Donaldsonville ammonia restart under way - source

13 July 2008 22:06  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--The restart of Terra Industries’ 500,000 tonne/year Donaldsonville ammonia plant is under way and the plant may reach full capacity as early as the end of the month, a source close to the project said on Sunday.

But that timeframe could be pushed back because of the inherent uncertainty in restarting a mothballed plant, the source cautioned.

“It could take five days, it could take five weeks” to reach full capacity, the source said at the Southwestern Fertilizer Conference.

The Louisiana facility was closed in December 2004 because of high natural gas prices, and the company originally said in February it would restart the plant because rising ammonia values have restored production margins.

Earlier this month, Terra said it would restart the plant in late July rather than originally planned in August.

The opening would come at a time when high food prices around the world are placing a premium on fertilizer chemicals. Together with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan’s reopening of its Point Lisas No. 4 plant in Trinidad, the Donaldsonville restart may reduce US demand for ammonia imports in the short term.

Tampa ammonia was trading at $585/tonne (€369/tonne) CFR (cost and freight), while New Orleans ammonia was trading at $530/short ton FOB (free on board).

The Southwestern Fertilizer Conference, held annually in San Antonio, runs through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.63)

For more on ammonia visit ICIS chemical intelligence

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By: David Rosen

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