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    Saipem Hired to Build Oz Urea Plant


The urea plant in Karratha, Australia, will convert natural gas into urea.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Saipem Hired to Build Oz Urea Plant

Western Australia-based Perdaman has awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract for a plant that will convert natural gas to urea to a joint venture between Italian contractor Saipem and Australia's Clough, the companies involved said on July 1. The contract is subject to a final investment decision being taken on the project.

The plant, one of the largest of its kind in the world, will cost $4.5bn to build but will generate $850mn in annual export earnings for Western Australia. Built on the Burrup Peninsula, it will use gas to produce up to 2mn mt/yr of urea and features a water treatment plant, a 100-MW power plant and urea storage, loading and unloading facilities. Saipem said it had a "strategic interest in Australia as well as strong international expertise in urea and ammonia.”

The urea will be shipped from Pilbara ports to local and offshore markets, with 50-100 shiploads expected annually.  Perdaman said it had signed a 20-yr contract with local gas producer Woodside for the feedstock.