Yara International ASA strengthens its production base by investing in a new urea unit at its Sluiskil plant in the Netherlands. The investment increases urea production by roughly 45 percent to 3,500 tonnes per day from 2011, creating a world-scale facility at an investment cost of approximately EUR 300 million. Construction is planned to start in 2008.
“Increased natural gas prices in so-called ‘stranded gas’ regions like the Middle East, are improving the relative competitiveness of European ammonia plants. Efficient European ammonia plants now represent a more attractive case for upgrading investments. This investment takes advantage of urea upgrading margins on excess ammonia capacity in Sluiskil and improves our finished product portfolio. Moreover the replacement of existing capacity reduces maintenance costs and improves energy efficiency at the plant,” says Sven Ombudstvedt, CFO and Head of Strategy at Yara International.
The new urea unit will be integrated into the existing facilities at Yara Sluiskil. Currently aproximately 70 percent of ammonia production on-site is consumed in the production of finished fertilizer products with the balance transported to other Yara production sites or sold to third parties. With more ammonia upgraded to urea, liquid fertilizer, AdBlue and other finished products on-site, Yara’s exposure to the international ammonia market will be reduced. On-site integration will also further improve energy efficiency and reduce maintenance and operating costs.