Blaze at Gorlovka fertilizer plant halts ammonia, urea production

29 May 2013 21:06  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A fire at the Stirol-Gorlovka nitrogen fertilizer facility in Ukraine on 27 May caused more damage than initially estimated, an executive of the group's marketing arm NF Trading revealed on Wednesday.

One ammonia plant and one urea plant were reported down earlier this week following a blaze which destroyed about 100 square metres of buildings and damaged one compressor, although no injuries or deaths occurred.

However, according to the source, all three ammonia lines are down as well as the one urea line, with initial inspections of the site revealing "consequences that are worse than expected".

"Nothing is confirmed at this stage and I won't speculate as to the cause of the fire but it may take a whole lot longer than expected to restart ammonia production, possibly up to two months," the NF Trading executive disclosed.

He added the site's three ammonia lines normally produce a combined 4,500 tonnes/day, and the unplanned outage would reduce merchant ammonia availability by up to 20,000 tonnes/month.

In addition, both urea and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) will be hurt by the ammonia lines outage as ammonia is a key feedstock for both fertilizers.

Plant workers and executives will assess the situation over the coming days, but the blaze's precise impact on shipments will not be known for a few more days, the executive concluded.

Finland-headquartered NF Trading is a leading exporter of east European ammonia and urea from major ports in the Black Sea and the Baltic.

By: Richard Ewing
+44 208 652 3214

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