Oslo/Lysaker (2007-08-28): The maritime market is being offered the first complete solution able to eliminate polluting nitrogen oxides (NOx). Yara International ASA and the Wilhelmsen Maritime Services (WMS) subsidiary of Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA are creating the Yarwil joint venture, and will use this vehicle to launch environmental solutions for the maritime market. This commitment will help to reduce emissions in the shipping sector, and improve both the environment and human health. Yarwil will be owned 50-50 by Yara and WMS.
"We are Europe's leading producer of environmental products for NOx treatment, and already remove more NOx than Norway's total emissions of these substances," says President and CEO of Yara International ASA, Thorleif Enger.
"NOx treatment is already one of our fastest growing markets, with a 35% increase in the first half of 2007. Through the cooperation with Wilhelmsen, we're expanding our commitment to deNOx for the maritime sector, which we see has a big potential."
NOx comprises gases harmful to human health and the environment which form during the combustion of fossil fuels. Yara's product solution could cut such emissions from ships by 95%.
"The air will be cleaner because two major Norwegian industrial companies are forming an innovative partnership and jointly confronting the environmental challenges facing the maritime industry," says group chief executive Ingar Skaug in Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA.
"WMS's unique global network makes it possible for us to supply our environment-friendly products to end-users worldwide."
The NOx removal process involves a known catalytic technology used today in land-based industry and transport, and on a number of coastal cargo vessels in Norway and Sweden.
This concept is based on adding a special quality of urea solution to the hot exhaust fumes from the ship's engines. The mix then passes through a catalytic converter where NOx from the exhausts reacts with the urea solution and is turned into harmless water vapour and nitrogen.
Yarwil's technology will initially cover that part of the maritime market in which NOx emissions are governed by official regulations.
In the short term, this means vessels engaged in trades typically conducted close to land, such as ferries, fishing vessels and supply ships. Cruise liners will also employ the technology.
It is currently possible to remove NOx emissions from diesel generators on large ocean-going vessels, but technology tailored to their propulsion machinery remains under development and will not be available until some time in the future.
Yarwil's deNOx solution makes it easier for government agencies and ship owners to meet future international environmental commitments.
Norway, for instance, is committed under the Gothenburg protocol to reduce its annual NOx emissions to a maximum of 156,000 tonnes by 2010. That calls for a cut of 45,000 tonnes per year, and Yarwil's deNOx technology will make it possible to reach this goal.
To meet the environmental challenges faced by the maritime sector, Yarwil intends to expand its product range to embrace other solutions for reducing emissions from ships, such as sulphur oxides.