Yara's Legacy

The Yara Legacy is the timeless aspect of how our curiosity and ambition led us to transform the way we live today and how it continues to feed millions.

Our History

Since our founding in 1905 to solve the emerging famine in Europe, Yara has established a unique position as the industry’s only global crop nutrition company. Learn more about our impactful and impressive history below. 

2022 - Now

Yara Porsgrunn at sunrise

2022 Yara Birkeland was christened April 29, 2022 and to celebrate the momentous occasion, 500 local students and Crown Prince Haakon participated in the maritime tradition of christening the ship to bless it with good fortune.

2022 Yara announced the signing of a contract with Linde Engineering for the construction and delivery of a green hydrogen demonstration plant at Yara's ammonia production facility at Herøya Industripark in Porsgrunn, Norway.


Yara Birkeland docked at Yara Porsgrunn

2021 Began with the establishment of Yara Clean Ammonia and ended with securing funding from ENOVA SF to begin electrifying Yara’s Porsgrunn plant. This funding agreement concluded a year of milestones, as Yara officially embarked on the road to decarbonizing a fullscale ammonia plant and deliver on its strategic ambition of enabling the hydrogen economy.

2021 Yara’s new ambition “Growing a Nature-Positive Food Future” was announced.

2021 Yara Suomi Oy (“Yara”) announced the acquisition of Ecolan Oy, a Finnish producer of organic-based fertilizers. It was Yara’s first acquisition in the organic fertilizer segment and reflects our commitment to contributing to the circular economy by continuously expanding offers while responding to farmers’ needs.



Woman in a field farming

2020 Amid COVID-19, a time of crisis, Yara donated 40,000 tons of premium fertilizer to enable farmers to triple the region’s maize production. And for the first time ever, Yara successfully digitally traced the fertilizer’s distribution from port to farmers in East Africa, paving the way for the development of a secure supply chain across the region.

2017 - 2019

Yara Birkeland model

2017  We entered into an agreement to acquire the Vale Cubatão Fertilizantes complex in Brazil. The acquisition established Yara as a nitrogen producer in Brazil, strengthening its production footprint and distribution position.

2017  Yara and Kongsberg entered into a partnership to build the world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship, with zero emissions. With this vessel, Yara will reduce diesel-powered truck haulage by 40,000 journeys a year.

2018  We revised our corporate strategy. Through it, we will respond to the challenges facing our industry and our planet. Our new mission is to Responsibly feed the world and protect the planet.

2015 - 2016

Svein Tore Holsether

2015  Another eventful year for Yara, where we made major investments in Europe, Africa, Australia and Latin America. In September 2015, Svein Tore Holsether joined Yara as our new CEO & President.

2016  We entered into an agreement to acquire the Tata Chemicals’ Babrala urea plant and distribution business in India, and decided to invest approximately USD 275 million in our Rio Grande plant in Brazil. 

2008 - 2014

Man holding a catalyst

2008  Yara wins the prestigious Norwegian environmental award “Glassbjørnen” (The Glass Bear) for its nitrous oxide abatement catalyst, which significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions across various industries.

2010 Yara increases its engagement in Africa.

2013  Yara celebrates 100 years of presence in the Chinese market.  Acquisition of Bunge Fertilizers, Brazil.

2014  Acquisition of OFD in Latin America and joint venture with Galvani in Brazil strengthens our presence in Latin America.


Silinjarvi plant aerial view

Yara’s history represents more than 100 years of fighting famine through our fertilizers. Today, the world is still facing serious challenges and Yara is part of the solution.

2004 Yara is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, following demerger from Norsk Hydro.

2005 Yara celebrates 100 years of existence. Yara implements a strategy with the goal of shaping a more sustainable industry.

2007 Acquisition of fertilizer company Kemira-GrowHow in Finland. 


Chiwan Terminal in China

A great deal of money is spent on purchasing plants, but altogether Hydro invests more money in the renewal of existing and the building of new infrastructures. The overall result is that the company becomes the market leader in Western Europe. 

1979  Hydro takes over the Dutch fertilizer company NSM. 

1981 Hydro buys a 75% stake in the Swedish fertilizer group Supra AB. 

1982  A terminal is established in Chiwan, China.

1983 An office is established in Harare, Zimbabwe.

1985 Hydro purchases the German company Ruhr-Stickstoff AG.

1986 Hydro takes over 80% of French fertilizer company Cofaz.

1995 Hydro becomes the only supplier of plant nutrition and agronomic services on all five continents.

2000 Hydro improves its position in Brazil with the acquisition of fertilizer company Adubos Trevo.


Workers in front of Qafco plant

Johan B. Holte brings fertilizer production into a new, petrochemical-based era and involves the company in oil exploration in the North Sea. He also starts internationalizing Hydro’s fertilizer production with plants established in Qatar.

1967  Under the leadership of  Johan B. Holte, Hydro sees an organizational revolution, creating a more modern company.

1969 The Qafco joint venture with Qatar Industries is established.


Glomfjord loading of MS Mosjøen

The company sustains considerable damage during the war. However, Hydro’s management is able to once again build up a strong research environment within the company.

The first 10 years after the Second World War mark an incredible time in the history of Yara. The company makes heavy investments, and the number of employees increases from around 2,500 in 1945 to around 5,000 in 1955. 

1945  World War II ends and Hydro decides to expand. 

1946  Two new research sites are established in Oslo and Herøya, Norway.

1947  Hydro gets access to the (hydroelectric) power production at Glomfjord, Norway, to establish ammonia production in Glomfjord. In 1955, fertilizer production started,  and the world’s northernmost fertilizer production plant was a reality.



Porsgrunn plant at Herøya circa 1930

Protectionism rules the markets during the 1930s, and the Great Depression takes its toll on the company. For Norsk Hydro, this means that the need for diversification is increased. The company, therefore, strives to develop new fertilizer products and technologies for other branches of the industry.

1927-28   The company obtains a license to employ a new ammonia production method, leading to the quadrupling of capacity. 

1938  First production of regular NPK fertilizer.

1939  The Hydro beach is acquired. Employees get a holiday center by the sea, close to Porsgrunn, Norway.


Sam Eyde and Kristian Birkeland historical portraits

Norsk Hydro is founded in 1905; the industrialization of Norway is at this point well underway. The company is characterized by advanced research, represented in the new logo, along with themes of exploration, innovation and vitality. 

1905  Industrialists Sam Eyde and Kristian Birkeland found Norsk Hydro in Norway.

1907  First Calcium Nitrate shipment to Thailand.

1910  First Viking ship logo is designed.

1913  First cargo of Calcium Nitrate – ‘Norgessalpeter’ - is shipped to Nanjing port, China.

1919  Yara’s first research center is established in Skøyen, a part of Oslo, Norway.