IFA '12: Argentina’s Profertil to debottleneck nitrogen facility

24 May 2012 08:11  [Source: ICIS news]

DOHA (ICIS)--Argentina’s Profertil does not expect the recent renationalisation of co-owner YPF to affect operations, as it gears up to invest nearly $150m (€120m) to debottleneck its nitrogen facility, a senior company executive said late on Wednesday.

Speaking at the sidelines of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) annual conference in Qatar, the executive said it was “business as usual” for the fertilizer producer following the controversial government seizure of YPF from Spanish oil company Repsol.

Profertil’s board of directors has given approval to a $147m debottlenecking of its nitrogen facility in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, which will increase output by 10% without any additional need for natural gas.

The plant has a capacity of 1.1m tonnes/year of granular urea and 750,000 tonnes/year of ammonia. After the debottlenecking, there is expected to be an additional 125,000 tonnes/year of urea and 15,000 tonnes/year of merchant ammonia output.

The work is expected to be completed in late 2013 or early 2014, the executive said.

Co-owned by Canada’s Agrium, Profertil is also on target to complete the construction of a $60m dock, granulated urea stocking and processing facility at the Puerto General San Martin site at San Lorenzo in Santa Fe province by October 2012, he said.

Located on the Parana River, the dock will be able to receive cargoes of up to 47,000 tonnes.

“The expansion of our production facilities and the new terminal is a good combination that gives us a new platform to support market growth,” the executive said.

The IFA conference was on 20-23 May.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Richard Ewing
+44 208 652 3214

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