Atlas Agro to start engineering work in Brazil on AN plant using green ammonia

March 11, 2024

Atlas Agro has awarded dual competitive contracts to two engineering and construction consortiums to perform parallel competitive project development for an ammonium nitrate plant using green ammonia in Uberaba, Minas Gerais state, Brazil.

Once this development phase is completed, Atlas Agro expects to start construction in 2025 and enter commercial operation in 2028.

The plant will have a capacity of 500,000 tonnes/year of granular ammonium nitrate (AN). New AG International was told by Atlas Agro’s Operations Director Rodrigo Santana that the company plans to make granular AN but they will be able to supply prilled AN if requested by customers.

The standard design of the plant is for fertilizer grade AN, granular and liquid product. Santana said customers should contact them if they require explosive grade, referred to as low density ammonium nitrate (LDAN).

The AN plant will be fed with green ammonia, produced on-site using electrolysis and powered by renewable energy.

“There is no CO2 because the hydrogen doesn´t come from a hydrocarbon such as natural gas (CH4) but from the water (H2O) using renewable energy. [It’s a] carbon free project,” Santana told New AG International.

When discussing the product choice, the company’s website says: “AN is technically superior to urea. AN is directly consumed by crops, requires no nitrification in the soil, and is compatible with precision farming techniques.” The total investment is estimated at approximately US$ 1 billion.

Brazil is the world’s largest importer of AN, with volumes of around 1 million tonnes per year. One of the aims of the project, according to Atlas Agro, is the substitution of AN imports.

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