PotashCorp ammonia expansion during turnaround


Without any announcement, PotashCorp is expanding one of its ammonia lines in the US, increasing capacity at Augusta, GA, by around 5% – or 65,000 metric tons per year.

According to the latest air permit modification, which I just noticed although it was approved in May 2016:

The turnaround is a preventive maintenance program that is executed every four to six years … As a result of this turnaround, ammonia production is expected to increase by approximately 5 percent from 2475 tons per day (ton/day) to 2,600 ton/day …

The replacement converter will have about 15 percent more catalyst which will support increase in production.
Georgia Air, PCS Nitrogen Fertilizer permit #2873-245-0002-V-03-5, 05/05/2016

As far as I am aware, from comments in PotashCorp’s Q3 2016 earnings call, this turnaround already happened, over the summer.

The Augusta ammonia plant has been revamped and expanded a number of times over the decades; the present unit was built by Foster Wheeler in 1977.

In 1996, the ammonia capacity increased from 1,500 stpd to 1,700 stpd. In 2012, it expanded to 2,400 stpd (or 876,000 stpy, which is roughly 800,000 mtpy), which was announced as an increase of 70,000 mtpy. I’m not aware when the capacity increased from 2,400 to 2,475 stpd, but the 2016 expansion brings capacity up to 2,600 stpd – or about 860,000 metric tons per year.

More information about the plant is in my Research Note for Augusta, GA.

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