Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

In October 2014, the European Council adopted the 2030 climate and energy framework for the EU policy, which among others included a mandatory goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by at least 40% by 2030 with respect to 1990.

In line with the goals of the Paris Treaty, the EU and Slovakia agreed to achieve the climate neutrality by 2050, which means that the volume of emitted greenhouse gases should equal to the volume of the greenhouse gases we can trap.

In 2020, Slovakia set a goal within the 2030 low-carbon strategy development with the outlook to 2050 to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases by – 20% not later than in 2030.

The low-carbon strategy aims at selecting and analyzing the cost-effective measures with respect to the extent of the emission reduction, and economic and social impact.

At the beginning, the emissions were reduced by means of relative simple and cheap measures (e.g., switching from coal to gas, closing of ineffective and polluting plants within restructuralization of plants, and introduction of market principles). These changes were also connected with membership of Slovakia in the EU. However at present, the cheaper solutions are mostly depleted and further reduction of emission would require high capital expenditures.

Effectively from the late 1990s, our company successively implemented said measures for greenhouse gas reductions (reconstruction of former coal boiler K5 to natural gas in 1998 and putting K1–K4 coal boilers out of operation, and installing of gas boilers K6, K7 by 2001), and of course, the company followed the initiated trend up to today when the global warming theme becomes even more prominent.

At present, the measures were implemented, such as “Absorption cooling on nitric acid 3” in 2020, which significantly reduced the greenhouse gas emissions, i.e., N2O and CO2 In 2023, further measures are in the pipeline for this plant for significant reduction of NOx and N2O, and therefore also CO2 by the “System of tertiary reduction of N2O”.

In the long-term horizon, the company intends to implement some other measures in individual production parts in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, of which the most significant could be seen in the Inorganic Production Section, in particular: “Researching the options for CO2 cost reduction in production of fertilizers – hybrid ammonium”. Ammonium 4 generates over 80% of CO2 of total emissions of the company. Technical solutions for reduction of emissions are considered:

  • partial implementation of hydrogen production by electrolysis;
  • methane production from CO2 and hydrogen
  • heating of reforming furnace by electric energy
  • trapping of CO2 (CCS)

An economic model will be prepared as well to evaluate the most favourable approach, or combination thereof.