BC Insight - Nitrogen+Syngas, Sulphur, Fertilizer International
Login
BCInsight Ltd
China Works
Black Prince Road
London, SE1 7SJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7793 2567
Fax: +44 (0)20 7793 2577

Publication > Issue > Articles

New jewels in Hydro Agri's network

Summary

The rationalisation of its European fertilizer manufacturing facilities has provided Hydro Agri with the opportunity to forge a new distribution network that is geared to providing farmer customers with a tailor-made service. The UK network is rapidly taking shape, and more depots are being added to the matrix. A similar programme is now under way in Denmark.

Abstract

Hydro Agri (UK) has taken further steps towards creating a network of distribution centres throughout the UK, following the official opening on 1 June of the Kintyre Terminal at the Port of Ayr. Hydro joined forces with Associated British Ports (ABP) to develop the new purpose-built terminal. ABP operates the facility, which handles mainly ammonium nitrate and NPK fertilizers imported from Hydro’s plants at Pors­grunn, Norway and Sluiskil, Netherlands. The fertilizers are for distribution in central and south west Scotland, the Scottish Borders region and parts of north west England. Eastern Scotland is already served by a Hydro distribution centre at the port of Dundee. The £1 million ($1.43 million) investment at the Kintyre Terminal comprises a three-bay, 5,000 m2 warehouse, plus open storage, as well as an associated bagging facility. Three Liebherr hydraulic cranes ensure discharge rates of up to 3,000 t/d and the alongside draft of 6.2 m enables vessels of up to 5,000 dwt to berth at the terminal. The terminal is expected to handle between 15-20 vessels/year. Hydro’s new terminal at Ayr supplements existing terminals at Dundee, Belfast, Turiff, Immingham and Falmouth.

Add to basket


Defying the odds

Summary

The Indian phosphate fertilizer industry is passing through a period of intense uncertainty, prompted by continuing government involvement in the sector. The present coalition is seeking to extricate itself from the quagmire of subsidies, and the climate of uncertainty is exacerbated by the measures which will follow India's accession to the WTO. On the other hand, one company has proved itself to be innovative and well-prepared to defy the odds. Could this company provide a role model to the rest of the Indian phosphate fertilizer industry?

Abstract

If the strictest economic criteria were to prevail, India would not have an indigenous phosphate fertilizer industry, but would rely exclusively on the international market for its P2O5 fertilizer requirements. While India can draw on its own reserves of phosphate rock, the domestic industry suffers from an inherent cost disadvantage. Total Indian reserves of phosphate rock have been estimated at 180 million tonnes. These are mainly confined to two states, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, with smaller deposits occurring in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. India’s requirement for phosphate rock is estimated to total over 3.5 million t/a, of which around 3 million t/a is met by imports.

Add to basket


Commercial ­phosphate rock from Syria

Summary

Syrian phosphate rock is chemically active and is attractive not only as a direct-application fertilizer but also as a raw material for production of conventional phosphate fertilizers, especially superphosphates. Pierre Becker, of Duetag-France, also believes that historical reservations about its chloride content are now less valid than they used to be.

Abstract

In comparison with neighbouring operations in Jordan and Israel and especially with the North African Tunisian and Moroccan producers, Syrian phosphate rock production is a young and relatively small operation. While Morocco and Tunisia produce, respectively, 22 and 7 million tonnes per year of commercial phosphate rock, and Jordan and Israel 7 and 4 million t/a, Syrian production only amounts to around 2 million t/a. And that figure is not steady, fluctuating between 1.3 and 2.3 million t/a. Why should that be so, considering that mining capacity is larger and reserves are huge?

Add to basket


Casale offers more ammonia revamp options

Summary

Ammonia Casale S.A. has gained considerable expertise in providing modern, energy-saving technology for ammonia plants, notably through the revamping of synthesis units. In this review, E. Filippi and L. Pinauda describe the keynotes of Ammonia Casale's revamping technology.

Abstract

Ammonia Casale’s revamping technology focuses on the following process areas:

  • Pre-reforming reactor technology
  • Secondary reformer burner
  • Shift-converters
  • Ammonia synthesis converter.

Each section is considered in turn. The axial-radial catalyst bed forms the basis of most of the technologies used by Ammonia Casale in catalytic reactors. Casale developed this technology for ammonia converters, subsequently extending it to methanol, shift and formaldehyde reactors. Today, more than 400 axial-radial beds designed by Casale are in service. In an axial-radial catalyst, approximately 90% of the gas passes through the catalyst bed in a radial direction, resulting in a much lower pressure drop when compared with the axial flow. The balance passes down through a top layer of catalysts in an axial-radial direction, thus eliminating the need for a top cover for the catalyst beds. (Fig. 1)

Add to basket


Saving energy at ammonia plants

Summary

This article is based on the paper presented by Wim Verduijn (Kemira Agro Rozenburg BV) and Jaap de Wit (Continental Engineering BV) at the meeting of The International Fertiliser Society on 10 May 2001. Copies of this paper (Energy Conservation: Key to Survival for Fertiliser Producers, Proceedings No. 479) may be purchased from The International Fertiliser Society, P. O. Box 4, York, YO32 5YS, UK.

Abstract

Ammonia plants are intensive energy consumers. Today’s modern ammonia plants require some 30 GJ energy to produce 1 tonne of ammonia. Making the best use of this energy is essential to ensure profitable operation of the ammonia plant. Each stage of the production process may thus be scrutinised to ascertain where energy savings could be achieved. The following process steps are common to all types of ammonia plant:

  • Process air compression
  • Feed treatment
  • Primary reforming
  • Secondary reforming
  • Steam generation
  • Shift conversion
  • CO2 removal
  • Methanation
  • Further syngas purification
  • Compression
  • Ammonia synthesis
  • Refrigeration
  • Ammonia storage.

 

Add to basket


Modernising urea plants

Summary

The decision to revamp an existing urea plant can depend on several criteria, according to the specific conditions which apply to that plant. This review is based on the paper which F. Granelli and V. Lagana of Siirtec Nigi SpA recently presented at British Sulphur Publishing's Nitrogen 2001 Conference.

Abstract

The decision to modernise an ammonia or urea plant is generally undertaken for the following reasons:

  • To raise production capacity
  • To lower production costs
  • To reduce emissions
  • To enhance product quality
  • To change the product (from prilled urea to granular product, for example).

Whilst the above criteria can apply to all plants in general, the actual work to be undertaken when a plant is modernised tends to be specific to the plant in question. In many cases, the decision to modernise an ammonia or urea plant will be based on a combination of criteria, but plant managers should be aware that an improvement in one aspect of the plant’s operations may lead to a deterioration in another field. For example, an increase in production capacity may lead to higher maintenance costs or inferior product quality. Likewise, efforts to reduce emissions may also entail higher production costs that are not always economically acceptable.

Add to basket


An unclear destiny

Summary

Although Ukraine lacks significant reserves of natural gas, the country is a major producer of nitrogen fertilizers – a bequest from the Soviet Union. The country relies on gas shipped by pipeline from the Russian hinterland, gaining further revenues from gas in transit through to other destinations. This is a highly contentious issue, which may affect the ultimate outlook for the Ukrainian fertilizer industry. Meanwhile, Ukrainian fertilizer exporters are facing sanctions from the US and European trade regulators.

Abstract

Since it broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine has followed an uncertain path, and the country’s subsequent history has been one of largely unfulfilled potential. Ukraine has the second largest landmass in Europe (60.4 million ha) and a population of 52 million people, and its fertile soils enabled it to enjoy an historic status as the breadbasket of the Soviet Union. At the time of its independence, Ukraine provided one quarter of Soviet grain production, one fifth of its meat and dairy output, and one half of its sugar beet production. Agri­culture continues to account for a large percentage of the Ukrainian GDP, and over 42 million ha of land is devoted to arable agriculture.

Although Ukraine lacks significant reserves of natural gas, the Soviet authorities developed a major fertilizer industry in Ukraine, relying on gas shipped by pipeline from the Russian hinterland. In 2000, Ukrainian fertilizer producers are estimated to have produced 2.0 million tonnes nutrient, of which approximately 1.5 million tonnes nutrient were ex­ported, mainly via the Black Sea ports of Yuzhny and Kherson.

Add to basket