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Novochem Fertilizer Additives keeps the product flowing

Summary

With effect from 1 September, Holland Novochem – part of the Novochem Group BV – changed its name to Novochem Fertilizer Additives. The new name seeks to emphasise the company's commitment to quality in fertilizer additives. Novochem Group is based near Amsterdam in the Netherlands and has been a leading supplier of speciality chemicals for use in the fertilizer industry, industrial water treatment and technical coatings.

Abstract

In addition to providing solutions for use in the fertilizer industry, Novochem’s Water Treatment division plays a key role in the chemical water treatment sector. Corrosion, scaling and microbiological growth are among the most difficult problems that arise from the use of water and steam as a heat transfer medium. Novochem has developed corrosion inhibitors, stabilisers, dispersants and biocides to eliminate these problems, ensuring that membrane plant, sterilisation and pasteurisation systems, cooling water and boiler systems work to maximum efficiency and safety. Novochem’s additives use low-toxicity components and are environmentally friendly.

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Cargotec returns to Klaipéda

Summary

Cargotec reports from BEGA, the Lithuanian stevedoring company, covering the provision of a shiploader and associated bulk handling equipment.

Abstract

Cargotec has signed a contract with BEGA, the Lithuanian stevedoring company, to supply electro-mechanical handling equipment for a grain and animal feedstuffs export and import terminal at the port of Klaipéda in Lithuania. BEGA may in addition use the site for handling fertilizers and other bulk cargoes at a later date.

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Choppy waters

Summary

This overview of the chemical tanker shipping sector assesses newbuildings programmes, current supply/demand balances for phosphoric acid and sulphuric acid volumes, and profiles the leading vessel operators.

Abstract

Transport by sea is acknowledged as the most practical method of moving large volumes of liquid materials in the most cost-effective manner. Liquid cargo volumes now average just over 2 billion t/a, and the volumes shipped are expected to increase as industrialisation spreads and global energy, chemical and food requirements expand. As shown in Fig 1, crude oil accounts for over two-thirds of the seaborne trade in liquid cargoes. Over 1 billion t/a of crude oil are shipped, with demand rising as emerging economies – especially those in Asia – increase their energy requirements. Crude oil has traditionally been shipped in vessels with uncoated steel tanks.

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Improved nutrient management holds the key

Summary

Palm oil has been a key source of export earnings in Malaysia and Indonesia and is being increasingly mooted to help transform agriculture in West Africa. The cash crop accounts for a significant share of the world's demand for the macronutrients potash, nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium, as well as boron and other micronutrients. Oil palm has become the world number one vegetable oil and in addition provides a further source of biofuels. However, the social and environmental impacts of oil palm cultivation are controversial, requiring particularly stringent Best Management Practices.

Abstract

Palm oil, produced from oil palm, is used as a cooking oil in many countries in South East Asia, Central and West Africa and Central America and is exported for use in many commercial food and personal care products and is converted into biofuel. It produces up to ten times more oil per unit area than soybeans, rapeseed or sunflowers. Oil palms produce 38% of vegetable oil output on 5% of the world’s vegetable-oil farmland. Production of palm oil and palm kernel oil totalled around 46 million tonnes in 2008, of which around 36 million tonnes were shipped across oceans. Malaysia, with 45% of the market share, is the world’s leading palm oil exporter.

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How to attract, and retain, talent

Summary

Every business wants to sign up the best and the brightest talent and retain it – but at not too high a price. Is this an attainable dream for fertilizer companies?

Abstract

In common with many other sectors of business and industry, the fertilizer industry worldwide faces a shortage of talent to fill the key roles in technical, strategic marketing and general management functions at all organisational levels. Economic pressures have led to the elimination of bench strength and many developmental posts. The developed economies of North America, Japan and Western Europe face an ageing population and a dwindling proportion of the younger generation pursuing engineering and related technical education and careers. Emerging economies have the young people, but their education systems lack the capacity to keep up with demand. Consequently, with demand rising relative to supply, the price of talent has risen.

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SQM's Asian partnerships bear fruit

Summary

Two joint ventures with Asian partners are due to come on stream, helping to extend SQM's global presence in high-value speciality fertilizer markets.

Abstract

SQM recognises that joint ventures are integral to its worldwide business strategy, in which the group’s focus is less on the product and more on fulfilling customer needs. The corporate strategy seeks to extend SQM’s presence throughout the world, by means of fully-owned companies, affiliated companies and joint ventures. In this way, SQM stands for global solutions but at the same time works to achieve local, tailor-made solutions.

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Shell Thiogro's Indian breakthrough

Summary

Several years of R&D have borne fruit for Shell Sulphur Solutions as it announced the first licensing agreement for its Shell Thiogro fertilizer technology in Asia.

Abstract

On 13 September, it was announced that Shell Research Limited has agreed licence terms with Coromandel International Limited, India, enabling Coromandel to produce sulphur-enhanced ammonium phosphate fertilizers at its Visakhapatnam plant for sale in the Indian domestic market. Coromandel may later extend production to its Kakinda complex.

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A buoyant agriculture's hunger for fertilizers

Summary

Balanced fertilisation programmes and a recognition of the increased need for micronutrients and other speciality products are increasingly important factors in Vietnam's agricultural advance.

Abstract

Agriculture has been the backbone of Vietnam’s main development strategy since the country’s reunification in 1975 and a primary source of foreign exchange. In 2005, agriculture accounted for approximately one fifth of GDP and brought in 30% of the country’s export earnings. Of Vietnam’s population of 82.5 million (2004), around 60% of the employed workforce is engaged in agriculture.

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A centre of excellence – and an engine for growth

Summary

The new Centre for the Development of Fertilizer Technology has opened at the School of Chemical Engineering of the Federal University of Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. John Sinden reports.

Abstract

The Centre was inaugurated with a workshop held on 28-29 July 2010 that looked at fertilizer production technology. The opening marked a major step in forging stronger links between the School of Chemical Engineering at the Federal University of Uberlândia and the Brazilian fertilizer industry. The long-term goal of the Centre is to accelerate the integration of the activities of the university and industry to help Brazil become the world’s leading food producer.

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A rising market faces a competitive challenge

Summary

Fertilizers account for the bulk of world production phosphates over of around 46 million tonnes P2O5. Inorganic animal feed phosphates comprise the second ranking sector, accounting for around 7% of total production. In this review, we examine the principal issues influencing the world market for feed phosphates, including the use of alternative phytase products, and provide a who's who of the leading suppliers.

Abstract

Of the world production of 44.5 million tonnes P2O5 of phosphates in 2006, fertilizers accounted for nearly 88% of the total, feed phosphates accounted for 7% and food and industrial uses for 6%. The demand for animal feed phosphates is being driven by the global population increase and the global rise in per capita incomes, which have generated increased feed consumption for meat production. Increased meat production is also having a strong effect on cereal production: the production of 1 kg of meat requires 2 kg of feed grain for poultry, 4 kg for pork and 7 kg for beef.

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IFDC and IPNI nail two P myths

Summary

A media conference on 22 September addressed two issues concerning the production of phosphate fertilizers and their application. The notions of "Peak Phosphate" and the relative efficiency of P use in agriculture duly came under the spotlight.

Abstract

On 22 September, IFDC published its study entitled World Phosphate Rock Reserves and Resources. The study was initiated in 2009 with funding from USAID. The author is Steven J. Van Kauwenbergh, IFDC’s Principal Scientist and leader of IFDC’s Phosphate Research and Resources Initiative. The report concludes that global resources of phosphate rock suitable for converting into rock concentrate, phosphoric acid, phosphate fertilizers and other phosphate-based products will be available for several hundred years.   

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Improving the technology, improving the product quality

Summary

How the leading potash producers seek to obtain more marketable potash from the feed slurry and concentrate.

Abstract

About two-thirds of potash ore extracted by mining and almost 90% of fertilizer-grade potassium chloride is produced by conventional froth flotation technology. This flotation may sometimes be supplemented by heavy media separation. The alternative of crystallisation technology is used mainly to produce industrial-grade and speciality fertilizer-grade (white muriate) potash. Fig. 1 shows the conventional flotation route to obtain fertilizer-grade potash.

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A red letter day for Vale

Summary

The inauguration of the Bayóvar phosphate rock mine in the Sechura Desert of Peru is a milestone in Vale's emergence as a significant player in the international phosphate fertilizer industry. Further expansion is mooted at the site.

Abstract

On 5 August, Vale officially inaugurated the phosphate rock mine at Bayóvar, Peru. The mine is located in the Sechura Desert in the Piura region of western Peru and is the culmination of a $566 million investment programme that began in 2007. Initial capacity at the open-pit mine is 3.9 million t/a. Around 1 million tonnes are expected to be produced this year, with output rising to 2.8 million tonnes in 2011. The operation additionally includes a phosphate concentration plant, a 32-km road for heavy trucks, a truck unloading area, a conveyor belt system, drying and storage facilities, a dedicated maritime terminal, seawater pipeline and power transmission lines.

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