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Omnia's Sasolburg nitric acid complex starts production

11 May 2012

South African chemical company Omnia has started production at its new nitric acid complex in Sasolburg, South Africa.

The complex includes a nitric acid plant, an ammonium nitrate plant, a porous ammonium nitrate plant, a fleet of 145 specialised ammonia rail tankers and other ancillary facilities.

"German-based ThyssenKrupp Uhde supplied technology, licences and engineering design services for the new complex."

German-based ThyssenKrupp Uhde supplied technology, licences and engineering design services for the new complex.

The $200m plant is expected to produce 1000tpd of nitric acid, giving a 40% boost to the company's current capacity.

Rod Humphris, Omnia managing director, told Engineering News: "These plants provide growth opportunities for our Omnia fertilizer and BME operations, allowing us to take advantage of the increasing demand for fertilisers and explosives as a result of the significant growth in the agriculture and mining sectors in South and Southern Africa."

Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's new mechanism for emissions abatement, the new nitric acid plant is expected to generate up to 350,000 carbon credits a year at full load.

In the first year of operation, the new nitric acid plant is expected to achieve 60% of its total production capacity.