Bahrain Review

Sheikh Isa and Jawahery with the Arabia CSR awards won by GPIC

Sheikh Isa and Jawahery with the Arabia CSR awards won by GPIC

Ammonia world trade volume to grow 26pc by 2015

One of the most interesting features in the world market for ammonia is that the price is not linked closely to the global trade of urea, in spite of the similarity between the two chemically, says GPIC president ABDULRAHMAN JAWAHERY

THE president of the Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC) Abdulrahman Jawahery says he expects to see an increase in the world production of ammonia to about 186 million tonnes by the year 2015 and the share of GCC countries to be about 12 million tonnes, equivalent to around 16 per cent of the total.

Many projections indicate an expected increase in the world trade volume of ammonia to reach about 24 million metric tonnes by the year 2015, an increase of 26 per cent compared to 2010, he says. It is known that the export of ammonia from the Arab Gulf represents about 17 per cent of the volume of world exports.

Ammonia, one of the most important pillars of the agricultural industry, like all other commodities, obeys the laws of supply and demand, whether positively or negatively, he says.

Ammonia is one of the important raw materials for the production of nitrogen fertilisers such as urea and ammonium phosphate. Fertilisers of both types, unilateral, bilateral and ammonium nitrate fertilisers are used directly to fertilise the soil.

Fertilisers, especially nitrogen fertilisers, are in direct use on agricultural land to increase fertility, as is the case in the US and some developed countries.

According to a recent statistical report issued by the International Union for the Fertiliser Industry, the total global production of ammonia in the year 2010 was about 130 million tonnes, an increase of 2.6 per cent over 2009 and some of those specialised in the manufacture of fertilisers and raw materials.

Jawahery points out that one of the most interesting features in the world market for ammonia is that the price is not linked closely to the global trade of urea, in spite of the similarity between the two chemically.

“When we examine the global market at the moment in ammonia, we can observe a significant recovery in terms of increasing demand and a consequent price rise to about $450 per metric tonne. Prices are subject to further increase in the future, at a time where there is a recession.

“The urea market is flat due to the absence of the daily demand for it because of the non-entry of some influential importing countries such as India, which hopefully will resume imports of urea in the near future,” he says.

Jawahery further notes that the world trade volume of ammonia is about 13 per cent of the total world production. The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is one of the largest producers and exporters of ammonia, and has a share of total world exports of about 5 million tonnes, equivalent to 30 per cent.

He also explains that most of the ammonia trade involves transportation by sea, with 80 per cent being shipped in specialised tankers, while the remainder is transferred through rail distribution networks, as is the case in the US, Canada and Europe.

The US is one of the largest importers of ammonia, at an estimated 6 million tonnes per year or 39 per cent, followed by India at 12 per cent and South Korea, where imports increased by 7 per cent.

Meanwhile at the GPIC, a special ceremony was held marking a major milestone for the GPIC ammonia plant which had continued operations for 769 days without interruption and is considered as an international record.

The event was attended by Anwar Saeed ben Salamah, GPIC managing director, Jawahery, the executive management members, the chairman and members of the GPIC Trade Union and senior officials of the company.

This production figure is expected to rise until November 2012, which will coincide with the date of the plant’s major turnaround. This milestone is the biggest production achievement in the company’s history since its inception in 1985 and culminates an eventful year of unprecedented achievements in the areas of health, safety and environment on local and international levels.

In a statement, Jawahery says the company was able to realise such outstanding achievements due to its balanced strategy, drawn up by the GPIC chairman Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, Adviser to His Highness the Prime Minister on Industrial and Oil Affairs and professionalism of the senior management. This has enabled GPIC to gain a prestigious name in the application of the highest international standards in the areas of health, safety and environment.

The GPIC president also praised the employees’ solidarity and co-operation with the management in the application of a comprehensive management system, designed to enhance continuous development and performance with the aim of boosting efficiency, profitability, productivity and cost reduction without overlooking international safety levels.

He added the continuous operation of such a large facility as the ammonia plant for a long period of time is tangible proof of the success of the operation department’s strategy, considering that the plant performs complex and highly sophisticated processes.

Thanks to the sincere efforts of the management and workers, the company’s systems and programmes have made it possible to realise this outstanding achievement, which includes but is not limited to the operation system based upon cumulative experience, information sharing and maintenance strategies for the plant’s equipment that rely upon preventive maintenance and availability of high quality spare parts.

Jawahery further says the continuation to maintain the highest levels of performance in the areas of safety, health and protection from accidents are an inseparable part of the management principles for all the decisions adopted by the company. He adds that winning numerous prestigious awards and competition with major international companies over the years serve as testament of the continuous efforts made by the company in the areas of health, safety and environment.

A new record was recently added to GPIC’s rich track record of achievements, when the company was able to export the largest shipment of urea in its history to Pakistan. The total load transported on the ship was 50,000 metric tonnes.

To mark the occasion, a memento was presented to the captain of the exporting ship by Anwar Bin Saeed Salama, the managing director of GPIC. This recognition by the company of its partners, including the transporting companies which play a vital role in achieving the company’s objectives, comes in celebration of the successes achieved by them. The managing director expressed his pride and happiness at this achievement, while elaborating that the occasion represented a crowning moment for all the efforts made by the executive management team along with the GPIC workforce.

He further stressed that all these efforts are always appreciated by the board of directors.

For his part, Jawahery expressed his own happiness and satisfaction at the achievement, which truly resembles a new pinnacle for the company in its efforts to provide its customers not only with high quality products but also to be able to export large volumes of products, which in return has a positive impact on the customers in terms of cost reduction, especially transportation costs.

He also adds that this achievement comes at a time when the global urea market is booming because of high demand, causing prices to remain settled at high rates (about $500 per tonne). Jawahery notes that the company’s ability to export such huge volumes will significantly contribute to strengthening its position among its peers.

He also notes the excellent and continuous coordination between the marketing department of the company and its counterpart PIC in Kuwait. While PIC is the authorised marketer of urea, this cooperation and coordination has borne fruit for both parties, the most significant being the fulfillment of all contractual commitments with all customers and the provision of high quality products in a timely manner, in addition to providing all manner of other necessary support, whenever needed.

In this context, Jawahery stresses the company’s continuous business development since its inception in 1985, as it has continued to evaluate revise all its processes and standards where necessary, in order to ensure compliance with the latest developments in the world, enlightened by the directives of Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, adviser to His Highness the Prime Minister on Oil and Industrial Affairs along with the endless support of the board of directors for the company’s activities.

Link for World ammonia production

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