspers, Technical process owner electricity and automation at Yara. “Choosing the latest motor and drive technology is crucial for improving our energy efficiency. It is also yielding major benefits in increased uptime and lower maintenance.”

“The Yara project is an excellent example of the business impact that upgrading to state-of-the-art motors and drives can have, not only in boosting energy efficiency but also in process continuity,” says Stefan Floeck, ABB Division President for IEC Low Voltage Motors. “Switching to IE5 SynRM technology offers a fast return on investment as well as enabling companies to future-proof their operations."

The Porsgrunn plant also actively collaborates with ABB and Stena Recycling to sustainably recycle old motors as part of the circular economy initiative.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries. www.abb.com

About Yara: Founded in 1905 to solve the emerging famine in Europe, Yara has established a unique position as the industry’s only global crop nutrition company. Yara operate an integrated business model with around 18,000 employees and operations in over 60 countries. As the world’s leading crop nutrition company and a provider of environmental and agricultural solutions, Yara address global challenges and create positive change. www.yara.com

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