January 14, 2015
Yara is more than a fertilizer company. Yara's Industrial segment converts energy, natural minerals and nitrogen from the air into essential products for industrial applications and for the preservation of the environment. Emissions to air from ships are an increasingly growing problem. In an ever more globalized world, goods are transported every day and every hour, emitting colossal amounts of dangerous sulfur oxide (SOx).
SOx is air pollution that is converted into tiny airborne particles that can get into the lungs and are small enough to pass through tissues and enter the blood. They can then trigger inflammations which can eventually cause heart and lung diseases. These emissions can be heavily reduced, and this article is the first in a series focusing on how Yara, through different business initiatives, takes on the challenge of reducing emissions in the maritime sector worldwide.
Last year Yara acquired a majority position in Green Tech Marine, a Norwegian, leading SOx scrubber supplier to the maritime industry. Already a winner of several innovation awards, the company's latest honor is the NHO Innovation Prize 2014, which this year was a contest between three "innovative, ambitious and export-oriented" companies. NHO - the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise - is the representative organization for Norwegian employers with companies of all sizes.
"The prize will further strengthen the company's reputation, internationally and domestically," says Yara Marine Technologies Head of Business Development Kenny Strandberg. "But mainly it is a reward to the employees of the company for their hard work and indispensable contribution since the company was founded in 2010."
The prize went to Yara Marine Technologies (YMT) for developing the smallest footprint SOx scrubber that can be retrofitted into any seagoing vessel. Within the next 10 years ships worldwide will need exhaust gas cleaning equipment or change to higher-cost low-sulfur fuel to comply with the latest International Maritime Organization emission regulations. From 1 January 2015, SOx Emission Control Areas will be established in the North and Baltic Seas, the North American Atlantic Coast, and the Caribbean.
Green Tech Marine changed name on the first of this year, resulting in all visual elements being integrated into the Yara brand platform and getting a clear Yara "look and feel". "In 2015, we will support this integration with common marketing activities that include a shared booth at the Nor-shipping Exhibition with all our marine activities, aligned sales teams cross-selling NOx and SOx technologies to their respective customer bases, including the sales of urea and services to the marine segment," says Industrial Marketing Director Bjorn Theijs. "With combined communication efforts, a broader audience will be reached without increasing costs."
"From a branding perspective, Yara is building more environmental solutions awareness on a global scale and raising the profile of our NOx, SOx portfolio within the company," says Yara Head of Branding René Hansen. "Yara Marine Technologies can profit from Yara's global presence, while the Yara brand benefits from having a clear proof point in environmental solutions, aligned with the corporation's strategy and positioning."
"We are happy to integrate the two companies further," says Kenny Strandberg. "We will benefit from Yara's strong brand name internationally, and also grow stronger in terms of numbers and quality."