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Uralchem: a reliable partner with quality products and services

Summary

Dmitry Osipov, deputy chairman of the board of directors of Uralchem, talks to FI.

Abstract

Uralchem is one of the largest producers of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers in Russia and the CIS, with production capacities of over 2.5 million t/a of ammonium nitrate, 2.2 million t/a of ammonia, 800,000 t/a of MAP and DAP, 800,000 t/a of CAN and complex NPK fertilizers and around 500,000 t/a of urea. Uralchem is the second largest ammonium nitrate producer in the world and is the number one in Russia. Uralchem’s key production assets include the OJSC Kirovo-Chepetsk Chemical Works, the Azot branch of Uralchem n Berezniki, Perm region, and OJSC Voskresensk Mineral Fertilizers in Voskrenensk, in Moscow region.

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A new Koch fertilizer harnesses Agrotain power

Summary

On 17 February, Koch Fertiliser Ltd. of the UK announced the launch of its advanced nitrogen fertilizer, KαN, which incorporates Agrotain's urease inhibitor technology. KαN promises the agronomic performance of ammonium nitrate but with the simplicity and sourcing advantages of urea.

Abstract

KαN has been launched in the UK market, enabling Koch Fertiliser Ltd. to offer farmers an advanced nitrogen fertilizer product that promises to deliver significant agronomic benefits at a competitive price. The incorporation of Agrotain urease inhibitor technology has been designed to maximise the productivity from nitrogen and follows an extensive research programme on the effectiveness of Agrotain. Koch’s KαN fertilizer harnesses this proven technology to achieve a performance which is comparable with ammonium nitrate fertilizer. This is achieved by minimising volatisation, whereby urea is converted to ammonia gas, which takes place on the soil surface after urea fertilizer is applied. KαN fertilizer is able to provide low volatisation and the enhanced agronomic performance associated with ammonium nitrate fertilizers, which enjoy a price premium in the UK and other European markets. At the same time, because KαN is manufactured with urea as its basis, it offers advantages in cost, reliable supply, as well as simplified transport and storage, as it is not subject to the intense security issues that are stipulated with ammonium nitrate.

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Good times roll again for nitrogen producers

Summary

Bumper profits are returning to the nitrogen sector, reports Oliver Hatfield, Director of Fertilizers at Integer Research.

Abstract

As we move through the first quarter of 2011 and reflect on results for 2010, most international nitrogen producers are feeling upbeat. The reason behind this improved sentiment is robust nitrogen prices, driven on by strong crop prices. Although shy of the record levels achieved in 2008, most nitrogen producers report that bumper profits are returning to the nitrogen sector once more. Recent examples include CF Industries, which reported an increase in gross margin percentage from 32% in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 42% in 2010, while Yara reported an increase in its Upstream segment’s EBITDA from around $200 million in Q4 2009 to $300 million in the same quarter in 2010. Yara also reported a rebound in profits at its Downstream segment. Even nitrogen producers considered marginal 12 months ago (for example, the Ukrainians) looked profitable by the end of 2010, underlining the positive effect of demand-driven nitrogen pricing.

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The global fertilizer industry takes a lead

Summary

The international fertilizer industry is committed to product stewardship programmes, and leading producers have embraced the concept of Responsible Care at the heart of their corporate strategies.

Abstract

On 3 February, the International Fertilizer Industry Association announced the launch of a new global product stewardship initiative, Protect and Sustain. As shown on the associated website www.protectandsustain.org, the fertilizer industry worldwide is committed to enhancing the life cycle management of the safety, health, environmental security aspects of fertilizer products. Several IFA member companies are already involved in piloting the programme’s self-assessment manual, which covers some 90 questions spanning the phases of the fertilizer product life-cycle.

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Fertilizers with added micronutrients

Summary

Enhanced yields and quality are offered by the incorporation of boron, silicon, magnesium and other micronutrients.

Abstract

As the global population increases, agricultural systems have kept pace in terms of supplying the quantities of food that are required to ensure a modicum of food security. Mankind is still on a learning curve regarding nutrition, whether it be for plants, livestock and humans, and it is becoming increasingly evident that producing food and feed with enhanced nutrition is as important as the absolute volumes produced. “Farming for health” is being advocated as a central objective for agricultural systems throughout the world. This in turn throws a more intensive spot-light the role played by micronutrients in the health of plants, animals and humans.

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Emissions reductions and other advances

Summary

We outline two recent developments at Stamicarbon and Urea Casale.

Abstract

As a leading licensor of urea technology, Stamicarbon BV seeks to advance the urea production process through continuous innovation. Its latest innovation is the Avancore® concept, whose notable advances include a zero oxygen (no air) admission to the synthesis section and a low elevation synthesis layout. Steam con­sumption is consequently minimised. (Avancore – Stamicarbon’s New Urea Plant Concept, B. Gevers, J. Mennen, J. Meessen, Stamicarbon BV. Paper presented at Nitrogen+Syngas 2009, Rome [Februrary 2009].)

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Spotlight on the PNA

Summary

We examine the work of the Potassium Nitrate Association (PNA) in promoting the wider knowledge of this high-value input.

Abstract

Potassium nitrate (KNO3) has many applications in agriculture, industry, solar energy, food and pharmaceuticals. In agriculture, KNO3 is used as a water-soluble and virtually chloride-free source of nitrate-nitrogen and potassium nutrients. The product’s specific characteristics and benefits ensure that potassium nitrate is especially suited for high-value crops, such as vegetables, fruits and flowers. Furthermore, chloride-sensitive crops, such as potato, strawberries, beans, cabbage, lettuce and citrus all depend for their quality on the use of Cl-free potassium.

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Choosing the equipment for new phosphoric acid plants

Summary

Pumps, valves, reactors, agitators and filters are all critical factors in effective operations, but the ultimate choice depends on the production process that is selected.

Abstract

The equipment to be employed in the production of phosphoric acid will depend above all on the type of production process that is selected. Equipment design has in turn been the key to the development of the various processes that are now available and has been a prime determinant of plant capacity. As Paul Smith observed in his recent presentation to the IFA Technical Symposium, the performance and the complexity of equipment used in phosphoric acid manufacture has changed considerably during the past 50-60 years. In particular, advances have been made in terms of materials of construction and also in the unit sizes of equipment available. (Phosphoric Acid Processes: Where Do We Go from Here? Paul Smith, Bunge Fertilizantes SA. Paper presented at IFA Technical Symposium, Sun City, South Africa [April 2010].)

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Pioneers in seabed phosphates

Summary

Joint venture partners Minemakers Limited, Union Resources Limited and Tungeni Investments cc are advancing the development of the Sandpiper project in Namibia. This promises to open a new frontier for the phosphate mining sector, as it will exploit a seabed resource.

Abstract

Via their respective stakes in the joint-venture company Namibian Marine Phosphate (Pty) Ltd. (NMP), Minemakers, Union and Tungeni are set to participate in the supply of a new source of phosphate rock, via the south west African country’s seabed resources. NMP has been set up to bring to fruition the Sandpiper phosphate project in offshore Namibia. The company is a joint venture, in which Minemakers holds a 42.5% direct stake plus an indirect stake of 6.4% in partnership with fellow Australian-registered Union (42.5%) and the Namibian company, Tungeni Investments cc (15%). The JV partners seek to consolidate what has been identified as a world-class phosphate deposit and are undertaking a co-operative approach to fast-track the resource to production.

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New applications for phosphate salts

Summary

The downturn in phosphate applications for detergents coupled with growing food market applications and promising prospects in horticulture have prompted advances in production technology and the development of new products to meet these needs. We outline the latest developments.

Abstract

As a nutrient, phosphorus (P) is essential to human, animal and plant life, fulfilling a critical function in metabolism and other biochemical processes. P-containing compounds help determine:

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