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CF Fertilisers UK to temporarily halt ammonia production at Billingham complex

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Fertilizer,

The company has announced its intention to temporarily halt ammonia production at the Billingham Complex due to market conditions. CF Fertilisers UK intends to use the site’s capability to import ammonia to enable it to continue to run its ammonium nitrate (AN) and nitric acid upgrade plants. The company expects to fulfil all ammonia and nitric acid contracts and all orders of AN contracted for delivery in the coming months.

At current natural gas and carbon prices, CF Fertilisers UK’s ammonia production is uneconomical, with marginal costs above £2000 per tonne and global ammonia prices at about half that level. The current cost of natural gas at NBP is more than twice as high as it was one year ago, with the NBP forward strip suggesting that this price will continue to rise in the months ahead.

The company has notified customers who purchase carbon dioxide (CO2) on a contract basis from the Billingham Complex about the impending temporary halt of ammonia production. Once the ammonia plant is safely shut down, CO2 production, which is a byproduct of the ammonia production process, will stop until the plant is restarted.

The company has not yet determined the exact date when it will begin the temporary shutdown of the ammonia plant. At this time, CF Fertilisers UK do not anticipate any impact on employees regarding this announcement given the substantial level of activity that will continue to occur at Billingham.

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