The Finnish family business Berner Ltd has strengthened its role in promoting the circular economy, as the company is responsible for the distribution of ammonium sulphate, which is a by-product of Terrafame’s battery chemical production plant. Ammonium sulphate also responds to the current shortage of fertiliser raw materials, both domestically and internationally, and provides a cost-effective alternative to fertilisation.
Promoting the circular economy plays an important role in Berner’s strategy and aims to increase the circular economy’s share of turnover. Cooperation with Terrafame further strengthens Berner’s role in the circular economy. The Berner Industries business unit is in charge of the distribution of ammonium sulphate, which is generated as a by-product in Terrafame’s new battery chemical production plant, mainly to foreign markets. The Farmer’s Berner business unit is responsible for the direct sales of liquid ammonium sulphate (NS) solution, which is a by-product of the process, to livestock farms in Finland.
“At Berner, we are strongly committed to promoting the circular economy, and we are very happy about this domestic cooperation project with Terrafame. Ammonium sulphate is a 100% side stream product and, with this product, we are also able to respond to the increase in the demand for fertilisers caused by the global political situation,” says Mika Pirhonen, Director, Berner Industries.
Ammonium sulphate is a basic component in the production of fertilisers which can be used as such for fertilisation or as a raw material of fertilisers and contains sulphur and nitrogen, both important plant nutrients. Ammonium sulphate is produced as a by-product of the nickel sulphate production of Terrafame’s battery chemical production plant, while the traditional production of nitrogen-based fertilisers is very energy-intensive.
The current high price level of crystalline nitrogen fertilisers has significantly increased interest in liquid ammonium sulphate, i.e. NS solution, in Finland. The NS solution is sold at Berner by delivery month, and the production is currently sold out until late spring. Opportunities to utilise crystalline ammonium sulphate as a fertiliser as such in Finland are currently being mapped.
“The NS solution that we currently sell in Finland is suitable for both grassland and grain fertilisation. Adding NS solution to liquid manure improves the efficiency of nitrogen use on all plants. We aim to sell the NS solution as close to the factory as possible in order to minimise transport distances and the resulting carbon footprint,” says Kalle Erkkola, Director of Farmer’s Berner
Terrafame’s battery chemical production plant, launched in 2021, produces the battery chemicals needed for electric car batteries. Terrafame’s nickel sulphate, the by-product of which is ammonium sulphate, is produced with a carbon footprint 60% lower than that of conventional production technologies. Terrafame has an annual production capacity of 115 thousand tonnes of ammonium sulphate.
For more information, please contact:
Mika Pirhonen, Director, Berner Industries
Tel. +358 40 831 3451
Kalle Erkkola, Director, Farmer’s Berner
Tel. +358 50 551 4848