Yara International ASA and Burrup Holdings Pty Ltd (BHPL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a 350,000 tpy technical ammonium nitrate (TAN) plant through the proposed 50/50 joint venture company Burrup Nitrates (BNPL).

The TAN plant would primarily supply the fast-growing iron ore mining operations in the Pilbara region of Australia, built adjacent to the Burrup Fertiliser (BFPL) ammonia facility and therefore enabled to maximise synergies from competitive feedstock and utilities supplies. Yara will apparently market the entire output from the plant.

The plant’s close proximity to the Pilbara region, together with adjacent ammonia supply, gives it a distinct advantage over other Australian ammonium nitrate players.

“Strong global demand for energy and minerals has created a tight supply-demand balance for technical ammonium nitrate. The combination of the competitive and well-located Burrup ammonia facility and Yara’s experience in ammonium nitrate production and marketing creates an attractive expansion opportunity,” says Thorleif Enger, President and CEO of Yara International.

BHPL is 30% owned by Yara and a further 70% owned by Mr Pankaj Oswal, and boasts the world’s largest single train merchant ammonia plant, located at the Burrup Peninsula in North Western Australia.