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Yara International ASA is a chemical company. Its largest business area is the production of nitrogen fertilizer, however it also encompasses the production of dry ice, nitrates, ammonia, urea and other nitrogen-based chemicals. The company was established as Norsk Hydro - the world´s first producer of mineral nitrogen fertilizers - in 1905 and demerged as Yara International ASA on March 25, 2004. Yara is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and has its headquarters in Oslo. The company has about 7,300 employees, with operations in more than 50 countries and sales to over 120.

Yara´s history began over a hundred years ago, when Norsk Hydro was founded by industrialists Sam Eyde, Kristian Birkeland and Marcus Wallenberg. Norsk Hydro used Norway’s large hydroelectric-energy resources to produce its first product, mineral fertilizer. The company pioneered direct nitrogen fixation, called the Birkeland-Eyde Process. This contribution to the fertilizer market attracted global attention as the product enabled farmers to boost their yields.

Norsk Hydro was founded on advanced research. This work was driven by a need to diversify and develop new industries. Even though the production of mineral fertilizer was successful, the company expanded into other businesses, from fertilizers to oil and metals.

The company adopted an international perspective early, sending its first shipment to China in 1913. In 1969, Norsk Hydro entered its first joint venture, with authorities in Qatar. With access to a competitive source of gas and a strategic location in the Middle East, the joint venture opened up a global market for the company.

By the 1970s, the company was established in Asia, the Middle East and North America. The late 1970s to the mid-1980s was a period of rapid growth, through the acquisition of major fertilizer companies in France, Germany, Holland and the UK. At the end of the 1990s, the company was also established in Brazil and South Africa.

In 2004, Hydro Agri demerged from Norsk Hydro and became an independent company called Yara International ASA. The company was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange on March 25, 2004.

Since then, Yara has continued to expand its global presence through investments in other countries, such as Canada, Libya, Australia and Switzerland. The company is currently the world"s leading provider of mineral fertilizer, with operations in more than 50 countries spread over six continents.

More info about Yara at Wikipedia.

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