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Veliky Novgorod-Based Acron Now the Largest Urea Producer in Europe

Acron Group, a leading mineral fertiliser producer in Russia and globally, completed a comprehensive overhaul of its Urea-6 unit in Veliky Novgorod.

Costing a total of USD 85 million, the upgrades more than tripled capacity from 600 tpd to 2,050 tpd, or 2 mtpa of urea, making Acron the largest urea facility both in Russia and in Europe. The project’s general designer was Acron Engineering.

Governor of Novgorod region Andrey Nikitin attended the launch of the upgraded unit. ‘The largest production facility in Novgorod region, Acron uses world-class high-end technologies developed by Russian engineers. This expertise and these facilities are of key importance for the region. We have always supported Acron and intend to do so in the future’.

The project included construction of an integrated sewage treatment unit, evaporation unit, water cycles, and new substations. The Company also installed a 46,000-m3/h CO2 compressor, the most powerful compressor at the site. Russian companies and Acron’s mechanical repairs team made 95% of the equipment. The project created 37 new jobs.

Chairman of Acron’s Board of Directors Alexander Popov explained how the project fits into the Group’s investment programme. ‘Right now we are focusing on projects that make maximum use of our existing production potential. The Urea-6+ project is the flagship for Acron’s highly efficient projects with small payback periods. Importantly, it also aligns with the Company’s ESG strategy. The high-performance, state-of-the-art integrated sewage treatment unit installed at our upgraded urea facility will significantly mitigate Acron’s environmental impact. Urea production involves the use of carbon dioxide, and the project will reduce direct CO2 emissions by over 350,000 tpa’.

Today, Acron in Veliky Novgorod operates six urea units. The first four units were put on stream in 1969-1972 and subsequently upgraded to 730,000 tpa. In 2012, the Company commissioned the 350,000-tpa Urea-5 unit, which was later upgraded to 515,000 tpa. Recently, the Company started upgrading urea Units 1 to 4, which will increase its aggregate urea capacity to 2.4 mtpa by 2023.