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Saudi Arabia: Ma’aden aims to produce 10% of global DAP demand

Saudi Arabian Mining Company “Ma’aden” announced late November that the Project of Mine and Plant of Phosphate Concentrates in Hazm Al-Jalameed started actual production with the delivery of the first consignment of phosphate concentrates to Ras Al-Zour in preparation for the experimental operation of the project, which, after completion will produce three million tpa DAP. Their strategy is aimed to produce 10 per cent of the global DAP demand.

The Company said that it had completed services and infrastructures’ facilities of the phosphate project in Ras Al-Zour, in addition to the start of the experimental operation of most of the units of its joint venture in collaboration with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC). They also disclosed that it has rescheduled the start of the first production of the project to the second quarter of 2011 instead the fourth quarter of this year 2010, adding that commercial production will begin in the third quarter of 2011.

The phosphate project exploits a phosphate deposit located in the Al Jalameed site and utilizes local natural gas and sulphur resources to manufacture DAP. Processing facilities at the Ras Al-Zour have also been designed with the flexibility to produce Monammonium Phosphate, should production of MAP be considered more economically viable.

It is anticipated that the project will also produce quantities of ammonia and phosphoric acid not required in the production process, which can be exported or sold domestically.

The Al Jalameed site comprises a phosphate mine, beneficiation plant and supporting infrastructure. A substantial amount of industrial infrastructure will be developed at the Al Jalameed site to support mining and beneficiation operations. This includes a power plant, a potable water production, treatment and distribution station, roads and telecommunications. Phosphate concentrate will be transported by rail from the Al Jalameed beneficiation plant to Ras Al-Zour for processing. The phosphate concentrate will be processed in a fertilizer production facility consisting of a phosphoric acid plant, a sulphuric acid plant, an ammonia plant, a granulation plant, a co-generation plant and a desalination plant, and other infrastructure facilities.

Israel: ICL Fertilizer 3rd quarter 2010 results

Israel’s ICL Fertilizers, the second company by market value on the Tel-Aviv exchange, manufactures fertilizers in Holland, Germany and Belgium, and phosphate-based animal feed additives in Bandirma (Turkey) and Israel.

ICL Fertilizers sales for the 1-9/2010 period were of US$2,340.9, compared with US$1,513.4 in the corresponding period in 2009. The operating income in that period was of US$720,7 in the first nine months of 2010 (31% of the sales), compared to US$504 in 1-9/2009 (33% of the sales). The 3rd quarter results are a consequence of positive processes, mainly the rise in sold quantities in the European and Asian markets, and negatives ones like the falling selling prices and the rise of the dollar value against other currencies of operation.

ICL signed at the begining of the year contracts with customers in China for the supply of potash in a total scope of 620,000 tonnes in 2010 at a cfr price of $350 per ton. During the first nine months of 2010 China potash imports reached 3.6 million tonnes, a big jump compared with the 1.8 million tonnes imported in the same period in the previous year. The expected amount for the full year is estimated at above 5 million tonnes.

In March 2010, ICL Fertilizers signed an agreement with a number of customers in India for the sale of 1,430,000 tonnes of potash over one year, as from April 2010, at a cfr price of $370 per ton. The scope of the supply contracts that were signed with India with all the potash makers, for supply during the period April 2010- March 2011, reached a high of approximately 6 million tonnes.

Germany: K+S has a optimistic forecast for global potash sales

The latest forecasts of the German potash maker K+S AG, Europe’s largest producer of potash, estimates that world sales of potash will reach in 2011 to 55-60 million tonnes, a higher figure than their previous forecast of 53 to 57 million tonnes. The change is a result of more attractive earnings prospects of the agricultural sector which should provide sufficient incentive to increase yields per hectare through the increased use of fertilizers. They believe that the positive trend in demand should also continue in the coming year for straight nitrogen fertilizers and complex fertilizers.

Europe: The Final End of STPP?

Antonio Tajani, the industrial commissioner and vice president of the European Commission, said he was proposing a ban on the use of phosphates and phosphate-containing compounds in laundry detergents in the EU.
Tajani’s statement established that “the commission’s proposal to ban phosphates in laundry detergents will ensure that European citizens benefit from an increased water quality of their lakes, rivers and marine waters while keeping European companies at the forefront of this sector”.
The innovation is that although most member states have their own regulations on phosphates, Tajani’s measure entails EU-wide legislation. But the draft regulation doesn’t include phosphates used in detergents for automatic dishwashers.
Phosphates discharged into waters create algae blooms, or eutrophication, that could deplete oxygen levels. Eutrophication generally promotes excessive plant growth and decay, favors certain weedy species over others, and is likely to cause severe reductions in water quality. Detergents are the third-greatest source of phosphates after agriculture and sewage. “It is in the interest of the European Union and of its neighboring countries that EU water quality is as high as possible and that eutrophication is avoided,” the commission said.

[Published on November 2010]

Jordan: Revamping of Sulphuric Acid Plants

Jordanian fertilizer maker JPMC (Jordan Phosphate Mines Co.), the world’s sixth largest phosphate rock producer and the second largest exporter, has awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) to SNC-Lavalin, one of the world leading engineering and construction groups, to upgrade and increase the capacity of two sulphuric acid plants in Aqaba, the Jordanian port on the Red Sea. The work has already begun and the project is scheduled for completion in a year and a half. SNC-Lavalin’s revenues from the project will be of nearly US$80 million. JPMC started producing sulphuric acid in 1982 and the projected capacity is of 1.5 million tpa. Global sulphuric acid consumption is of about 200 million tonnes H2SO4, being the major consumer China (nearly 30%), followed by the United States (about 20%). Phosphate producers Morocco and Tunisia are also key consumers. In the last twenty years global sulphuric acid consumption increased by more than 25%, and more than half of it is used in the manufacturing of wet-process phosphoric acid. Sulphuric acid prices cfr NW Europe (smelters) were in the first half of the current year in the € 35-50 range and increased in the second half to the € 45-60 level.

Aqaba JPMC Industrial Complex

[Published on November 2010]

Mexico: STPP business suffering from reformulation trend

Innophos reported third quarter 2010 results, indicated that their Mexican STPP and detergent grade acid sales were affected by further reformulation at major multinational customers in the South American markets. The reformulation effect, together with unfavorable, partly weather-related order patterns, resulted in overall Mexico Specialty Phosphate sales being 15% lower than the second quarter 2010.

[Published on November 2010]

Natural Gas: Israel to be Self-Sufficient for 20 Years

New estimates of natural gas reserves recently discovered off the Mediterranean Coast near Haifa will allow Israel to be self-sufficient in energy for some two decades, according to Yitzchak Tshuva, one of the investors in the project.
The Tamar 2 drilling, 3.5 miles north of the Tamar 1 site that was discovered in April, indicates the reserves are 26 percent larger than previously estimated. Noble Energy, the largest participant in the project, said that appraisals confirmed the quality of the gas and “have reduced the uncertainty in previous resource estimates.” The gas reserves are in addition to the Dalit gas field discovered off the Hadera coast, south of Haifa, earlier this year.
“With drilling at Tamar and Dalit, we have already confirmed a very substantial amount of natural gas resources, perhaps over two decades of future supply based on projected needs,” said Charles D. Davidson, Noble’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We are moving forward with development plans focused on bringing the first phase of production to the Israeli shores by 2012.”
Income from the gas might reach as much as $30 billion instead of the $20 billion that was estimated in April. Development costs for bringing the gas online are projected at $1.5-$3 billion.
Noble Energy has a 36 percent working interest in the project. Other participants are Isramco Negev 2 with 28.75 percent, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration with 15.625 percent each, and Dor Gas Exploration with the remaining four percent.

natural gas reserve israel image

[Published on July 2009]

Uruguay: New Fertilizer Complex

Uruguayan fertilizer maker Isusa has inaugurated an industrial complex near the town of Agraciada in the Soriano department, SW of the country, bording the river Uruguay. In more than 15,000 square meters, it includes a sulphuric acid plant, a SSP plant, a liquid fertilizers plant, and a granulated fertilizers plant. The initial investment was of US$ 20 millions. Isusa will finish the current year with a US$ 140 millon turnover, which is a 20% growth in relation to the 2009 figure. 80% of Isusa’s production is geared to the domestic market and the balance is exported to Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia.


[Published on November 2010]