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.
[Published on November 2010]