Process and control today | Global fertilizer company improves energy efficiency with ABB motors and drives


Yara modernizes one of its largest international production sites with high-efficiency technology

Around 1,000 motors have been upgraded, while the second phase will see around 2,500 motors replaced with IE5 synchronous reluctance motors and drives

Expected annual savings of up to 40 GWh and 19 kt CO2 emissions

ABB supplies highly efficient motors and drives to enable Yara, the world’s leading producer of complex nitrogen-based fertilizers, to improve energy efficiency at its main production site in Porsgrunn, Norway. The long-term upgrade project will generate annual energy savings of 32 to 40 gigawatt hours (GWh) and reduce CO emissions2 emissions of 12 to 19 kilotonnes (kt), equivalent to the emissions produced by nearly 14,000 standard cars.

In the first phase of the project, around 1,000 low-voltage electric motors from Porsgrunn have already been replaced by IE3 motors. This is the current minimum efficiency level required by the latest Ecodesign regulations which came into force in July 2021. Variable speed drives (VSD) have been added to 75% of these motors, providing a major increase in energy efficiency , saving about 16 GWh per year. .

Long term planning is underway for the next phase which will be executed on equipment upgrades and replacements as well as new projects. This will eventually include 2,500 motors averaging 75 kilowatts (kW) upgraded with SynRM motor and drive packages offering ultra-premium IE5 efficiency. Nearly 70% of these motors are mounted on pump and fan applications which offer significant opportunities for energy savings.

In addition to energy savings and reduced carbon emissions, Yara expects significant savings in maintenance costs due to less wear and tear, attributable to longer engine and machine life. driven by VSD due to less mechanical stress.

“ABB helped us assess our systems and describe all the benefits of the upgrade,” said Perry Jaspers, technical process manager, electrical and automation at Yara. “Choosing the latest motor and drive technology is crucial to improving our fuel efficiency. It also offers major advantages in terms of increased availability and reduced maintenance. »

“The Yara project is a great example of the business impact that upgrading to state-of-the-art motors and drives can have, not only in terms of improved energy efficiency, but also business continuity. process,” says Stefan Floeck, ABB division president for IEC. Low voltage motors. “Switching to IE5 SynRM technology provides a rapid return on investment and enables companies to future-proof their operations.”

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

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