With an investment requirement of more than 1 billion euros, “Green Wolverine” aims to enter into production by 2026. The project will create more than 2,000 jobs during construction and 500 in operation
Grupo Fertiberia, the largest producer of crop nutrition solutions in the Iberian Peninsula, is taking a decisive step to lead the energy transition of the European fertiliser industry. The company signed a “Memorandum Of Understanding” with the Region of Norrbotten (Sweden) and its investment agency to develop the world’s first 100% green and emission-free ammonia and fertiliser site. Ammonia is a versatile product, easier to transport and to store than hydrogen. It can be used instead of gas for energy purposes and to decarbonise shipping transport.
The project will require an investment of more than 1 billion euros and could become operational by 2026. The site, based on electrolysis technology, will only use water and air as raw materials. It will be supplied with renewable energy from wind and hydropower sources. This initiative, known as “Green Wolverine”, builds on Grupo Fertiberia’s decarbonisation efforts in Spain, as well as on the exceptional conditions offered by the Norrbotten region, where 100% of electricity production already comes from renewable sources.
This project, which looks forward to incorporating different industrial and financial partners, reinforces Grupo Fertiberia’s leadership in the production of green hydrogen and ammonia for industrial use. Grupo Fertiberia, in partnership with Iberdrola, already launched the first industrial-scale green ammonia plant in Spain. In the coming months, a 20 MW electrolyser will be operational at the Puertollano plant, and in 2023, another one that is 10 times more powerful (200 MW) will be operational at the Palos de la Frontera (Huelva) plant. Green hydrogen is a raw material used to produce green ammonia (which is, in turn, used as the basis for producing low-carbon fertilisers and other solutions. In Spain, this plan will continue to be carried out in phases until reaching a total of 800 MW electrolysers in 2027, with a total investment of 1.8 billion euros.
Now with the Green Wolverine project in Sweden, a new site in the Luleå-Boden area will be created that will be innovative in both its design and its development, with more than 600 MW of electrolysers, a green ammonia plant producing 1,500 tonnes/day, and an annual production of more than half a million tonnes of low-carbon fertilisers and industrial products. In addition to the latest electrolyser technology, the new site will be equipped with state-of-the-art processes, complying with the highest environmental and safety standards. Grupo Fertiberia will incorporate its extensive experience & knowhow in operations and engineering into the design and operation of the new facility.
This investment, which will create 2,000 jobs during the construction phase and another 500 highly skilled jobs when it starts operating, will contribute to the creation of a new green ammonia & fertilizer hub in this country, thus improving food security and self-sufficiency in Sweden and in the EU. The green ammonia produced by Green Wolverine will furthermore be used to decarbonise strategic sectors of the economy, such as maritime transport or the mining industry, to name just two examples.
Jan Larsson, CEO of The Swedish Trade & Invest Council (Business Sweden) who was briefed on the project noted that, “An investment like this will contribute both to jobs creation and increased food production. But maybe even more importantly, it will lead to a reduction of Sweden’s climate footprint.”
“Grupo Fertiberia hopes to become the leader of future sustainable crop nutrition in Europe. For that purpose, we are aware of the importance of developing fertilisers based on clean energy and locally produced”, declares Javier Goñi, CEO of the company. “The Norrbotten project is a new and decisive step towards our goal to produce low carbon fertilisers”. Right now, the company “is working on the detailed design & engineering of the project and is searching for partners who might contribute to making this project a reality and thereby decisively support the ambition demonstrated by Sweden in relation to energy transition and food self-sufficiency”. Sweden has no local production and imports about 600,000 tonnes each year.
Nils-Olov Lindfors, Regional Councillor for Norrbotten, who participated in the development of hydrogen technology, highlights that “Green Wolverine can improve our region’s economy by diversifying it into emerging sectors that are growing substantially, such as green ammonia as energy storage, marine fuel and as a chemical raw material, with the potential for delivering strong jobs creation and new export markets”.
In turn, Lena Segerlund, CEO of Invest in Norrbotten, noted that “Norrbotten continues to receive a great deal of interest from international investors, and we are thrilled to be working with Grupo Fertiberia, a global leader in this field”.
“This is an extremely exciting project for our company, which has been working hard to become a reference in Europe in relation to sustainable nutrition of our crops. The fertiliser industry is essential for meeting current food production demand for the world’s growing population, and at our firm, we are committed to green ammonia as clean feedstock for our fertilizers and a carbon-free energy carrier & fuel. This project will unquestionably be a worldwide pioneer project, in a region that is ideal for taking on an initiative of these characteristics, given Swedien’s ambition to lead the transition to a carbon-free economy. We are already doing this at Grupo Fertiberia, decarbonising emissions of the fertiliser industry and complementing our ongoing initiatives in Spain and Portugal”, Javier Goñi concludes.