According to the official Internet Portal of the President of the Republic of Belarus, discussions have commenced for a new nitrogen (N2) plant to be built in Belarus while the large chemical enterprise Grodno Azot will be modernised.
Belarus President, Alexander Lukashenko, made the preliminary decision at a government session yesterday (10th May 2018) which discussed the development of the N2 industry.
The President remarked that Grodno Azot is an important enterprise for the chemical industry, the region and the country in general. It is the manufacturer of N2 fertilisers, ammonia, methanol, caprolactam and other chemical products.
According to the head of state, the global demand for N2 fertilisers will be on the rise: the world population is increasing, it means that existing farms will have to grow more products. “Therefore, this production will always be in demand and will always be growing,” Lukashenko stated.
Lukashenko remarked that more than a half of Grodno Azot fertilisers are delivered to Belarusian agricultural enterprises. Therefore, its stable operation directly depends on the efficiency of these enterprises.
He said, “The factory has been working at full capacity for more than 30 years. Using those technologies, the enterprise cannot actively compete with foreign manufacturers of similar products.”
Therefore, the enterprise needs serious modernisation. The government has considered two options: deep modernisation of existing facilities or construction of a new N2 complex with gradual decommissioning of certain operational facilities.
“Unfortunately, they have not considered an option to build a new complex and modernise an old one. But this is the issue of the market. Perhaps, they have calculated the cost of the modernisation and construction projects. But they have not started with the main things: where we will sell the products and what prices will be established for necessary raw materials in the future. Sales markets and raw materials are the main things. Then we will make conclusions,” the head of state said.
According to specialists, both projects to modernise the production facility or build a new one carry certain risks, and they can have a significant impact on the efficiency of the project.
Alexander Lukashenko emphasised that it is essential to thoroughly analyse all aspects and make a balanced decision with long-term goals. The President asked if the proposals of the government are in tune with his requirements. He also asked about the most optimal variant for Grodno Azot, what resources will be needed for the fulfilment of the plans and what are the sources of financing.