Category: Chemicals / Metals
Norwegian fertiliser maker Yara and German chemicals firm BASF will spend $600 million building an ammonia plant in Texas, taking advantage of cheap shale gas to expand their presence in the United States, the companies said.
Proposals for the project were made in public in 2013, but the joint statement on Thursday marked the first time the companies had confirmed that the plant would go ahead, and that they had disclosed a price tag and timescale.
The companies said the 750,000 tonnes-per-year plant would be completed by the end of 2017.
Yara will own 68 percent of the project, to be built on BASF’s industrial complex in Freeport, while the German firm will own 32 percent. The companies will receive ammonia in accordance with their stakes.
Ammonia is a key building block for Yara’s nitrogen-based fertilisers, while BASF will use the chemical for the production of polyamide 6, a type of nylon for clothes, engineering plastics and packaging.
The new Yara-BASF plant, based on a cost-saving hydrogen technology, will significantly cut capital expenditure compared with traditional plants, the companies said.
Yara’s total investment in the project, including the construction of an ammonia tank, will be $490 million.
The Norwegian firm has previously attempted to expand its presence in the U.S. fertiliser market. Last year it held negotiations with U.S. competitor CF Industries Holdings Inc , aiming to merge the two into a global fertiliser group with an enterprise value approaching $30 billion, but the talks eventually broke down.
Published: January 30, 2023