Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)
Briggs, Ted C.
Nitrogen, pp. 881-896 PDF (2.1 MB)
890 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1972 fate and urea, had stockpile reductions of 300,000 and 550,000 tons, respectively. The reduction in stocks was due to unexpected growth in demand for fertilizers in India, Mexico, and other countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America.34 The Japan Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) urged Japanese fertilizer producers to make a gradual retreat from world fertilizer export markets. While acknowledging Japan's current share of the fertilizer export markets, MITI had strong doubts about the long-term prospects in this sector. MITI predicted that ammonia demand would grow only slightly and that existing Japanese ammonia plants will only be operating at 86% of capacity in 1976. Old plants should be closed and no new capadty was necessary according to MITI. MITI said that around 770,000 tons per year of urea capacity should be scrapped to reduce the current 70% to 80% dependence on export markets.35 Mitsubishi Katoki Kaisha commissioned a large coal gas distillation plant at the Sakaidi, Kanagawa complex of Mitsubishi Chemical Industries. The new plant employed U.S. Steel Corp.'s Phosam ammonia recovery process which separated ammonia, benzene, and fuel gas from coal gas.'6 Japanese producers of caprolactam, coke, and synthetic resins started moves to cut back production of byproduct ammonium sulfate by introducing new processes. Nearly all Japan's ammonium sulfate was produced as byproduct material, and in 1972 production of byproduct ammonium sulfate was over 2 million tons. Ube Industries Ltd., Japan's largest producer of caprolactam, planned to use Dutch State Mines technology to reduce ammonium sulfate production from 4.2 tons to 1.7 tons per ton of caprolactam produced. Mitsubishi Chemical Industries and Nippon Steel Corp. adopted new coke production processes which do not produce ammonium sulfate. Also, Mitsubishi Chemical Industries applied for a loan to finance a new methyl methacrylate unit to cut byproduct ammonium sulfate production." Japan's fertilizer industry enjoyed a sharp rise in demand and price improvements after 3 sluggish years. Orders and inquiries were received from Mexico, El Salvador, India, Brazil, China, and other countries. Japanese fertilizer producers re jected a number of inquiries because the prices proposed by potential buyers were considered too low. In the past, about 60% of Japan's fertilizer exports went to China.38 Mexico.—A joint venture group consisting of Celanese Mexicana, Nylon de Mexico, Dutch State Mines, and the Credits Buratil of the Mexican bank commissioned its 40,000-ton-per-year caprolactam plant at Salamanca, Mexico. Dutch State Mines, which holds a 23% interest in the operation, supplied the plant process, and construction was carried out by Stamicarbon Corp. The plant was to provide a domestic source of caprolactam for the nylon operations of Celanese Mexicana at Taluca and Nylon de Mexico at Monterrey. Fibras Sinteticas, which recently expanded its nylon polymerization and spinning facilities at Monterrey with the aid of Vickers Zimmer, was also expected to take caprolactam from the new plant. Ammonia and cyclohexane for the new operation were supplied by Petrdleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and the byproduct ammonium sulfate produced along with the caprolactam was sold to Guanos y Fertilizantes S.A.39 Pemex awarded a contract to the M. W. Kellogg Co. of the United States for the design and engineering of a 1,000-ton-perday ammonia plant. In addition to the engineering, Kellogg was to be responsible for the construction, commissioning, and assistance in procurement of specialized equipment. The ammonia plant was to be built at the petrochemical complex at Co. soleacaque and will be the first large-scale ammonia plant in Mexico designed by Kellogg. Completion of the plant was scheduled for 1974, and the ammonia was to be used domestically.4° ~ Chemical Marketing Reporter. Fertilizer Industry of Japanese Climbing Out of the Doldrums as Export Mart Comes to Life. V. 202, No. 9, Aug. 28, 1972, pp. 7, 36. ~' European Chemical News. MIT! Urges Retreat From N, Urea Exports. V. 22, No. 559, Nov. 17, 1972, p. 8. ' 6European Chemical News. New Process Coal Gas Distillation Unit On Stream. V. 22, No. 546, Aug. 18, 1972, p. 6. "Chemical Age. Japan To Cut Back Ammonium Sulfate Production. V. 104, No. 2748, Mar. 17, 1972, p. 20. "Chemical Marketing Reporter. Fertilizer Makers Enjoy Brisk Demand in Japan. V. 202, No. 1, July 3, 1972, p. 19. 39 European Chemical News. Caprolactam Unst Started in Mexico. V. 22, No. 560, Nov. 24, 1972, p. 10. ~° European Chemical News. Kellogg Builds Pemex NH3 Unit. V. 22, No. 542, July 21, 1972, p. 10.
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