Estimated to cost $160 million, the proposed plant will have capacity of 80,000 tonnes a year (t/y). Milan-based Eurotecnica is due to complete the front-end engineering and design (FEED) package by December. The project is being handled by a new joint venture company, which is 60 per cent owned by Ruwais Fertiliser Industries (Fertil). The remaining 40 per cent is held by Austria’s AMI Agrolinz Melamine International. The plant will be built beside the existing Fertil complex, which will supply urea feedstock to the new unit.

The next stage in the project implementation will be the issue of a tender for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, which is due in early 2006. The successful PMC will oversee the construction works, which will take about two years to complete.

Plans to build a melamine complex at Ruwais have been under consideration for several years. In August 2003, France’s Totaland Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the two existing shareholders in Fertil, signed a memorandum of understanding to build a 50,000-t/y plant. However, the project did not move beyond the drawing board.