Companies looking seriously at the project are understood to include Germany’s Krupp Uhde– which built the second and third units at the complex – Kellogg Brown & Rootof the US and Tecnimontand Snamprogetti, both of Italy.

The new unit will produce 800 tonnes a day (t/d) of ammonium nitrate. It is scheduled to come on stream in 2005. The project will be financed from the company’s own resources, including the retention of £E 2.5 ($0.60) a share of the annual dividend for four years.

The company produces some 7 million tonnes a year of nitrogenous fertilisers, and has annual turnover of about £E 1,500 million ($361 million), roughly 40 per cent of which is made up of exports.