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Publication > Issue > Articles

Orders more than doubled

Summary

Uhde's 1994 results showed a large increase in the number of orders received. Nitrogen fertilizer projects ranked high in the list of major contracts sealed in 1994.

Abstract

In the 1994 financial year, the value of orders received by the German engineering and contracting firm Uhde GmbH amounted to DM 1,123 million, approximately double that of the previous year (DM 553 million in 1993). The total value of orders received by the Uhde Group in 1994 was DM 1,282.1 million. The Uhde Group includes Uhde GmbH with its subsidiaries and affiliated companies at home and abroad in which Uhde has a 50% share or more. Major contracts included an ammonia and urea complex for Qafco in Qatar (DM 422.4 million) and an ammonium nitrate and nitric acid plant for Thai Nitrate Co. in Thailand (DM 40 million).

Uhde is currently bidding for ammonia and/or urea projects in Oman, Malaysia, Bahrain, Egypt, Argentina and Romania.

The largest of these projects, worth $1 billion, is a joint venture between Oman Oil and its Indian partners Krishak Bharati Cooperative and Rashtriya Chemical & Fertilizers. It involves the construction of two 1,500-tld ammonia plants and two 2,200 tid urea plants at Sur in Oman.

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Going for growth

Summary

Trinidad is a rtszng star in global ammonia;, urea and methanol trade. Nitrogen visited the producers who have paved this road to change.

Abstract

A cheap, reliable supply of natural gas, coupled with a stable political and economic investment climate, have been central to rise to prominence of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago as a major centre for nitrogen and methanol production. Straddled between two major continents and with easy access to West Europe, the country's strategic location 4as enhanced its ability to impact on world trade in these commodities. Today, Trinidad accounts for about one-third of world ammonia trade, around 2.5% of global urea trade and just under 10% of world methanol trade.

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The changing global gas market

Summary

Natural gas has undergone a radical reappraisal in the past decade. This article, based on a paper given by Bernard Brentnall of British Sulphur Consultants at the 1994 Wbrld Methanol Conference, looks at the forces of change and the implications for the gas-based chemical industries.

Abstract

Profound economic changes, such as those which occurred in the former Soviet Union, coupled with increasing environmental pressures have been central to the changing face of the global gas market. By the 1990s, the myths that upheld the special status of natural gas as a resource and a feedstock have been ultimately shattered in all but a few cases. One of the most striking features of the factors currently at play in the global gas market is their effect on gas pricing.

Increasing competition from the power generation sector for gas usage, as environmental issues move to the top of political agendas worldwide, must question in the long run the reasoning behind the price differentials between gas for feedstock as opposed to gas for energy use. This article will consider the changing attitudes towards the "feedstock" status of gas, and illustrate how the role and value of gas is being reappraised. Also, should we now regard the concept of "cheap gas" as an historical phenomenon? \X1hat are the implications in practical terms, for the gas-based chemical industries?

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New wire for catalytic gauzes

Summary

A new method of wire preparation for platinum-rhodium catalyst gauzes has been developed for ammonia oxidation. The resulting new gauzes are claimed to have a longer catalytic life, increase ammonia conversion and nitric acid output, and reduce metal loss. Claude Lambert of CLAL describes this new concept.

Abstract

The platinum group metals possess remarkable chertrlcal properties that make them irreplaceable as catalysts for many chemical reactions. The oxidation of ammonia on platinum-rhodium gauzes allows the manufacture of nitric acid, hydrogen cyanide and hydroxylamine, which are important chemical intermediates in the manufacture of fertilizers, explosives and various polymers.

The catalytic oxidation of ammonia on platinum sponge was first discovered by Kuhlmann in 18381• After the development of the process by Oswald between 1901 and 19042 and the start of the industrial exploitation made possible by the industrial synthesis of ammonia by BASF in 19133, the suppliers of precious metals began drawing platinum- rhodium wires and weaving catalytic gauzes. The preparation of gauzes in alloys of palladium occurred later, after the discovery by Holzmann4 in 1968 of the catchment of the platinum losses by means of palladium-gold gauzes.

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The compact plant

Summary

Uhde GmbH of Germany now offers a new compact version of the Uhde high pressure nitric acid process. Designed for small- or medium-capacity nitric acid plants, the new plant layout optimizes space utilization and introduces a new machinery concept.

Abstract

Nowadays, chemical plants must meet tough requirements. The market demands plants with low investment costs, but which yield high-quality products and meet the ever more stringent requirements for environmental protection. Uhde has designed and con- NITROGEN structed nitric acid plants for more than seven decades. Based on this experience, Uhde has developed the concept of a compact plant of small or medium capacity which meets the requirements outlined above.

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Methanol loop designs

Summary

Continuing his series on low cost methanol plant design, A. Dark * shows how to minimize investment cost in loop heat exchangers and questions the practice of recovering waste heat from the methanol loop for any plant destined for a remote location.

Abstract

A modem 2,000-tid methanol plant will have synthesis loop pressure of about 80 to 100 ata. Each item of equipment, be it a high pressure converter, shelland- tube exchanger or air cooler will be costly. High pressure piping is also expensive, and a good piping design and plant layout are crucial for a low investment cost loop.

Amongst other things, this article highlights the comparative costs of various converter types, and proposes that there is a lot of scope for minimizing the cost of shell-and-tube exchangers in a methanol synthesis loop. In particular, it questions the practice of recovering waste heat from the methanol loop for any plant destined for a remote location.

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