Official: New urea plant to reduce Azerbaijan's dependence on foreign market to zero

Business Materials 6 September 2011 17:28

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 6 / Trend A.Akhundov /

Following the launch of a nitrogen fertilizer and urea production plant in Azerbaijan, the country's dependence on fertilizer imports will be reduced to zero, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Bahram Aliyev told journalists.

"Today, we are covering the country's demand in fertilizer by importing through the state leasing company Agroleasing. However, we want to reduce the dependence on foreign markets," Aliyev said.

Therefore, he said, the important solution is to build the country's urea plant.
"When the plant will be launched, the need to import fertilizers will be eliminated. The country's total demand in fertilizers is over 1 million tons. The plant will cover this need," Aliyev said.

An increase in the share of organic fertilizers is planned for the near future, given the increase in the national consumption of fertilizer.

"Our lands are rich in potassium, so basically they need nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers. We also use organic fertilizers. They are more environmentally friendly, and we plan to increase their share in the future," he stated.

Based on the Azerbaijani leadership's instruction, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) plans to construct and put into operation a new nitrogen fertilizer and urea production plant with a designed capacity of 2,000 tons per day.
The state budget will allocate funds to build the plant.
The urea plants are mainly constructed in countries with large reserves of natural gas, as this production is based on natural gas. Azerbaijan also has significant gas reserves.
Urea is an environmentally friendly and most common nitrogenous fertilizer. It is safe to use and does not pose health threats.
"The country's potential demand in urea is about 320,000-350,000 tons per year. The rest can be sent out for export," Azerkimya reported.

SOCAR announced a tender on Aug. 5 to select a main contractor on turnkey construction of a urea fertilizers plant in Sumgait. After summarizing the tender, SOCAR will sign a contract on the plant construction with a successful bidder.

The company's specialists studied the experiences of countries which have already built such fertilizer and urea plants. They are particularly widespread in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

While developing the project, the company's specialists visited Egypt, Iran and Oman. The European, Japanese and American companies are also among the companies-licensors specializing in creating technologies in urea production.

"Experience shows that the enterprise of urea production can recoup in about six or seven years," Azerkimya reported.
The project is also considered effective from environmental aspects. Produced carbon dioxide is not emitted into the atmosphere, but instead is used as feedstock in urea production.

A double-layer control is ensured in terms of environmental safety under SOCAR projects. The first level of control involves a hard-line approach on licensing. The second level imposes stringent requirements on environmental and technical safety. The whole system in the new project will be fully automated and meet the highest requirements.