OCI Nitrogen acquires intregrated ammonia/methanol plant in Texas

16 May 2011 11:52  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--OCI Nitrogen, the Netherlands-based fertilizer subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), has acquired an integrated ammonia/methanol plant located in Beaumont, Texas, it said on Monday.

OCI acquired the plant through a joint venture with Janus Methanol, under the name Pandora Methanol, in which OCI holds 50% plus one share, the company said in a statement.

The venture acquired the plant from Eastman Chemical, which took over the facility from Terra Industries in 2007. The plant was idled in 2004 due to high natural gas prices in the US.

OCI Nitrogen and Janus plan to rehabilitate and operate the plant, with ammonia production expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2011 and methanol production in 2012.

The plant has the capacity to produce 250,000 tonnes/year of ammonia and 750,000 tonnes/year of methanol.

In addition, the plant has a 18,000-tonne ammonia tank and two 22,000-tonne methanol storage tanks. There are pipeline connections to adjacent customers and port access with dedicated methanol and ammonia import/export jetties.

The possibility of increasing both production and storage-tank capacity at the site is being studied, OCI said.

The rehabilitation engineering and the acquisition cost and capital expenditures are expected to amount to around $65m (€46m) by the end of this year, OCI said.

The sale of the plant was previously reported to have been delayed, as Pandora initially planned to lease the plant property but then decided to buy the land.

($1 = €0.71)

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By: Rebecca Clarke
+44 20 8652 3214

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