Trinidad and Tobago: Government approves a $2 billion ammonia complex

Trinidad and Tobago has approved the construction of a $2 billion ammonia, urea and melamine complex. The complex, which will be built by Methanol Holdings Trinidad Limited (MHTL), will produce 1,850 tonnes per day of ammonia to be used to manufacture urea, melamine ammonium sulfate and melamine urea formaldehyde resin.

MHTL is one of the largest methanol producers in the world with a total capacity of over 4 million metric tonnes annually from its five methanol plants.

Trinidad and Tobago, which is located off the northeastern coast of Venezuela, is the Caribbean’s leading natural gas producer.

Syria: Government aims to process more phosrock locally

In 2010 Syria increased both production and exports of phosphate rock. Production is state-owned and their sales brought them in 2010 a revenue of US$ 200 millions. The Syrian authorities stated that their aim to increase phosphate rock output to 6 million tpa by 2015. They also said that the government does not want to export large quantities of raw phosphate in the future, as it would benefit more from processing the mineral before its shipment. Up to now, nearly all the production has been exported. Small quantities has been used to produce domestic TSP in a plant located in Homs, which started operating in 1983.

The Syrian government informed that they are negotiating with companies from India and elsewhere that are interested in investing in Syrian phosphate projects.

Canada: BHP Billiton to invest in the Jansen potash project

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, may spend between US$5 billion and  US$10 billion expanding its underground Jansen potash project, located approximately 140 kilometres east of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in Canada.

The company believes that the mine’s production capacity could reach the eight million tonnes of saleable potash per annum and that its lifetime could be over half a century.

The process plant will crush the ore (sylvinite) to a size where the potassium chloride and sodium chloride (salt) crystals can be separated. A series of scrubbing, conditioning, flotation and debrining-drying stages will produce the final product.  Potash will be stored in large indoor storage sheds until it is transported off-site by rail.

In the period 2006-09 the U.S.A. imported 87% of its potash needs from Canada. In 2009 the global potash consumption fell to below 31.8 million tonnes product from more than 53.8 million in 2008, after collapsing from the combined effects of the world economic downturn, high prices, and weak demand, but last year the world potash markets began to recover. Canada has nearly half of the world potash reserves; it is followed by Russia and Belarus.

India: More NPK domestic production

In the period beginning April 2010 to January 2011 included, the Indian NP/NPK production increased 10% over the previous year. There has been and advance of NPK manufacture at the account of DAP, where production fall by 17%.  For the period 2011-2012 the NPK demand in India has been estimated in some 11 million tonnes; most of it will be met by domestic production, which is expected to be in the order of some 9-10 million tonnes NPK, and the balance will be imported. DAP demand will be a bit greater but the domestic production will be less than half of that of NPK manufacture and imports in 2011-2012 will double the local manufacture and arrive to about a possible 8 million tonnes.

Due to the high demand for NPK in the North Indian market, Madras Fertilizers re-started manufacturing NPK in the unit that was closed two years ago. MFL is a public state undertaking and was established in 1966. The last time they produced NPK was in 2007-2008, when they produced over 35 thousand tonnes. They have installed a 540,000 tpa NPK capacity based on Hindustan Dorr Oliver technology.

India: IFFCO will produce water soluble fertilizers

India needs to boost farm output to feed its 1.2 billion people. The country produces around 20 million tonnes of urea a year and imports 5 million to 6 million tonnes to meet demand. But in the case of the water-soluble fertilizers the demand has been up to now only meet by imports. Now it has been announced that the giant fertilizer maker Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) is setting up a 50 million tpa manufacturing plant at its Kandla unit in the Kutch district (Gujarat). The output will be urea phosphate which is highly in demand for drip irrigation of cash crops. It is usually applied through drip irrigation that cannot run on partially soluble fertilizers. The Kandla complex was commissioned in 1975 and has a NPK/DAP nameplate capacity of some 0.9 million P2O5 tpa. The location is about 800 km by rail from Mumbai. In the period 2009-2010 the major fertilizer raw materials inputs were 0.37 million tonnes ammonia, 0.78 million tonnes phosphate, and 0.66 million tonnes potash.

IFFCO produced in 2009-10 over 8 million tonnes fertilizers and accounted for about 22% of the Indian nitrogen fertilizer output and about 27% of the phosphate production.

Iran: Gubretas to expand fertilizer capacity

Istanbul-based maker of fertilizer Gübre Fabrikalari TAS (Gubretas), plans additional investments at its Iranian plant to add 1 million tonnes of new capacity. They had  purchased the Razi fertilizer plant, the largest in Iran, for about US$600 million in 2008. The company operates two manufacturing plants in Turkey, which are located at Yarimca and Iskenderun, and controls over 15% of the Turkish fertilizer market. Gübretas produces TSP and all kinds of compound fertilizers. Razi has nameplate capacities for 1.3 million tpa ammonia, 0.6 million tpa urea, 0.5 million tpa sulphur, 0.6 million tpa sulphuric acid, 0.25 million tpa phosphoric acid, and 0.45 million tpa DAP.