PotashCorp confirms restart of Geismar ammonia plant

13 March 2013 17:30  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)— PotashCorp has confirmed the restart of its Geismar, Louisiana, ammonia plant that was idled in 2003 because of the high cost of natural gas. The restart took place on 28 February.

The Canadian producer had announced in February 2011 that it was commencing the restarting process and had anticipated that the plant would be operational within 18 months, but that date was set back when the company announced in 2012 that the plant needed more structural repairs.

A company source said on Wednesday that, because of the continuing decline in natural gas prices, it is now economically feasible to begin producing the vital crop nutrient at the previously idled facility. It was revealed that the cost to bring the plant back into operation was $260m.

The source said the facility is working at its production capacity of 1,500 short tons/day at present, although its operating rates will fluctuate as common start-up glitches are resolved.

As well as ammonia, the site produces urea, nitric acid and nitrogen solutions. Before the plant's restart, those fertilizer products were being created using imported ammonia.


By: Mark Milam



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