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Foster Wheeler signs Petrobras Linhares Fertilizer and Chemicals

Petrobras to build $3 billion Gas-to-Chemicals complex

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) from Brazil selected Foster Wheeler AG (Foster Wheeler) from Switzerland for a greenfield world-scale Gas-to-Chemical complex to be built at Linhares, in Esperito Santo State, southeast Brazil.

Estimated around $3 billion capital expenditure, the Linhares Gas-to-Chemical complex  is identified as UFN-IV, standing for the Unit of Nitrogen Fertilizer N°4, as part of Petrobras program to reduce Brazil reliance on fertilizer imports.

In its business plan 2012 – 2016, Petrobras will invest $13.5 billion in gas and energy from which 42% will be dedicated to fertilizer.

This business plan is to solve two issues:

 – The massive development of the offshore oil production is generating high quantities of associated gas to be monetized

 – Brazil imports more than half of its nitrogen fertilizer.

Therefore, Petrobras’s gas and energy business plan is to use the natural gas available as by-product of the crude oil production as feedstock to develop the fertilizer sector in Brazil and contribute to its self sufficiency in ammonia and urea.

Petrobras monetizes gas by series of fertilizer projects

The Gas-to-Chemical project is also part of this monetization program of the natural gas

As part of this program, Petrobras is already proceeding with the construction of a 303,000 t/y of ammonium sulphate production unit to be installed at the Laranjeiras (SE) Petrobras fertilizer plant in 2013.

In 2014, Petrobras is expecting to start the commercial operation of the UFN-III, the unit of nitrogen fertilizer N°3, in progress at Tres Lagos, in the Matto Grosso do Sul Sate.

The UFN-III will have a capacity of:

 – 1.2 million t/y urea

 – 800,000 t/y ammonia

 – 4,000 t/y urea granulation

In addition, Petrobras business plan 2012- 2016 is including the UFN-V, the unit of nitrogen fertilizer N°5, to produce ammonia in Uberaba, in Matto Grosso State.

Regarding the UFN-IV, the unit of nitrogen fertilizer N°4, it will be integrated in the Gas-to-Chemical planned in Linhares, in Esperito Santo State.

Estimated to $3 billion capital expenditure, the Petrobras Gas-to-Chemical project should produce 1 million t/y of fertilizer including:

 – Urea unit

 – Ammonia unit

 – Methanol unit

 – Acid acetic unit

 – Formic acid unit

 – Melamine unit

The Gas-to Chemical should be located near the Gas Treatment Unit of Cacimba (UTCG) in order to facilitate the gas supply as feedstock.

Foster Wheeler to perform Basic, FEED and PMC

According to the contract signed with Petrobras for the UFN-IV project, Foster Wheeler is in charge of:

 – Basic engineering design

 – Front end engineering and design (FEED)

 – Technical assistance and training during the Basic engineering design phase up to the commissioning and plant performances tests.

In parallel of the tasks mentioned above, Foster Wheeler will also conduct the integration of the different production units of the Gas-to-Chemical complex through:

 – Process Licensors Management

 – Brazilian sub-contractors Management

Petrobras and Foster Wheeler are planning to complete the basic design and the FEED by the end of 2013 and to move into the EPC in 2014 for completion in 2016.

In addition to Petrobras Gas-to-Chemical project, the Esperito Santo State expects to develop further downstream activities related to the fertilizer and agriculture sector as well as in the petrochemical industry.

In that respect the State Government and the City of Linhares are working with Petrobras to develop a framework of tax incentives for the development of the infrastructures of the oil and gas industry.

More than the previous Petrobras fertilizer projects to help the local development of the agriculture, the Linhares Gas-to-Chemical project awarded to Foster Wheeler is a strategic link between Petrobras upstream crude oil activities and Brazil reduction of fertilizer and chemical imports.

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1 Comment to “Foster Wheeler signs Petrobras Linhares Fertilizer and Chemicals”

  1. Interested to know more Project plus keen to understand Investment on down stream Industrial Development

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