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.

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