Acron Group, a leading mineral fertiliser producer in Russia and globally, is implementing a new project with total CAPEX of approximately USD 10 million to ramp up ammonium nitrate (AN) capacity at its Veliky Novgorod-based facility to 4,100 tonnes per day.
This AN capacity expansion is supported by a staged increase in output of nitric acid, a feedstock for AN. This year, Acron (Veliky Novgorod) launched two new nitric acid units with capacity of 135,000 tonnes each. Construction is underway of a third production unit, to be brought on stream by the end of 2019.
Chairman of Acron’s Board of Directors Alexander Popov commented, “The launch of three new nitric acid units at our Veliky Novgorod site will allow us to use nitric acid further along in the process chain and effectively and easily increase output of other products, including commercial AN, UAN, and blends”.
Once this project is finalised, granulated AN output will reach 900,000 tonnes per annum, UAN output will reach 1.7 million tonnes per annum, and blends will achieve a sustainable 600,000 tonnes per annum.
The project includes upgrades to process and rotating equipment and the continuous-handling system, installation of a distributed control system in the packaging and handling division at the AN shop, and a rebuild of two granulation towers, including replacement of exhaust ventilators and construction of a more powerful substation.
The project will be finalised by the end of 2020.
Veliky Novgorod-based Acron has been producing AN at two units launched in 1976-1978 with a total design capacity of 900,000 tonnes per annum. Acron Group also produces AN at Dorogobuzh (Smolensk region). In 9M 2019, aggregate AN output was up 19% year-on-year to 1,628,000 tonnes.
AN is a high-analysis nitrogen fertiliser containing equal amounts of nitrate and ammonium nitrogen. This universal fertiliser improves the yields of almost all the crops and may be applied to all types of soil. Demand for AN is high because its low price makes it affordable for growers.