JV will proceed with world-scale anhydrous ammonia plant

Article by Amanda Jasi

GULF Coast Ammonia (GCA), owned by a joint venture (JV) of Starwood Energy and Mabanaft, has reached a final investment decision (FID) for the world’s largest single train ammonia synthesis loop with a production capacity of approximately 1.3m t/y. The facility is to be located within an industrial chemical site in Texas City, Texas, US.  

Hydrogen and nitrogen feedstock for ammonia production will be purchased from Air Products.

The state-of the art anhydrous ammonia facility is to use industry-leading and proven technology and is expected to raise the bar of safe and efficient ammonia production and storage. Additionally, it is expected to offer advantageous logistics with deepwater access and pipeline connectivity. Marine facilities will be owned and operated by Mabanaft’s sister company Oiltanking North America, which operates in the oil and energy industries.

GCA has secured long-term offtake contacts for most of its production capacity and long-term supply agreements for its feedstock.

According to newly-appointed GCA CEO Ken Koye, “the facility and associated infrastructure will generate major economic benefits in Galveston County, including more than 40 permanent operations jobs and more than 1,000 construction jobs at peak”.  

Construction is to begin in early 2020 and commissioning is expected in the first half of 2023.

Koye added: “This new world-class facility will meet domestic and global demands for nitrogen-based fertilisers to improve crop production and yields to feed the world's growing population, as well as specialty chemical production on the Texas Gulf Coast."

Construction capital for the facility will be provided by Starwood, which specialises in energy infrastructure investments, and oil trading company Mabanaft.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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