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October 12, 2012

Uhde to engineer one of the world’s largest liquid fertilizer plants

Gerald Ondrey

OCI Construction Group has selected ThyssenKrupp Uhde GmbH (Uhde; Dortmund, Germany; for an engineering and procurement contract for the construction of one of the world’s largest single-train liquid fertilizer plants to be built in the U.S.

Uhde was awarded the contract for the design and supply of a liquid fertilizer plant, which will be built near Wever, Iowa through its U.S. business partner Uhde Corporation of America (Pittsburgh, Pa.). The liquid fertilizer urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) is produced from ammonia and carbon dioxide, with urea solution, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate being produced as intermediates. The customer is Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), which is building the entire complex for its subsidiary, Iowa Fertilizer Company (IFCo). Commissioning is scheduled for 2015.

This will be the first new sizeable fertilizer complex to be built in the U.S. in almost 25 years. Uhde will develop the engineering for six of the seven process plants, as well as supplying the required process equipment and machinery. As an additional product the plant will produce a high purity urea solution (also called Diesel Exhaust Fluid, DEF), which will be used to improve the environmental performance of diesel engines by reducing the nitrogen oxides in the exhaust. The scope of supplies also includes a plant for manufacturing urea granules that will be produced using the Uhde Fertilizer Technology (UFT) process.

Uhde's highly efficient processes are also being used in the nitric acid, ammonium nitrate and UAN plants, whilst the urea plant will use the synthesis process from Stamicarbon in the Netherlands. In 2006 to 2008 Uhde successfully engineered a similar-sized plant at the Point Lisas site on the island of Trinidad and provided the plant's key equipment. Together with the aforementioned plant in Point Lisas the new Iowa fertilizer plant with a daily production capacity of 4,300 metric tons will be the largest single-train UAN plants in the world.

"The Iowa fertilizer plant is the next chapter in our success story with OCI, which, after Egypt and Algeria, has now taken us to the United States," says Michael Thiemann, chairman of the Management Board of ThyssenKrupp Uhde. "Our outstanding technological expertise and the excellent performance of our reference plants contributed to this success against international competition."

OCI Construction Group COO, Osama Bishai, comments: “We have worked well with ThyssenKrupp Uhde on several projects and believe our performance on this project, with an overall investment of $1.4 billion, will be a landmark reference for us to grow our business in North America.”



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