Venezuela's Pequiven signs deal for $1.4bn granular urea plant

03 April 2014 11:39 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Petroquimica de Venezuela (Pequiven) and two Brazilian constructors have agreed a deal for a $1.4bn export-oriented granular urea plant that aims to satisfy Brazil's growing demand for nitrogen fertilizers, the state-run petchem giant announced late on Wednesday.

Scheduled to commence operation in 2018, the 1.55m tonne/year plant at the Jose Antonio Anzoategui petchem complex in the east of the country will supply Brazil and at least three other members of regional trade bloc Mercosur – Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay – with more than 125,000 tonnes/month of urea.

Work on the huge project, which includes an ammonia plant to supply feedstock for urea production, is expected to start in 2015, Pequiven said in a statement.

The company added that the deal with Braskem and Odebrecht should reduce Brazil's reliance on imports of Black Sea and Arabian Gulf (or Persian Gulf) urea.

According to Pequiven, Brazil imports more than 3m tonnes/year of urea, the majority of which crosses the Atlantic and involves significant freight costs.

During a signing ceremony in Valencia, Carabobo state, Pequiven also announced that a new 770,000 tonne/year urea plant at the local Moron Petrochemical Complex will commence production in the next few days.

In January of this year, the petchem giant said this urea plant will focus on domestic demand – expected to total nearly 450,00 tonnes in 2014 – and any surplus urea or ammonia output will be earmarked for overseas markets.

By Richard Ewing