Baiji fertiliser plant to be rehabilitated and expanded
Iraqs 1st Global Company for Chemical Fertilizers Production is pushing ahead alone with its plans to revamp the urea and ammonia production facilities at Baiji in the north of the country.
The privately owned firm, which operates the Baiji fertiliser plant, plans to carry out the rehabilitation and revamp work itself, rather than inviting bids through a traditional tender process, according to sources close to the scheme.
Work is expected to start in September 2014, following the selection of vendors for the projects equipment and materials.
The plant started production in 1989 and was designed to produce 1,000 tonnes a day (t/d) of ammonia along with 525,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of urea. However, according to the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, the plant currently only produces ammonia at 57 per cent of its design capacity and urea at 70 per cent capacity.
In 2011, US engineering firm KBR, was awarded a contract in 2011 to provide licenses for its proprietary ammonia production process and engineering services to increase the plants capacity to 120 per cent of its original design capacity.
Iraq spends more than $100m each year on importing 293,000 tonnes of fertilisers. A study published in mid-2013 by US consultants Booz&Co INES forecasts that Iraq could increase its domestic production to meet local demand of 2 million t/y through the rehabilitation of Iraqs existing plants and addition of 700,000 t/y by 2017 with small short term facilities located near domestic demand centres.
In the longer term this would then be ramped up to 8.3 million t/y by 2028 as greater volumes of methane become available, with around 6 million t/y for export.
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