Ca Mau Fertiliser Plant, Khánh An, Vietnam

Ca Mau Fertiliser Plant is located in Khánh An, in the district of U Minh of the Ca Mau province, in southern Vietnam. Construction of the granular urea production facility was started in July 2008. It was handed over to the owner PetroVietnam in January 2012. The project generated about 10,000 jobs during its construction and hired about 400 permanent employees for plant operations.

The Ca Mau urea facility required an estimated investment of $900.2m. It is expected to reach its full design capacity of 800,000t/y in 2013. The plant also produces ammonia and CO2 for food and other industrial purposes.

First urea shipment from the plant was made in January 2012. PetroVietnam is currently the 100% owner of the plant. It has plans to sell up to 49% of the plant's equity to foreign investors.

The project was conceived in 2001 as part of the national oil and gas industry development strategy to stabilise urea supply and secure food production for a period from 2015 to 2025. A feasibility study for the project was completed and approved by the Vietnamese Government in September 2001.

Ca Mau gas-power-fertiliser complex details

"First urea shipment from the plant was made in January 2012. PetroVietnam is currently the 100% owner of the plant."

The nitrogen fertiliser plant is part of the $1.4bn Ca Mau gas-power-fertiliser complex. The complex includes a 330km gas transfer pipeline and two 750MW combined cycle gas-fuelled thermal power plants.

Power plants were constructed in December 2008 by LILAMA, while Siemens was the main equipment supplier. The complex occupies an area of 52ha in a low wetland area. It is expected to generate $1.62bn in output and about 12,000 direct jobs.

The fertiliser plant consists of the ammonia, urea and granulation process units. The site comprises utilities and offsite facilities such as an instrument and plant air system, steam generation system, flare system, nitrogen generation system, urea handling, storage and ship loader facilities, ammonia storage facilities, demineralisation system, fire protection system, a wastewater treatment and effluent system and water cooling and potable water systems.

The plant is located in proximity to the Mekong Delta, one of the largest fertiliser consumption regions. The site has excellent water transportation infrastructure through the rivers.

Natural gas feedstock used for fertiliser production

The plant requires about 500 million cubic metres of natural gas feedstock to meet its output of 800,000t/y nitrogen fertiliser capacity. The gas is transported to the complex via an 18in pipeline from the PM3 field, supplied by Ca Mau Gas, a subsidiary of PetroVietnam, and the Cai Nuoc reservoirs.

The pipeline runs for about 298km offshore and 27km onshore, between Vietnam and Malaysia. Built by Vietsovpetro in 2007, it has a capacity to transport two billion cubic metres of natural gas a year. It is also used to fuel the power plants at the complex.

Suppliers and contracts for Vietnam's Ca Mau fertiliser plant

The Ca Mau fertiliser complex was engineered, procured and constructed (EPC) by a Chinese consortium of China National Machinery Imports and Exports and Wuhuan Engineering.

Ammonia synthesis technology was supplied by Haldor Topsoe of Denmark. The urea synthesis technology is from SAIPEM of Italy. Japanese company Toyo Engineering licensed its spout fluid bed granulation technology for the urea palletising. COSCO Logistics was awarded the fertiliser logistics contract in February 2010.

Financing the Vietnamese fertiliser project in the district of U Minh

About 30% of the total investment of the project was made by PetroVietnam. The remaining 70% was funded through foreign and local bank loans. Vietnam Development Bank provided a loan of $180m while VietinBank lent $220m towards the project's fruition.

Urea market in Vietnam and importance for country's agriculture

Agriculture is the main occupation of the country and the majority of the two million tons per annum demand for fertilisers is met through imports from China.

"Vietnam Development Bank provided a loan of $180m while VietinBank lent $220m towards the project's fruition."

PetroVietnam has been operating a 740,000t/y capacity urea plant at Phu My through its subsidiary, PetroVietnam Fertilizers & Chemicals Joint Stock Corporation (PVFCCo), since September 2004. These two plants, together, are expected to meet about 60% of the country's fertiliser demand.

Ha Bac Nitrogenous Fertilizer and Chemicals Company operates a 180,000t/y fertiliser plant, with a planned production expansion by 2014. Other new plants to be established between 2012 and 2014 include the 560,000t/y Ninh Binh fertiliser plant and the 560,000t/y Cong Thanh fertiliser Plant.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development estimates that the fertiliser production capacity of the country will exceed 3.5 times the demand by 2015.