2018 has started badly for Midwest Fertilizer Company and its proposed nitrogen complex in Mount Vernon, IL.
It must have been a long summer for Midwest Fertilizer Company, which has been attempting to wrangle ThyssenKrupp into a new EPC contract while mounting a challenge to the IRS. Both efforts are essential if the project is to have any chance of moving forward. Nonetheless, Midwest recently announced a revised budget along with its new groundbreaking and start-up schedule.
In May 2016, Phibro announced that it was going to invest $450 million to open a half million ton per year ammonia plant in Indiana. There's been precious little news about the project since then, but a lack of news doesn't mean that nothing is happening.
Midwest Fertilizer Company continues to juggle progress and setbacks on its $3 billion greenfield nitrogen plant in Indiana, following the December 2016 termination of its EPC contract with ThyssenKrupp. In the last few weeks, we've seen updates on the EPC contract, air permits, debt financing in Pakistan, and the $1.259 billion tax-exempt bond issue in the US.
Midwest Fertilizer Company's EPC contract with ThyssenKrupp is now terminated.
In case you wondered why the CEO of ThyssenKrupp Industrial Services resigned last week in Germany, it's all because of Midwest Fertilizer Company's greenfield plant in Indiana - and the (alleged) shenanigans involved in securing the Midwest EPC contract from Fatima Fertilizer Company in Pakistan.
UPDATED: 04/18/2018 — see Change Log
OWNER: Philipp Brothers Fertilizer (Phibro LLC / Energy Arbitrage Partners)
PROJECT: Ammonia plant conversion
SUMMARY STATUS: Planning Phase
In January 2016, investors announced plans to re-establish Phibro, the storied commodities trader. Five months later, in May 2016, Phibro announced its intention to purchase the gasification units of a decommissioned "clean coal" power plant, which it would use to produce ammonia from petroleum coke. Since then there has been scant news, except of preparations for debt financing and staff hires, but project developers describe solid progress. In April 2018, the project submitted its air permit application.
This afternoon, the old-established, newly-purchased commodities trading firm, Phibro, announced plans to build a "world-scale" ammonia plant in West Terre Haute, Indiana.
The $450 million project is initially set to start up in mid-2018.
Fatima Fertilizer Company published its 2015 Annual Report last week.
I wouldn't normally write an update simply to say that a company has posted a document but, while lots of people are watching for news of Midwest Fertilizer's $2.8 billion Indiana greenfield, I think fewer people are watching its sponsor company in Pakistan.
Midwest Fertilizer Company announced yesterday that it had awarded the EPC contract for its world-scale nitrogen fertilizer complex to ThyssenKrupp.
This is the first real progress for the project in over a year: in Spring 2015, the previous EPC contract negotiations with Tecnimont collapsed. In the meantime, Midwest's sponsor, Fatima Fertilizer Company, has been busy wrangling regulatory issues with its equity raise in Pakistan, the $1.259 billion bond has been retired and reauthorized maybe a half dozen times, and the air permit has been extended until June 2017.
UPDATED: 05/01/2018 — see Change Log
OWNER: Midwest Fertilizer Company LLC (Fatima Group)
PROJECT: Greenfield nitrogen fertilizer complex
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.
UPDATED: 09/06/2016 — see Change Log
OWNER: Ohio Valley Resources
PROJECT: Greenfield nitrogen fertilizer plant
SUMMARY STATUS: Financing Phase
Air permit was granted in September 2013; extended in March 2015 and extended again in September 2016. Two major companies awarded FEED and EPC in December 2013; agreements now presumed expired. Financing MOUs in place with foreign investors, February 2014; expired. "Finalization of project financing has delayed project construction." Any announcement of a new project sponsor - or project abandonment - is unlikely until the status of other, nearby greenfields is confirmed.