Key pair in Ukrainian ammonia transit sector meet for first time since 2010

Author: Richard Ewing

2020/07/10

LONDON (ICIS)--Ukrainian ammonia and urea producer Odessa Port Plant (OPZ) on Friday announced a "fruitful" meeting with ammonia pipeline operator Ukrhimtransamiak – the pair's first such talks in a decade.

During discussions between the heads of the state-owned enterprises, the main topic was further cooperation focused on maintaining the balance of transit and transshipment of ammonia.

Implementation of annual plans for the transportation, refrigeration, storage and shipment of transit ammonia, and strategies for international transit, were also discussed at yesterday's meeting, OPZ revealed.

OPZ's large ammonia storage tanks are an integral part of the regional supply chain, with the facilities on the shore of the Black Sea used to house material produced at the plant, and product from major Russian manufacturers that arrives via a lengthy pipeline.

In early May, OPZ revealed around 35,000 tonnes of the nitrogen fertilizer would arrive in scores of railcars each month following the signing of transshipment agreements with Ukrainian producers.

Ahead of its latest privatisation push, OPZ disclosed the ammonia plant's gas turbine engine has "significantly exceeded its service life" and needs replacing in a move that requires "significant capital investment".

"The plant plans to implement this project [and] a technical taskforce has already been developed," OPZ noted, without providing details on the likely cost or timeline for such work.

Around 200,000 tonnes/month of ammonia passes through OPZ's storage tanks each month for loading on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tankers for discharge on different continents by several suppliers.

OPZ's ammonia storage tanks sit on the shore of the Black Sea. Photo courtesy of OPZ