A $4.6 billion plant will make ammonia ‘the fuel of the future’
The first stage of a $4.6 billion chemical plant will open in the US in January. The plant to be built by a company called NGP Energy will make ammonia, used in fertiliser and other products.
The new $4.6 billion plant will make ammonia, used in fertiliser and other products.
June 21, 20101:09pm ET
The process of converting nitrogen (N) from the air to ammonia (NH3), is a by-product of most industrial production, particularly in the agriculture and chemical industries.
The new plant will produce approximately half the ammonia consumed in the United States.
The US has more ammonia than any other country on the planet.
It is expected to produce enough ammonia to supply 1.2 billion tons per year.
The new ammonia plant is a major investment for NGP Energy. It will employ about 1,200 people, says company president Bob Jorgensen.
“There has been an explosion of ammonia production in industry where we are used as a processing agent to enhance the yield and quality of many industrial processes,” said NGP Energy’s president Bob Jorgensen in a press release.
“The demand for ammonia is growing at a very fast rate—there’s just no way of stopping it now,” he said in the same release.
The NGP plant in South Burlington is the first commercial plant to make ammonia from a combination of natural gas and coal.
The plant uses natural gas to burn coal to generate electricity that is then converted into ammonia, thanks to a process called gasification.
Ammonia is used to fertilise crops, and is a byproduct of the manufacture of things like plastics, detergents and synthetic rubber.
The new plant builds on the production capacity of the company’s existing ammonia unit at a plant in South Burlington, Vermont.
The plant will use existing NGP Energy facilities.
The company’s chief executive officer, David Sommers, said in the release: “As a chemical company, we’ve been very focused on manufacturing our own chemicals for decades. We believe our ammonia and nitrogen projects will be complemented by our research and development efforts and the products we will manufacture.”
The investment will be worth $4.6 billion—a figure that includes $1.8 billion in