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Cronus Chemicals selects Illinois to add nitrogen fertilizer plant in USA

Cronus to produce ammonia – urea in Tuscola – Illinois

The Chicago-registered company Cronus Chemicals LLC (Cronus) has selected Tuscola in the State of Illinois to build a greenfield nitrogen fertilizer plant to produce ammonia and urea in USA.

USA is the third largest consuming country of fertilizer in the world after China and India as this consumption is mostly driven by the size of its population and of it agricultural related sector.

Cronus_Tuscola_Illinois_Fertilizer_Project_MapTypically the fertilizers are based on three different natural resources, natural gas to produce nitrogen-based fertilizer such as ammonia and urea, and ore to extract potash and phosphate rocks.

Phosphate fertilizer are mostly produced in China, USA, India and Russia, while the potash extraction is concentrated in Canada, Russia and Belarus.

Instead, the nitrogen fertilizer can be produced everywhere natural gas is available, meaning that it gives USA a special role in this market regarding the import-export and ammonia and urea.

As one of the largest importer of ammonia and urea after India, USA is offering a unique opportunity for investors to convert these trading activities in local production in taking advantage of the shale gas glut. 

Currently trackers report more than 20 nitrogen-based fertilizer projects in North America.

While most of these projects are concentrated in North Dakota, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Cronus selected Tuscola in Illinois, USA.

Cronus fertilizer to benefit from Illinois infrastructure

In the same way the shale gas revolution is currently converting previous US liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal into LNG plant and export facilities, it gives the opportunities for nitrogen-based fertilizer traders to become a local manufacturer such as Cronus Chemicals.

Well supported by dynamic marketing activities and the profitability provided by the gap between the fertilizers global market prices and low prices of the shale gas, these companies have easy to propose investors attractive projects in USA.

Cronus_Tuscola_Illinois_Fertilizer_Project_FEEDFor its ammonia and urea project, Cronus pre-selected and assessed about 20 different locations in USA including Illinois.

In this list of candidates, Illinois offered the advantage to be a central local position in Eastern USA and to benefit from a consistent pipelines network for the gas supply.

Then in Illinois, the City of Tuscola proposed a 235 acre site at the crossroad of Interstate and Highways routes that also concentrates CSX railways connections.

With all the facilities to transport its fertilizer production by trucks or by trains, Cronus is planning to build a nitrogen fertilizer plant with the production capacities of:

 –  2,200 tonnes per day (t/d) of ammonia

 – 3,850 t/d of urea.

With an investment estimated to $1.4 billion capital expenditure, Cronus Tuscola Fertilizer project should also produce diesel exhaust fluid.

In beginning the front end engineering and design (FEED) work in 2015, Cronus is planning to start ammonia and urea production at its Tuscola-Illinois Fertilizer project by 2018.

For more information about oil and gas and petrochemical projects go to Project Smart Explorer


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