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Play your cards right with Integer Research

Summary

Which fertilizer company enjoys the high revenues? The best operating profits? The highest net profit margins? Who has the largest total assets? And the most favourable debt/equity ratio?

Abstract

Based in London, Integer Research has specialised in the provision of research, data, analysis and consultancy services to the fertilizer sector since 2002, combining a production-centred approach to the analysis of the fertilizer industry with expert financial analysis. Led by Oliver Hatfield, Director of Fertilizers, the Integer team takes as its start point the detailed analysis of companies’ financial information, providing an assessment of individual companies’ true competitive position and the industry in which it operates.

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Yara International - The Scandinavian global citizen

Summary

Yara International is setting targets that go beyond the simple financial success of maximum sales and margins. It recognises that its global market footprint brings increased responsibilities in its wake, and it seeks to be a major catalytic force for change and increased sustainability in the use of precious resources.

Abstract

Yara International is the world’s largest publicly traded nitrogen fertilizer supplier and can claim to be the fertilizer industry’s only truly global player, with production on six continents, operations in more than 50 countries and sales to around 150 countries. In 2010, Yara achieved global sales of NOK 65.37 billion ($11.2 billion) and EBITDA of NOK 15.32 billion, based on sales of ammonia, finished fertilizers and industrial products of 24.5 million tonnes. Fertilizer volumes accounted for 17.20 million tonnes, an increase of 3% on the 2009 total. In addition to offering a complete range of crop nutrients, Yara also supplies a wide range of nitrogen and speciality chemicals, CO2, dry ice and civilian explosive products. Yara’s expertise in the crop nutrient sector also extends to environmental solutions, as Yara offers products and services for NOx abatement, water treatment and the prevention of corrosion.

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Eliminating the dust at plants and terminals

Summary

A review of the available technology that ensures the highest levels of environmental compliance.

Abstract

Many industrial processes emit dust-laden exhaust during the production, storage and handling stages. The issue is particularly endemic in the fertilizer industry. The production of urea, for example, will involve an initial wet section, which produces a urea melt of concentrated solution, which is then further processed in the finishing section. In this second stage, the urea melt is solidified typically by prilling or granulation before being transported for storage and further handling. Exit air from the urea prilling tower or granulator will typically contain urea dust that is a major potential pollutant and is therefore subject to stringent legislative control. (Abatement of urea dust and gaseous ammonia emissions, Nitrogen+Syngas, No. 306 [July-August 2010, p44].)

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How to save 90% of your cooling energy costs

Summary

Via its patented bulk solids heat exchanger, Solex Thermal Science offers indirect cooling technology that reduces the costs and environmental impact in the cooling of bulk fertilizers.

Abstract

Solex Thermal Science Inc. (Solex) focuses its mission on pushing the scientific envelope for heating, cooling and drying bulk solids with its ultra-efficient technology. Since its inception, Solex has installed hundreds of heat exchangers in more than 43 countries worldwide. Expert staff are located internationally to provide worldwide sales and technical support. The company’s innovative designs are specifically geared for use with free bulk solids, including fertilizers. The signature feature of the Solex technology is its supremely efficient method of heating, cooling and drying bulk solids.

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FSU potash - A region poised for change and growth

Summary

We review the current and planned potash operations in Russia, Belarus and other Former Soviet Union republics.

Abstract

With a total capacity of 20.2 million t/a of potassium chloride, the Former Soviet Union (FSU) accounted for 29% of world potash capacity in 2010. Of this total, Russia accounts for 11.0 million t/a, while Belarus has a capacity of 9.2 million t/a KCl. According to IFA, between 2010 and 2015, total potash capacity in the FSU is projected to increase by 45%, to reach a forecast 29.5 million t/a KCl. Close to half of this 9 million t/a increase will occur in the new EuroChem operation, at around 4.6 million t/a, while the remainder will come from expansions at Uralkali, Silvinit, Belaruskali and Uzbekistan. (Fertilizers and Raw Materials Supply and Global Supply/Demand Balances: 2011-2015, Michel Prud’homme, IFA. [May 2011].)

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SYMPHOS raises the benchmark

Summary

"Innovation in all its forms" was the theme of the pioneering SYMPHOS international phosphates symposium, organised by OCP in Marrakech, Morocco between 9-13 May. This landmark event attracted participants from all leading companies with an interest in the phosphates sector. The highlights are described here.

Abstract

In Marrakech between 9-13 May 2011, Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) hosted the first SYMPHOS International Symposium on phosphate technology. This is intended to be a regular event that will drive forward innovation and vision in the global phosphate sector. The meeting was attended by the leading national and international players in the industry, embracing manufacturers, equipment suppliers, suppliers of technology and services, as well as other experts and internationally renowned researchers with a keen interest in the development of a sustainable phosphate industry.

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Phosphates in Europe - An ability to survive and thrive

Summary

Despite lacking significant indigenous phosphate resources, Western and Central Europe has remained a centre of excellence for the production of NPK fertilizers and other high value phosphate products. We examine how the region has fared in an ever tougher global market.

Abstract

For the past three decades, as the market for phosphate fertilizers became more globalised, the European phosphate industry has been in steady retreat as capacity was closed and long-established producers exited the business. The European industry was a very long established one, helping to pioneer much of the production technology that remains the global industry standard, but in more recent years, the region’s competitive advantages began to fade, bringing in its wake a long period of readjustment. Although Western Europe became ever more reliant on imports for its supply of phosphorus, the region has retained production capacity, notably in Spain, Lithuania and Finland. Although European phosphate fertilizer production capacity has been cut back drastically since the late 1980s, the region has continued as a significant player in the animal feed phosphate market and in the phosphorus chemicals market. Western Europe also remains a centre of technological excellence, as exemplified by such specialist companies as Prayon S.A., which continues to be a global innovator in the development of phosphoric acid and downstream technology.

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Better phos acid plant performance - where to point the spotlight

Summary

Buoyant levels of demand have ensured that phosphoric acid plants around the world at working at high operating rates, throwing a spotlight on production efficiency and operational reliability. In his recent presentation at the AIChE Clearwater meeting, Loc Bernhard of SGL Group Process Technology examined the areas where attention should be focused to ensure best management practices.

Abstract

While commercial concentration of phosphoric acid has been standardised at 54%, the different wet processes used in the production of phosphoric acid produce green acids with concentrations that range between 28% and 30% P2O5 for the dihydrate (DH) process, either with single or multiple reaction tanks, between 30% and 32% P2O5 for the hemihydrate (HRC) recrystallisation process, between 32-36% P2O5 for the dihemihydate process (DHH), between 40-42% P2O5 for the hemihydrate process (HH) and between 40-54% P2O5 for the hemidihydrate process. (How to increase the overall output of phosphoric acid evaporation loops while reducing their total cost of ownership, Loïc Bernard, SGL Group Process Technology. AIChE Clearwater Meeting [June 2011].)

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