15 October 2013 19:00 [Source: ICIS news]
(recasts to clarify caprolactam plant ownership in fourth paragraph)
ROTTERDAM (ICIS)--Fertilizer producer OCI Nitrogen is poised to invest €22m ($29.7m) in an ammonia pipeline and river jetty at the Geleen manufacturing facility next to its Dutch headquarters, a senior executive of the firm revealed on Tuesday.
The pipeline will stretch 3km from the ammonia plant to a river and enable ammonia to be loaded and unloaded by barges at a jetty in a move designed to reduce its reliance on rail cars, explained Gert Jan de Geus, chief operating officer.
Subject to planning permission being granted at the end of November, the pipeline could pump its first ammonia in the first quarter of 2015, Jan de Geus told delegates at the fifth ICIS Ammonia Handling and Shipping Safety Workshop in Rotterdam.
OCI Nitrogen produces ammonia and other fertilizer products at the site, including 4,000 tonnes/day of calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN), 2,000 tonnes/day of ammonium sulphate (AS) and 1,000 tonnes/day of urea ammonium nitrate (UAN). DSM owns and operates the approximately 250,000 tonne/year caprolactam plant at Geleen. It sold its melamine and fertilizer business to OCI, including production units at the site, in 2010.
The investment will allow OCI Nitrogen to load or unload ammonia during disruption to upstream or downstream activities at the plant rather than halt all operations or rely on smaller and more infrequent deliveries by rail cars.
Instead, barges that can hold up to 1,800 tonnes of ammonia will dock at the jetty and take cargoes by water to Rotterdam or bring such cargoes from the port city.
“This investment in a new pipeline and barge jetty will mean we no longer have to rely solely on rail cars and the new facilities will give OCI Nitrogen a fast and smart connection to the Rotterdam area,” Jan de Geus explained.
“We hope to secure the necessary permit by the end of November and our timescale of operation for the pipeline envisages a start in the first quarter of 2015.”
($1 = €0.74)
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