Mexico plans to build major new fertilizer complex

12 September 2013 21:36  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Mexico is planning to build a major new nitrogen fertilizer complex in the country’s northwestern state of Sinaloa that would include one of the world’s largest ammonia plants, state authorities said on Thursday.

The proposed complex would be built on an area of 40 ha in the city of Topolobampo adjacent to an existing facility operated by state-run energy company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), according to a statement by the state of Sinaloa.

The first phase of the project – construction of a 770,000 tonne/year ammonia plant - would require an initial investment of some $1bn (€750m), with start-up expected in mid-2016. The authorities did not disclose construction plans.

A second ammonia plant, a urea plant and two facilities for production of general fertilizers were also planned for the medium-term, the authorities said.

According to Mexico’s energy secretary, Pedro Joaquin Codwell, the project would have “national dimensions” and would enable Mexico to “overcome its high dependence on ammonia, urea and other fertilizer imports”.

Mexico currently imports around 500,000 tonnes/year of ammonia, or 90% of its total requirements, according to the Sinaloa authorities. The states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Sonora, Nayarit and Jalisco account for about 72% of total consumption.

Importing such high quantities of ammonia increases costs to domestic producers by about 30%, while importing other fertilizers for agricultural use increases costs by 40%, the state said.

The situation will change dramatically with the advent of local fertilizer production, the authorities said, adding that local ammonia production will also enable the state to produce agrochemicals and pave the way for export opportunities.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Simon West
713-525-2653



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