AM Agrigen has had its air permit extended for another year (unlike one other proposed greenfield) but, in its application, disclosed a completely different plan for the project.
For over a year, I've been commenting on the creativity that ammonia project developers have been forced to display, in order to demonstrate a viable business model.
The remaining pipeline of potential new ammonia plants has shifted away from brand-new, multi-billion dollar, world-scale plants producing multiple end products; these demonstrated good efficiencies of scale but became - evidently - almost unfundable.
Now the focus is on developing smaller ammonia plants, using diverse feedstocks, and avoiding as much new machinery as possible.
While we wait for the current slate of new ammonia plants to start up this year, here's a reminder of the projects that are still in development across North America.
More than a dozen major ammonia plants are in various stages of planning or financing. None of these have started construction yet. Some have been stuck in limbo for years, while others keep making progress. The project pipeline represents a potential investment of over $20 billion and additional ammonia capacity of more than 9 million tons per year.
Obviously, not every project will move ahead - in fact, conventional wisdom says none will - but new trends are emerging that may influence their success or failure.
A list of the biggest projects follows below, summarizing their evolving costs, pushed-back schedules, and changing EPC contractors.
"Muthiah confirmed there was a proposal to set up a plant in the US but declined to give details. Sources close to the company said the move was an attempt by the MA Chidambaram group scion to chart a new and distinct course for the group he had inherited ..."
In other news: AM Agrigen now has a draft air permit ...
Permit documents show that AM Agrigen is planning to build a world-scale urea greenfield, although the company hasn't made any public announcements regarding size.
Of all the plants now in development, only CF Industries' Donaldsonville brownfield has a bigger ammonia capacity.
The project's backers are clearly looking toward the export market, despite the argument given in permit documents, which stress the US's status as an importer of urea as the main reason why another urea plant needs to be built here ...
In May 2014, Bobby Jindal's office announced that AM Agrigen had selected a site in St Charles Parish for a $1.2 billion ammonia-urea greenfield ... full details are now at the Killona, LA - AM Agrigen project page.
AM Agrigen's plant is the 30th new ammonia plant to have been in development in North America since early 2012 ...
Here is a company with no history, building a plant of unknown size, with a blank page for a website. It made no sense until I realized who was promoting the project - about which site members can read in my Research Note ...
OWNER: AM Agrigen Industries
PROJECT: Greenfield ammonia-urea plant
SUMMARY STATUS: Planning Phase
Greenfield ammonia plant: in development since 2012, permits approved in 2015, delayed, then completely redesigned in 2016. Now awaiting EPC announcement and revised budget and schedule. AM Agrigen has made no public announcements but permit documents reveal changing scale and technology licensors.