Maire Tecnimont Group to build fertilizer plant based on renewable energy

KENYAMaire Tecnimont Group subsidiaries MET Development, Stamicarbon and NextChem are set to build a fertilizer plant in Kenya based on renewable energy to support Kenya’s low carbon and inclusive growth, its agricultural output and its smallholder farmers and communities.

The fertilizer plant will be located at privately-owned Oserian Two Lakes Industrial Park, which is on the southern banks of Lake Naivasha, 100 kilometres north of Kenya’s capital Nairobi, and near to the geothermal power plants in Olkaria.

MET Development signed an agreement with Oserian Development Company, which owns and operates the 7,500-hectare mixed-use area, which includes floriculture, industry, tourism and wildlife conservation in the form of Hell’s Gate National Park.

The plant will be located near the country’s largest geothermal energy basin and will be partly powered by solar energy sources produced on-site – displacing the need for fossil fuels – and eliminating carbon from the production.

“Kenya has a unique potential to provide renewable energy, making it an ideal location for local green power-to-fertilizer production.”

Pierroberto Folgiero – CEO, Maire Tecnimont Group

The facility will reduce carbon emission with approximately 100 000 tpy of CO2, compared to a gas-based fertilizer plant. The project will also reduce dependency on imported nitrogen fertilizers and substitute around 25%, of which the total accounts for around 800 kt/a (source: Argus Media, 2019).

“We are very pleased to announce the start of this exciting project thanks to the collaboration with a pioneering player such as Oserian Development Company. With this strategic initiative we aim to unlock the potential of decarbonising the fertilizer industry using renewable energy as a feedstock,” Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Maire Tecnimont Group, said.

“Kenya has a unique potential to provide renewable energy, making it an ideal location for local green power-to-fertilizer production, replacing import of nitrogen fertilizer.

“With this first very promising initiative we confirm our expertise in project development in green energy, by acting as an end-to-end developer and technological integrator capable of connecting the key factors which are necessary to industrialise the green economy globally.”

Maire Tecnimont Group’ Stamicarbon will provide both its Stami Green Ammonia technology to produce ammonia and its nitric acid technology as an integrated technology package for the manufacturing of nitrate fertilizer.

The technology configuration will be the first of its kind, although based on proven technology.

The renewable power-to-fertilizer project is targeting production of 550 tpd of calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) and/or NPK fertilizers and will be the first state-of-the-art, commercial-scale nitrate fertilizer plant from renewables.

MET Development is currently engaging with local and international partners to set up the development consortium.

The project has started preliminary engineering works and NextChem aims to start the front-end engineering design (FEED) by the end of 2021. The goal is to start commercial operation of the plant in 2025, which will be dedicated to local Kenyan agri-business.

The fertilizer product is predominately produced as CAN and will have the flexibility to produce NPK fertilizers in addition to meet the demand of local agricultural requirements.

The project will utilise approximately 70 MW of renewable power, will create the starting point for locally produced Kenyan fertilizer and is expected to directly generate over 100 jobs in the region.

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