Qatar: Nitrogen Expansion Will Make QAFCO Top Fertilizer Maker

When in the 2012 the Qatar Fertiliser Company will bring online its Qafco 6, Qatar will account for about 15% of the world’s traded urea with an annual production capacity of 5.6mn tonnes.

Qatar controls 15% of the world’s gas reserves and is considered a leading global supplier in this field.  The Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO) makes use of this abundant gas resources to manufacture ammonia and urea. It is owned 75% by Industries Qatar (IQ) and 25% by Yara Nederland BV. IQ is a 70% owned subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum (QP). Thus QP is the ultimate parent of the Company.

QAFCO operates four ammonia plants with a combined production capacity of more than 2 million MT per annum in its only facility in Mesaieed. In the same premises they operate four urea plants, with an annual nameplate production capacity of 3 million tonnes.

QAFCO’s relatively older plants Urea 1 and Urea 2 produce prilled urea while the later plants Urea 3 and Urea 4 produce urea granules. Apart from this, QAFCO will be also producing Sulphur Coated Urea (SCU), a product that will increase the nutrient recovery, improve crop yields and help negate the side effects of urea on the environment.

Qafco’s urea is also used as the feedstock for the melamine plant. Melamine, which is used in the synthesis of melamine formaldehyde and melamine urea formaldehyde, has widespread industrial and commercial applications. It finds applications in laminates, wood adhesives, surface coatings and textile treating and moulding compounds.

Qafco 5 is now being commissioned and will be inaugurated at Mesaieed in December 2011. When Qafco 5 becomes operational in the late 2011, the company will achieve a milestone as the world’s largest fertilizer producer with an annual production capacity of 3.6mn tonnes of ammonia and 4.3mn tonnes of urea. Qafco 6 will enhance even more their strength.

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