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.
SUMMARY STATUS: Planning Phase
In May 2015, Agrifos and Borealis announced their agreement to develop a "world-scale" ammonia plant, for start-up in "early 2019." Work has yet to begin, so that schedule is implausible. The location was never specified, but was to be on the Gulf Coast, Texas. The plant was going to use hydrogen feedstock. Borealis intended to have a significant equity stake and a long-term off-take contract for 40% of the ammonia.
SUMMARY STATUS: Planning phase
Major setbacks in 2016, when the EPC contract was awarded and then fell apart following a corruption scandal and a failure to secure equity financing. Major setbacks predicted in 2017 and confirmed in 2018, related to debt financing. Air permits were extended in 2017 but any progress now depends on winning a legal argument with the IRS.