Technical Ammonium Nitrate (TAN) Yara Pilbara project

Next phase of gas downstream processing have begun at the Yara Pilbara Nitrates, Technical Ammonium Nitrate (TAN) plant in Western Australia’s Pilbara.

Tecnicas Reunidas (TR) led technical ammonium nitrate project on the Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia is for Burrup Nitrates Pty, a company that has YARA International (from Norway), Orica Ltd (ASX-listed) and Apache Corp (NYSE-listed) as shareholders.

Main Contractor

Yara International ASA, has selected Técnicas Reunidas (TR) as the Main Contractor for the TAN (Technical Ammonium Nitrate) Project on the Burrup Peninsula, in the state of Western Australia, Australia.

Yara Pilbara Nitrates Pty. Ltd. awarded an EPC contract to TECNICAS REUNIDAS (TR) on 25th May 2012. The contract will be on a lump sum turnkey (LSTK) basis with an approximate value of USD 500 million.

Yara has chosen TR not only as the main contractor for the whole project, but also has selected TR’s technology and “know how” for the liquid Ammonium Nitrate and Nitric Acid licensed by its 100% subsidiary company ESPINDESA.

The ammonium nitrate obtained using TR technology obtains a maximum level of porosity, of which converts it into a better product than that of its competitors. The proven nitric acid technology along with the recently developed ammonium nitrate, has converted TR as a world technology leader of prime material that serves as the base for the production of civil explosives, which in its majority is distributed to the fast growing mining and infrastructure sectors.

TR will design and build the project which has the following main process units:

  • Wet Ammonium Nitrate with a capacity of 965 MTDP.
  • Nitric Acid with a capacity of 760 MTDP.
  • TAN Prilling Plant (Dry Ammonium Nitrate) with a capacity of 915 MTDP which is Yara licensing technology.

Yara International ASA is a Norwegian-based multinational chemical company. Its largest business area is the production of nitrogen fertilizer; however it also encompasses the production of dry ice, nitrates, ammonia, urea and other nitrogen-based chemicals. Yara has its headquarters in Oslo and the company has operations in more than 50 countries.

Yara Pilbara Nitrates Pty Ltd (YPNPL) (formerly, Burrup Nitrates Pty Ltd).

The company’s name was changed from Burrup Nitrates Pty Ltd to Yara Pilbara Nitrates Pty Ltd on 8 November 2012.

Yara will be the operator of the plant while Orica will manage sales and distribution.

A brief of the TAN Burrup Project

The plant would supply the mining companies in the Pilbara region, mainly for the extraction of iron ore in the area. For example the explosives would help cut out the large “benches” within iron ore pits, with the fractured ore-containing rock then excavated from the sites.

The plant is being built directly across from the existing Yara Pilbara Fertilisers ammonia facility, which will provide the production inputs for the ammonium nitrate.

  • Located near Karratha, Western Australia.
  • Plant has a projected capacity of 330,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate
  • The design and construction component of the Burrup TAN Project is of modular design and the modules will be fabricated offshore and transported to site.
  • The total project schedule is 38 months
  • The plant will be operational in the third quarter of 2015.

Benefits for the Local Community

  • The Yara Pilbara Nitrate will source all 60 operational employees from the local community.
  • The project will create up to 400 jobs during peak construction and employment for 60 people to operate the plant.