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EMT: from local to global

Summary

We salute the enterprise and vision of Gustaaf and Janco Zeeman, the brothers who have transformed a local family business in North Holland into European Machine Trading (EMT) – a company with a true global reach.

Abstract

The Dutch are renowned entrepreneurs, traders and travellers. Gustaaf Zeeman, Managing Director of European Machine Trading (EMT) is a modern exemplar of this fine tradition. In the space of barely 20 years, Gustaaf and his brother Janco have transformed their family shareholder business from one that was well known within the Zijpe region of North Holland to a company which now has a true global reach.

The Zeeman family can trace its roots in North Holland for over two centuries. Would those members of the family who set up the local agricultural merchandising company in 1908 have ever imagined that Gustaaf would be selling sophisticated computer-controlled, labour-saving and high-volume blending and bagging equipment to an ever expanding customer base in over 40 countries?

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Growth is back on the EU 27 agenda

Summary

Fertilizers Europe is the new identity of the well-respected European Fertilizer Manufacturers Association, or EFMA. The new name is intended to provide immediate recognition of the organisation as the official source of information on fertilizers throughout Europe. In its new guise, Fertilizers Europe was quick off the mark with a forecast of EU 27 fertilizer demand for the next ten years. As outlined here, the forecast is a positive one.

Abstract

Fertilizers Europe is the new identity for the European Fertilizer Manufacturers Association, previously known as EFMA. Christian Pallière, Director Agriculture and Environment, said, “Our new identity will provide immediate recognition of our organisation as the official and dedicated source of information on fertilizers. This is particularly important due to the vital role the industry plays in feeding the world.”

Fertilizers Europe identifies the mission of the European fertilizer industry as responding to the needs of agriculture and society by providing a reliable and competitive supply of high-quality fertilizers, in accordance with the principles of Responsible Care. It also promotes the adoption of Best Management Practices in the use of plant nutrients, thereby stimulating farmers and growers to produce high-quality crops in an economically and environmentally sound way. In this context, the mission of Fertilizers Europe is to identify, promote and manage the common interests of its members by:

  • Promoting the role of mineral fertilizers in European agriculture and horticulture
  • Anticipating and preparing for issues that may affect the industry
  • Acting as the industry’s spokesperson and sounding board
  • Providing its members with a wide range of statistical information and studies.

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IPNI offers the right tools to feed the world

Summary

We focus on the expanded agronomic education and research support programmes of the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and the successes achieved to date.

Abstract

With the right tools, we can feed the World!” That is the optimistic message of the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), the not-for-profit, science-based organisation that focuses on agronomic education and research support. IPNI’s mission is to turn those words into a global reality. The Institute officially began operations on 1 January 2007 but can trace its origins to July 1935, when a consortium representing the North American potash industry teamed with their European counterparts to establish the American Potash Institute. From the outset, the organisation emphasised that the promotion of the agricultural use of potash must be increased only on the basis that is agronomically sound and profitable to the farmer.

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Made by Köppern

Summary

Köppern GmbH specialises in building roller presses, briquetting plants, high-pressure grinding rolls and compaction units. We profile the company's century of expertise and its contribution to the fertilizer raw material processing sector.

Abstract

Since 1898, Köppern GmbH has been building roller presses for a full range of processing industries. The products covered include the briquetting of chrome ore, steel mill residues or direct reduced iron for metallurgical industries, crushing of limestone and cement clinker in the cement industry, and last but not least, the compaction of potassium salts and NPKs in the fertilizer sector. More than 800 Köppern roller presses have been supplied to over 50 countries.

The original use of Köppern roller presses was to briquette hard coal, based on the principle of compacting the mineral between two rollers. This processing principle has been progressively extended to an ever widening range of minerals, gaining an additional impetus when hot briquetting methods were developed from the 1970s for the application in direction reduction plants to produce hot briquetted iron (HBI). The Köppern pilot plant has been used to briquette and compact over 2,000 materials.

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Sandvik: the Rotoform® urea alternative

Summary

Founded in Sweden in 1862, Sandvik enjoys worldwide renown as a high-tech engineering group and as a global leader in material technology, processing systems and manufacturing and construction. We spotlight one of the many facets of Sandvik in the fertilizer and associated raw materials sectors.

Abstract

Sandvik Processing Systems is a part of the Materials Technology business unit. It is the world’s leading supplier of steel belts and press plates for conveying and processing. The Processing Division has also developed the Rotoform® technology for high capacity pastillation of liquid melts. This technology offers numerous applications in the fertilizer sector.

Sandvik Process Systems has developed the Rotoform® pastillation equipment, which in its HS model form offers twice the throughput of its predecessors. There are major opportunities for its use in both the sulphur and nitrogen sectors. Fig.1 shows a typical Rotoform pastillation system.

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Enhancing heat recovery

Summary

All reactions in sulphuric acid manufacturing are exothermic. Most exothermic heat available for the gaseous oxidation of SO2 to SO3 is recovered as high-pressure steam, but the exothermic heat of the reaction evolved in the liquid phase during the formation of sulphuric acid used to go to waste and was discarded to the cooling water. For long, this low-grade heat could not be recovered economically, but processes are now available to remedy this and are being steadily enhanced.

Abstract

Sulphuric acid plants have been described as “storehouses of energy.” (Increased Energy Recovery in a Sulphuric Acid by Heat Recovery System, Shiv Shukla, Monsanto-DMCC. Paper presented at IFA Technical Conference [September 2002].) All the reactions in sulphuric acid manufacturing are exothermic. Generally most of the exothermic heat available from the gaseous phase oxidation of SO2 to SO3 is recovered as high-pressure steam, but the exothermic heat of reaction in the liquid phase during the formation of sulphuric acid commonly goes to waste and is discarded to the cooling water. This is low-grade heat, which for long could not be recovered economically.

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IFDC recognises that it is time for change

Summary

The global food crisis and the surge in fertilizer prices during 2008 put a fresh spotlight on the role of fertilizers in producing food. Fertilizer prices rose in the wake of skyrocketing energy and other commodity prices, prompting many pundits to assess the long-term ability of global agriculture to meet not only the food and fibre needs of a growing world population but also the rising demand for crop-derived biofuels. This has prompted a fundamental reappraisal of the long-term role of fertilizers in forging a sustainable future.

Abstract

Although the global recession of 2008/09 brought a respite in the food and fertilizer price crisis, many of the factors that led to it are expected to re-emerge as the world economy recovers. This has prompted many agriculture and fertilizer industry experts to ponder the notion of sustainable food production, seeking the best available strategies to maximise the efficiency of fertilizer nutrient inputs – and furthermore making the most economical use of the feedstocks and raw materials used in the production of fertilizers.

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Intrepid Potash -– the three-in-one US leader

Summary

We profile the largest US producer of potassium chloride. Intrepid Potash operates three mines in the Western US states of New Mexico and Utah, each employing different technology.

Abstract

Based in Denver, Colorado, Intrepid Potash Inc. is the largest producer of potassium chloride in the United States. The company operates three mines in Utah and New Mexico states and is committed to the production and marketing of potash and langbeinite (potassium magnesium sulphate [K2Mg2(SO4)3]). Intrepid Potash is a young company, having been set up as Intrepid Mining by Bob Jornayvaz and Hugh Harvey in 2000. Within the past decade, under their continuing leadership, Intrepid Potash has forged a position whereby it meets 8.5% of total US demand for potash and 1.5% of world demand.

ntrepid Mining was set up with the purpose of taking over the Moab mine in New Mexico from Potash Corporation of Sas­katchewan (PCS). Moab was a solution mine which had experienced declining production. Under the new Intrepid management team, output was raised by almost 100% from pre-acquisition levels. The team brought in technological expertise from the oil and gas exploration sector, hard rock mining and metals processing sectors to address the problems at Moab by applying horizontal drilling technology: while commonly used in the oil and gas industry, this was its first ever application in potash mining.

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A global sustainability made in Germany

Summary

K+S Kali GmbH can draw on a pedigree of 150 years in the field of mining and refining potassium that has given the company a place on the global stage. It is supremely aware of its local and worldwide responsibilities as it embraces Best Management Practices and sustainability.

Abstract

K+S Kali GmbH is the largest division within the K+S Group. It can trace its history to the very dawn of the scientific application of fertilizers, being the pioneer of potassium mining more than 150 years ago. The company’s long tradition of potash mining and raw salt processing has provided a platform for unrivalled expertise in potassium technology, harnessing the most environmentally sound and sustainable practices. Nor does K+S Kali GmbH’s expertise end at the mine shaft and processing plant: via K+S Kali International, the company is part of a marketing and distribution network that now enjoys a global reach. Today, with a group turnover of e3.6 billion ($4.07 billion), K+S Kali is the world’s fourth largest producer of potassium products, enjoying a global market share of 11%. For potassium sulphate and magnesium products, K+S Kali is the world’s leading supplier.

K+S Kali offers a unique range of fertilizers. In addition to standard potassium chloride, the company has set the pace in providing one of the most comprehensive portfolios of speciality products. The nutrient formulations offered by K+S Kali include combinations containing potassium, magnesium, sulphur and trace elements. As a pioneer of crop-specific plant nutrition, K+S Kali is playing a leading role in promoting efficient and sustainable fertilisation systems throughout global agriculture. A worldwide network of K+S consultants spearheads this vital goal.

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New Saskatchewan miners make progress

Summary

The long-established triumvirate of PotashCorp, Mosaic and Agrium have established the Canadian province of Saskatchewan as the world's leading potash producing region. New mining companies are also keen to enter the market and exploit the vast Saskatchewan reserves. We assess their progress to date.

Abstract

The potash beds of Western Canada are the world’s single largest source of mineable potash, accounting
for over 50% of the world’s known reserves. Saskatchewan is the country’s foremost leader in production, known for its rich ore, excellent infrastructure and financing capabilities. Commercial production of potash began in the early 1960s. Today, ten mines – operated by PotashCorp, Mosaic and Agrium – have a KCl (potassium chloride) production capacity of around 20 million t/a.

Much of Saskatchewan’s mineralisation lies at depths of less than 1,100 m, facilitating cost-effective extraction not possible at greater depths. The existence of potash mineralisation in this region tends to be fairly prevalent and at high grades ranging from 20-25% K2O. Saskatchewan’s recoverable assets are estimated at 100 billion tonnes. At current production levels, today’s mines are conservatively estimated to have 100 years of production, while the province’s recoverable reserves are capable of supplying the world for nearly 1,000 years.

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