2016 was a transformative year for the North American ammonia industry but, in 2017, the bigger impact will be on the urea industry.
Here's an update on four urea expansions expected on-stream this year and next, which will add almost two million tons of new urea capacity. In the process, they'll reduce the amount of ammonia that's available for sale by more than one million tons.
And, as a bonus, I have news on an embattled "clean coal" project that, in what might be a last gasp attempt at a viable business model, could potentially add another 1.5 million tons of urea in Texas.
OWNER: Dakota Gasification Company (Basin Electric Power Cooperative)
PROJECT: Existing plant, urea brownfield
SUMMARY STATUS: Construction phase
Construction on the new urea plant began in Summer 2014, for an expected start-up in mid-2017. In 2016, however, destructive storms flattened the new urea storage building, which had to be demolished and the foundations ripped out before construction could restart. Start-up is now expected in 2018. Granular urea will be the 11th product made at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant, and the 12th will be DEF.