Yara, BASF opens $600 mn world-scale ammonia plant in Texas
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Yara, BASF opens $600 mn world-scale ammonia plant in Texas

5:02 AM, 12th April 2018
Yara, BASF opens $600 mn world-scale ammonia plant in Texas
The $600-million, state-of-the-art facility uses a cost-efficient and sustainable production process, based on by-product hydrogen instead of natural gas.

OSLO, NORWAY/FLORHAM PARK, US: Yara International ASA and BASF SE has opened a new world-scale ammonia plant in Freeport, Texas, US. The $600-million, state-of-the-art facility uses a cost-efficient and sustainable production process, based on by-product hydrogen instead of natural gas.

Yara Freeport LLC is owned 68 percent by Yara and 32 percent by BASF. The plant, located at BASF's site in Freeport, has a capacity of 750,000 metric tonnes of ammonia per year. Each party will off-take ammonia according to their ownership share.

Conventional ammonia plants use natural gas to produce the hydrogen needed during ammonia production. Yara Freeport's hydrogen-based technology allows the plant to forego this initial production step, leading to lower capital expenditure and maintenance costs. By using hydrogen, which originates from the production processes of various petrochemical plants nearby, Yara Freeport safeguards resources and mitigates environmental impact. 

A long-term supply agreement for hydrogen and nitrogen with industrial gases company Praxair Inc links feedstock cost to the advantageous natural gas prices on the US Gulf coast.

BASF will use its share of ammonia off-take to produce polyamide 6, which is commonly used in the production of carpet fibres, packaging and casings for the wire and cable markets. Polyamide 6 for injection moulding is used in high-performance engineering plastics for automotive applications. Yara will market its share of ammonia to industrial customers and the agricultural sector in North America. To support the new plant, Yara built an ammonia storage facility at Port Freeport. BASF upgraded its existing terminal and pipeline assets.

"Together with our partners at BASF, we built a world-scale ammonia plant that not only raises the bar in terms of safety, efficiency and quality but also applies the principles of industrial symbiosis by using a by-product as feedstock for ammonia production. Yara Freeport strengthens our leading position in the global ammonia market and expands our production footprint in North America," said Svein Tore Holsether, president and CEO, Yara.

"This joint venture with Yara not only strengthens our production Verbund at the Freeport site, it demonstrates BASF's commitment to investing in North America. The new plant allows us to take advantage of world-scale production economics and attractive raw material costs to strengthen the competitiveness of our customer value chain in the region," said Wayne Smith, member of the board of executive directors of BASF SE and chairman and CEO, BASF Corporation.

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