Russia's Acron wins approval for major new $420m ammonia unit

12 July 2013 14:05  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Russia's Acron Group has been given the green light to construct a $420m (€319m) energy-efficient ammonia plant at its manufacturing complex in Veliky Novgorod, the fertilizer producer announced on Friday.

Called "Ammonia-4" due to it being the site's fourth ammonia production unit, the plant will produce up to 700,000 tonnes/year of ammonia which will boost the company's ammonia capacity by almost two thirds and help the firm increase output of nitrogen fertilizers.

The plant, which is expected to commence production in 2015, will produce ammonia for use in other nitrogen fertilizers such as urea. Cargoes will be exported from a sea port in the Baltic Sea which is around 100 miles away from Veliky Novgorod.

Acron said in a statement that the granting of permission for the large facility in north-west Russia by the country's directorate-general for State Environmental Review (Glavgosexpertiza) represented a "milestone in implementing this investment project".

Acron's acting CEO, Alexandr Popov, described Ammonia-4 as a "major investment project" and highlighted that "the construction of a new cost effective ammonia unit is a key factor to maintain Acron’s competitive power and improve the profitability of its business".

"Construction of Acron's new ammonia unit will significantly improve the prospects for the group's development," he explained. "The 65% increase in ammonia capacity will enhance existing production capacity and ensure the required base for further expanding of our production capacity and product portfolio.

"The key advantage of a new unit is lower natural gas consumption rate. At present, two of Acron's operating ammonia units are the most cost effective in Russia in terms of average gas consumption rate (1,070 cubic metres per tonne). Average gas consumption rate at Ammonia-4 will be 927 cubic meters per tonne, which will allow us to reduce natural gas expenses and, accordingly, production costs."

According to Acron's website, the group's business units currently produce 1.7m tonnes/year of ammonia, 1.8m tonnes/year of ammonium nitrate (AN), 800,000 tonnes/year of urea and 700,000 tonnes/year of urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) solution, as well as 2.6m tonnes/year of nitrogen phosphorus potassium (NPK) and bulk blends.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Richard Ewing
+44 208 652 3214

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