December 8, 2015 – Moscow, Russia. URALCHEM has completed a large-scale equipment upgrade at the ammonia production facility of its subsidiary, KCKK Branch of Uralchem JSC in Kirovo-Chepetsk. Work on the AM 70 unit was carried during a maintenance shutdown in October-November this year. Preparations including design documentation and the purchase and manufacture of equipment have been underway since last year.
The upgrade is the most thorough since commissioning of the ammonia facility in 1981. Major labor-intensive work was carried out simultaneously on several major aggregates of the facility. The air compressor was modernized, increasing daily capacity to 1750 tons of ammonia. The syngas compressor was also upgraded. As a result capacity has been increased by 3%, while gas consumption has been lowered by the same amount.
Major work has been completed to improve reliability of the syngas compressor by the installation of a gas dehydration unit. A tendering competition for delivery of the unit was held in 2014 and was won by the French company CEAMAG, which has extensive international experience installing syngas dehydration systems.
Testing and start-up of the upgraded AM-70 facility took place on November 17-18. The reconstruction has enabled more complete removal of water and carbon dioxide traces from incoming syngas, lowering pressure in the synthesis loop and steam consumption in the compressor turbine, and thus reducing load on the ammonia evaporators.
Sergey Momtsemlidze, the Director of KCKK Branch of Uralchem JSC in Kirovo-Chepetsk, said: “The modernization work on the ammonia facility increases its capacity and productivity. We expect to obtain over 3% reduction of energy consumption with increases of production consistency, reliability and safety. By completing the AM-70 overhaul we completed three major investment projects that were begun last year: upgrade of the syngas compressor, modernization of the air compressor, and installation of a syngas dehydration system. In 2015, the company allocated more than 2.2 billion rubles in total for capital expenditures. The AM-70 upgrade cost 555 million rubles.”
Total capex spending by URALCHEM this year will be 5.41 billion rubles, which is 34% more than in 2014.