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.
This will be a transformative year for the ammonia industry. Four world-scale ammonia plants are scheduled to begin production, as well as three smaller plants, a couple of expansions, and a "clean coal" behemoth.
If all these projects start up successfully this year, they will add more than five million tons of ammonia capacity.
The new projects scheduled for 2016 will increase North American capacity by more than a quarter - and, because only one of these projects is in Canada, will increase US capacity by more than a third.
SUMMARY STATUS: Abandoned
Invista cancelled this project because it saw no benefit to producing its own ammonia instead of buying it on the open market. Apparently they expect the price of ammonia to fall when the other new plants start up.
In operation since 1968. In 2012, Koch Industries announced potential "production enhancements" at this and other sites but, despite completing major expansions at its other sites, there have been no indications of any expansions at Dodge City.
SUMMARY STATUS: Construction Phase
Koch is expanding its Enid plant, the "single largest project investment in company history," increasing capacity on both ammonia lines, debottlenecking the existing urea plant, and building a new urea plant. The ground-breaking took place in October 2014; the project is slightly behind schedule, but construction was expected to be complete in 2017.
In operation since 1967. In 2012, Koch Industries announced potential "production enhancements" at this and other sites but, despite completing major expansions at its other sites, there have been no indications of any expansions at Fort Dodge.