Orascom picks KBR to design Iowa ammonia plant

KBR said Tuesday that it was awarded a contract by Egypt-based Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) to provide licensing, engineering services and proprietary equipment for its grassroots fertilizer plant in southeastern Iowa.

The plant will be the first world-scale ammonia plant built in the US in nearly 25 years, the companies said.

The plant will be designed using KBR’s Purifier technology, which has demonstrated higher reliability than conventional designs and offers the lowest proven energy consumption in the industry, according to project officials.

The 2,200 tpd ammonia plant is part of the fertilizer complex and is based upon an existing design operating in Burrup, Australia, since 2006.

”This award represents a milestone in the North American fertilizer business and illustrates the opportunity for low natural gas prices to have a significant impact in this industry over the next five to 10 years,” said John Derbyshire, president of KBR Technology.

“Our low energy, low capital cost, and high reliability ammonia processes provide our clients with the flexibility and workhorse performance they will need in order to operate in North America and at the same time achieve and maintain a globally competitive advantage,” Mr. Derbyshire added.

“KBR’s Purifier technology has a documented track record of safe and reliable operations while producing ammonia with the lowest energy consumption of any technology provider in the industry, making our world-scale plant the most competitive producer of fertilizer in the United States,” said Nasser Sawiris, CEO of Osasco Construction Industries.

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