India: Planned Revival of Closed Nitrogen Capacities

The authorities could revive eight closed urea-manufacturing plants. The revival process would begin with three units located at Sindri in Jharkhand, Talcher in Orissa and Ramagundum in Andhra Pradesh. Urea is the most widely traded nitrogen fertilizer.

The National Fertilizers Ltd (NFL) will set up at Sindri a urea manufacturing factory with an annual production capacity of 1.1 million tonnes of urea, about 20 kms away from the district headquarters of Dhanbad. Mumbai-based state-runned Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF), Gail (India) Ltd and Coal India Ltd (CIL), plan to revive the Talcher nitrogen unit. The Talcher plant is located about 126 kms away from Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa State and in the district of Angul. The unit was established at Talcher due to abundance of coal that was used as feedstock. Commercial production of ammonia and urea commenced on 1980 and was closed in 2002. Finally, the National Fertilizers Ltd (NFL) and Engineers India Ltd (EIL) would jointly revive the the Ramagumdam plant, located about 240 kms away from Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh State and in the district of Karimnagar. The Indian government has announced plans to sell a 20.4 percent stake in the state-run NFL through a follow on public offering.

The remaining five closed units are expected to be revived by private participation, through a process of bidding. India had produced 21.1 million tonnes urea and imported 5.2 million tonnes to meet its domestic need in 2009-10.

During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010, the National Fertilizers Limited (NFL) produced 3329,927 tons of urea; 7,131tons of sulphur; 2,669 tons of methanol; 226 tons of bio-fertilizers, and 419,413 normal cubic meter of argon gas.


Iran: Major Nitrogen Project

According to Iranian sources they began in the late July the construction of what they say will be the world’s largest ammonia and urea complex. The production unit is planned to be constructed in 40 months and is expected to produce 4 million tonnes of urea and ammonium per annum. The Masjed-Soleyman Petrochemical Complex is located in southern Iran and Chinese entities and the Iranian private sector are committed to invest 4 billion dollars in the project. In spite of the world-wide economic sanctions against Iran, due to their race to get nuclear weapons capabilities, the Chinese would finance 85% of the required investment. China is hungry of oil imports and Iran, with over 130 billion tonnes barrels, accounts for some 10% of the global oil proved reserves. Iran ranks fourth as oil exporter, after Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. The Tehran Times qualification that the project will be “the world’s largest urea fertilizer and ammonium production unit” surprised us, as we have read of the Qatar’s Qafco 6 projected to start-up in 2012 with an annual production capacity of 5.6 million tonnes urea.

India: Liberty Phosphate plans new phosphate downstream capacities

Liberty Phosphate Limited, a leading Indian SSP maker, recently purchased land at Dahej, where they are planning to set up a 100,000 tpa TSP plant and a 100,000 tpa unit for complex fertilizers. The company is now in a process of putting up environmental clearance and all other statutory requirement. Liberty Phosphate has manufacturing capacities for 100,000 tpa SSP in Baroda (Gujarat), 165,000 tpa SSP in Udaipur (Rajasthan), 132,000 tpa SSP in Jagpur Kota (Gujarat), and 66,000 tpa SSP in Raigad. They make use of domestic phosphate rock from the Jhamarkotra mines and purchase some 100,000 tpm of sulphuric acid through a long term agreement with Hindustan Zinc Ltd. The company accounts for approximately 18% of the SSP India’s market.

Jordan: The IFFCO/JOPH Joint Venture Goes Ahead

The Jordan-India Fertilizer Company will produce 1,500 tons per day (475,000 tons per annum) of phosphoric acid, a minimum of 70 per cent of which will be exported to India and used as feedstock for IFFCO’s fertilizer operations. The new $671 million plant will use Jordanian phosphate rock from the close Eshidiya mine. The project is expected to consume some two million tonnes rock per annum.

The new plant will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to convert the steam produced in the manufacturing process into electricity – enough to make the entire factory self-sufficient and for the excess to be sold to the national power grid. The plant will also recycle water.

Jordan India Fertilizer is a joint venture between Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd., which has 52 percent, and Jordan Phosphate Mines (JOPH) Co., the world’s second-biggest exporter of phosphate rock, with 48 percent.

The project will receive a $125 million loan arranged by the International Financial Corporation (IFC), in addition to $90.1 million IFC B Loan raised from a syndicate of commercial banks and the Montreal-based fund manager Cordiant Capital. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is also providing a parallel loan of $120.4 million.

India uses much less fertilizer per hectare than the average used in the developed economies, which makes its agriculture less productive and makes imperative an increase in fertilizer supply. The demand for phosphate in India has been growing at a compound annual rate of five per cent over the last 15 years and the trend is expected to continue.

Jordan: the potash production in a growth trend

APC, the Arab Potash Co., is producing 2.0 million tonnes of potash per year, and will increase production capacity to 2.45 million tonnes per year in 2011, through utilizing four plants: the Hot Leach Plant (HLP), the Cold Crystallization Plant (CCP I), the Industrial Potash Plant (IPP) and the New Cold Crystallization Plant (CCP II). APC is the sixth world producer and exporter of potash. In the 2010 they produced 1.9 million tonnes potash, of which 58.6% was of standard grade, 34.9% was fine, 4% granular, and 2.5% was industrial grade. More than 80% of their production is send to Aqaba port for export.

Potash production during the six months period ended June 30, 2011 was 1,138 thousand tonnes which was 36.5% higher than 834 thousand tonnes produced during the same period in 2010. Potash sales prices averaged US$ 390.8 per ton for the six months period ended June 30, 2011 compared to US$ 364.4 for the same period in the year 2010, an increase of 7.2%. The net income of the company for the six months period ended June 30, 2011, showed an 83% increase over the year-ago net income.

Last year the three largest APC customers were India’s IPL (25% of exports), India’s Zuari (14%) and China’s Sinochem (15%). India accounted for 40% of APC sales last year and China 15%.

Brazil: Open Pittable 1.1 Billion Tonnes at 9.36% K2O Added to Cerrado Verde Potash Project

Verde Potash has received an independent resource estimate for the Cerrado Verde Potash Project located in Minas Gerais State, Brazil (“Cerrado Verde”). The estimate comprises an indicated resource of 74 million tonnes of K2O with an average grade of 9.22% K2O and an inferred resource of 1.07 billion tonnes of K2O with an average grade of 9.37% K2O (applying a 7.5% K2O cut-off). Potash mineralization is found from surface to a maximum depth of 80 metres, rendering the resource amenable to open pit mining.

The new resource was estimated for 5 out of 13 of Cerrado Verde’s targets, in which 8,950m of drilling was performed in 143 holes with a collar spacing ranging from 400m by 400m to 200m by 200m. Nevertheless, an additional 8 targets have been tested, but are not included in this release, thus completing the 26,000m drill program. The new resource represents over 90 million tonnes of K2O.

Brazil’s annual K2O consumption is of some 4 million tonnes, but domestic output is less than 0.5 million tpa, so the balance is covered by imports.

Russia: Acron Looks for Self-sufficiency in Raw Materials

OAO Acron is a leading Russian and global mineral fertilizer producer with a diversified product portfolio consisting of multi-nutrient fertilizers such as NPK and bulk blends, and straight nitrogen-based products such as urea, ammonium nitrate and UAN. In 2010, the Group’s output of ammonia and mineral fertilizers (exclusive of own use) totaled 4.6 million tonnes.

Since 2006 they have invested US$250 million in the development of the Oleniy Ruchey project, which aims to produce Acron’s own phosphates within a year as it seeks to boost self-sufficiency in raw materials. In the current year they are going to invest an additional US$200 million and they will build a processing plant at the site with initial capacity of 1 million metric tonnes of apatite concentrate a year, rising to 2 million tonnes in 2016.

The total cost of the project is of about US$1 billion and they hope that the mine, located in the Murmansk region, will start by the end of June 2012. Currently, the Velikiy Novgorod-based Acron is purchasing their phosphate rock from OAO PhosAgro at about US$140 a metric ton including delivery.

The Group also owns a license to develop a potassium-magnesium salts deposit in the Perm region, also located in Russia.

Acron has three production facilities – Acron (Veliky Novgorod, Russia), Dorogobuzh (Smolensk Region, Russia) and Hongri Acron (Shandong Province, China). Acron’s logistics and transportation capabilities include its own fleet of railway cars and three sea port trans-shipment facilities on the Baltic Sea – at the Kaliningrad port of Russia, at the Estonian Sillamäe port and at the Estonian Muuga port. The Group operates distribution networks in Russia and China.

Acron employs over 13,000 people In 2010 the Group’s consolidated revenues under IFRS were RUB 46,738 million (US$ 1,538 million), and net income was RUB 6,279 million (US$ 207 million). Acron’s ordinary shares are listed and traded on the MICEX, RTS and LSE stock exchanges under the symbol “AKRN”.

Quarterly Fertilizer Prices

Russia: Uralchem´s New Fertilizer Terminal in Riga

Russia’s Uralchem, the second largest ammonium nitrate producer in the world, has put together a j-v with Riga Commercial Port, also known as Riga Fertilizer Terminal, to construct a fertilizer terminal in the port of Riga. The terminal will have an annual capacity of 2 million tonnes and the project will take 15 months to complete. Uralchem has capacities for the production of 2.5 million tonnes of ammonium nitrate, 2.2 million tonnes of ammonia, 0.8 million tonnes of complex fertilizers (NPK), 0.8 million tonnes of MAP and DAP and 0.5 million tonnes of urea  per year. The company, which owns fertilizer plants at Kirovo-Chepetsk, Berezniki and Voskresensk, produced in 2010 10% more fertilizers compared to the previous year reaching nearly 4.9 million tonnes.

India: PPL will establish a sulphuric acid plant

India’s Paradeep Phosphates Limited (PPL), one of the largest integrated DAP companies located in the eastern part of the country, will establish a sulphuric acid plant with a daily capacity of 2,000 tonnes. They have  capacities to produce 360,000 t/y NPKs and 720,000 t/y of DAP; their plant is located in the port town of Paradeep in the district of Jagatsinghpur in Orissa. Major raw materials like phosphoric acid, ammonia, phosphate rock, sulphur and MOP are imported from Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia, the Gulf countries, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and former FSU countries. PPL has a captive Berth at Paradeep Port with facilities to unload solid and liquid cargo.