World-class technology

IFFCO Canada will use mature, well known, world-class technology. Over the years, this technology has been subjected to continuous improvements which have focused on reducing production costs and environmental impact by enhancing the effectiveness of carbon dioxide conversion and recovering residual heat and ammonia from plant effluent.

For Bécancour, the decision to opt for the best available, economically viable technology was taken at the outset, prior to plant design. The company committed to maximizing the use of hydroelectric power, within the limits of technological and economic viability, with a view to minimizing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) as much as possible.

This decision, based largely on environmental goals, will rank the Bécancour fertilizer plant among the world’s top performers in terms of energy efficiency and carbon footprint.

Hydroelectricity, an abundant, readily accessible resource in Québec, will replace natural gas in combustion processes whenever technically feasible and economically viable. This important process modification will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 15% and 20%.

Industry leader in matter of GHG reduction

Following a comparative life cycle analysis, it is estimated that the IFFCO Canada plant will achieve about a 30% reduction in GHG emissions compared with the status quo which involves importing urea rather than producing it in Québec. These findings owe to the combined impact of three factors:

  • By favouring the enhanced use of electrical power to produce urea, IFFCO Canada will use less natural gas and therefore generate fewer GHG emissions.
  • Hydroelectricity produced in Québec generates fewer GHGs than electricity produced using other forms of energy, resulting in additional savings of GHGs.
  • The Bécancour plant will be located closer to end markets than the regions from which urea is currently sourced (Middle East, Eastern Europe), thereby reducing the transport-related carbon footprint.

This study, commissioned by IFFCO Canada, was conducted by Ernst & Young (E&Y) and validated by the Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services (CIRAIG) based at Polytechnique Montréal. CIRAIG groups together renowned scientists from across the globe.