Uzbekistan Starts Urea Plant
Uzbekistan's new, $985-mn ammonia and urea production complex is now operational, the government said January 5. The new complex has capacity to produce 660,000 metric tons (mt)/yr of ammonia and 577,500 mt/yr of urea. Half the ammonia will be used to produce new urea and half to produce ammonium nitrate.
Navoiyazot is one of Uzbekistan’s largest chemical plants and uses gas as feedstock for mineral fertilisers. Building work began in late 2016 and it replaces Soviet-era facilities. Commissioning of the new complex was completed within 53 days despite Covid and existing restrictions and it produced its first urea December 23.
A spokesman for the plant said: “This world-class industrial facility is another step towards natural gas monetisation via the production of export oriented and high value-added products – and the first urea production is a milestone achievement.”
When at full production capacity, the complex will expand Uzbekistan’s domestic chemical production by 9.5%, and export $58mn worth of additional products to Turkey, Ukraine and Georgia as well as Uzbekistan's neighbours in central Asia.
Completion of the plant will meet domestic agriculture demand for urea and provide up to 100-150 kg/ha of additional mineral fertilisers during agrotechnical periods for grain and cotton crops.
Japanese banks and financial institutions provided $577mn of loan finance for the project while Japanese comanies Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsubishi Heavey Industries supplied some of the equipment. The government lent $320mn from its fund for reconstruction and development and $88.7mn were the company’s own funds.