The Ammonia Monitor uses the following methodologies:


CAPACITY (nameplate capacity) is the maximum rate of production for which a plant is designed. I report capacity in metric tons per year assuming 100% uptime (operating 365 days per year). This is necessary in order to make meaningful comparisons between all plants, because different organizations report capacities using different methodologies, both for units of measurement (short tons or metric tons, per day or per year) and for annualization factor (reporting an “average annual” capacity, based on an assumption of how many days each year the plant will be in operation, ranging from 330 to 365 days per year).

  • NOTE: “Capacity” does NOT equal “Production.” The actual number of tons produced by a plant will generally be around 80% or 90% of its capacity.
  • NOTE: Companies present capacity as an “annual average” for a variety of reasons, most often to take into account planned downtime and the likelihood of unplanned downtime. Most plants need to be shut down for scheduled maintenance for a few weeks every few years. So, for example, rather than operate at 100% nameplate capacity for some years and then at 80% nameplate capacity during the maintenance year, the company reports its “average annual” capacity as 95% nameplate capacity; the effect is to reduce volatility in production statistics. This can lead to plants producing in excess of their maximum reported capacity. This can also lead to underperforming companies claiming the same production rate as their more efficient peers, by simply lowering the expectations for inefficient plants (this practice makes sense in some ways but is nonsense in others).

LIKELIHOOD represents my personal opinion of whether a project will be completed, based on my current information and mood. I judge new projects since 2010 as being either Done, Likely, Possible, Unlikely, or Dead. In due course, I intend to increase the amount of information I communicate in support of these subjective opinions but, for now, there are too many qualitative variables involved.

FEEDBACK: I’ll be expanding this section over time, so please leave a comment if you’d like me to address any specifics.


  1. Gary L Podraza says:

    Can you break out being more spacific on the likelyhoods you have listed, maybe in a percent of what you think, example below

    Likely- 30%
    Possible 60% and so on. Something of what you think possible means to you.

    • Trevor Brown says:

      Hi Gary,

      Good to hear from you – sorry for the late response.

      In short, no. My estimation of a project’s “likelihood” is a truly subjective thing, and I don’t want to apply any quantitative value to it. It’s just an opinion, and you shouldn’t rely on it for too much: I’m not omniscient, and the longer I run this website, the more I see “likely” projects cancelled (CHS, anyone?), and “unlikely” projects move forward.

      Currently, nearly every “likely” project is under construction, so you can be pretty confident of those predictions. The “possible” and “unlikely” ones … really it comes down to who gets the financing, and whether the backers see the economics as worthwhile. I’m not sure how predictable those variables are.


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