A $4.6 billion plant will make ammonia ‘the fuel of the future’
Pentair plans to build a $4.6 billion ammonia plant in the United States that will produce the fuel for transportation, agriculture and manufacturing.
The project will be the largest ammonia plant in the U.S. for nearly 50 years, and the first at any of the world’s largest ammonia producers. It will produce the same amount of fuel as the world’s largest oil refineries, a source of ammonia.
Pentair’s ammonia plant will be the largest in the U.S., and the first to be built anywhere for nearly 50 years by a chemical company, which is setting up a significant shift in the American ammonia industry, moving ammonia production closer to the front lines of the nation’s major agro-industrial and transportation sectors.
The New England-based company said it plans to build a production facility in western Massachusetts that will initially process about 500,000 metric tons of starting material and then ramp up the plant to produce 1.5 million tons of ammonia annually.
Pentair is expecting to complete the project by the end of 2017.
The company expects to employ 350 people at the plant, and will create 25 new jobs during construction. This will be Pentair’s first U.S. ammonia plant.
“In the last year, a lot of people have asked us what we would build next,” said Mark MacChesney, Pentair’s senior vice president for marketing and product management. “We knew ammonia was a natural fit for our business and we just felt it was just the right time to build our first facility on American soil.”
New ammonia production
Ammonia is found in many different types of plants, from paper mills to the pulp and paper industry to the food processing and petrochemical industries.
It is generally produced using natural gas and steam. But, ammonia has also been produced in laboratories, with ammonia being produced by electrolysis of water.
At the Ammonia World Congress in Brussels last week, a group of ministers, diplomats and industry and academic leaders discussed potential opportunities for ammonia to be produced in the future and how it will be used and manufactured for the future.
At the conference, a panel of experts said that global ammonia production may reach 2 billion metric tons annually, which represents about five percent of the world’s total ammonia production.
“Ammonia is a strategic