In 2005 Uhde revolutionized the production of ammonia. At the time, the capacity of a standard plant was around 2,000 metric tons per day, but demand for ammonia was on the rise. At this juncture, Uhde submitted a technical and economic feasibility study for a 4,000 mtpd plant. This was a breakthrough for the entire industry and set the ball rolling towards ever higher capacities. It was Uhde’s proprietary
dual-pressure ammonia process that paved the way to production capacities of more than one million metric tons per year. Several large-scale, single-train ammonia plants have since been built on the basis of this process. The first of these plants was SAFCO IV, built for Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Company in Saudi Arabia in 2006 – the world’s largest plant at the time with a record capacity of 3,300 metric tons per day.
In 2014, it was this very plant that was once again the spotlight of attention in the industry. As the plant was not using the full amount of natural gas available, the production volume was to be further increased.
And so it was that thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions was awarded its first contract for the turnkey revamp of an uhde® dualpressure ammonia plant. After four million man-hours, the revamp, completed in
2018, increased plant output by 11.2 %. The energy consumption per metric ton of ammonia remained constant, as did the volume of urea produced. With a nameplate capacity of 3,670 metric tons per day,
SAFCO IV is still one of the world’s largest plants.