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ATOME Energy provides update on green ammonia facility in Paraguay

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Fertilizer,

ATOME Energy, which is progressing large-scale projects of 445MW in Paraguay, has provided an update on progress on its current major projects.

The FEED study is nearing completion, and advanced discussions and negotiations are currently ongoing in relation to the EPC contract with the main and specialist sub-contractors, led on ATOME's behalf by the owner's engineer, AECOM, the international engineering consultancy. Completion of the EPC contract is a prerequisite for taking final investment decision (FID).

On the ground, following a thorough process, the environmental licence has now been granted to ATOME by Paraguay's Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. This is a key project document which gives ATOME the rights to commence preparation and clearance of the Villeta site and enables all necessary permitting from construction to operation of the production facility.

In addition, the grant of the tax-free zone has passed through all the necessary inter-governmental processes and awaits only signing off by Presidential decree which is expected shortly. All of this has been achieved with the support of the Government whose backing for this project has been key. Tax free zone status will provide significant financial benefits to the project and its funders.

Further to the Company's August announcement of its preliminary carbon footprint analysis of its CAN product, ATOME has confirmed that the Company's estimates have been independently reviewed by the specialist sustainability division of its Owner's Engineer AECOM, which has assessed that ATOME's green calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) fertilizer is estimated to have a significantly lower carbon footprint than current grey alternatives, potentially displacing up to 550 000 tpy of CO2 versus an imported and applied grey CAN fertilizer in the Paraguay market.

This provides ATOME with a potentially significant value-added part of the business in respect of any sale of these credits. The future value of any projected offsets has also now been potentially significantly increased by the new carbon credit law in Paraguay enacted this month under which there is a Government backed verification and certification procedure for qualifying credits to make them more acceptable in the global carbon market.

The Yguazu project is over twice the size of the Villeta facility and, after discussions with state energy provider ANDE, studies are being embarked upon to identify the best place to locate the Yguazu facility.

With the FEED study on Villeta now available to the Company, lessons learned from Phase I, together with ATOME's own infrastructure and professional teams, means that the Company will be in a position to expedite this major project and others when the time comes. Both contractors and funders are aware that participation in Phase I Villeta will confer early mover advantage for the next major project.

Olivier Mussat, CEO, commented: "One by one, milestones continue to be achieved by ATOME as our flagship world-scale green fertilizer project at Villeta, Paraguay proceeds.The critical environmental licence has been obtained, a mandatory step in the project development, opening the door to move to site clearance as the first step of operations, with the additional benefit of enabling the formal decree for tax-free zone status to be granted in the near future.”

"The level and nature of the significant interest in the debt component of the Villeta project finance is very encouraging, demonstrating international as well as local financing interest in our project which has both strong economic viability as well as clear development impact thanks to its green credentials."

"It is an increasingly busy time for ATOME and we will continue to keep shareholders appraised of our progress."

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Fertilizer project news Ammonia news