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Apatit (Cherepovets, Vologda region)


Apatit (PhosAgro Group’s Cherepovets-based chemical cluster) is Europe’s biggest producer of phosphate-based fertilizers and of phosphoric and sulphuric acids, as well as one of the Russian leaders by NPK, ammonia and ammonium nitrate output.

The production site is 80% self-sufficient in terms of its electricity needs, in no small part thanks to leading the way in the industry in utilisation of waste heat generated as part of the sulphuric acid production process.

In addition to Russia, Apatit’s products are supplied to many countries in Western Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. It boasts a commercial river port on its grounds, which is used to transport feedstock and finished products. Apatit operates rolling stock of 6,268 railway cars of various types.

Its production capacity is up to 4.4 mtpa of MAP/DAP/NPK/NPS fertilizers, 1.9 mtpa of ammonia, 530 ktpa of ammonium nitrate, 200 ktpa of APP, 1.3 mtpa of prilled urea, and 550 ktpa of granulated urea.


  • Fertilisers: monoammonium phosphate (MAP); white and coloured daimmonium phosphate (DAP); complex fertilisers — diammophoska (10:26:26), NPK 13-19-19, 15-15-15, 10-20-20 and other brands, liquid complex fertilisers 11-37, different brands of monoammonium phosphate sulphate, ammonium nitrate (AN), complex nitrogen phosphate NP 32-5.
  • Acids: sulphuric, phosphoric, nitric.
  • Roasted pyrite.
  • Aluminium fluoride (AlF3).
  • Anhydrous liquid ammonia.

Investment program

In recent years, the production site has been implementing some of the most ambitious projects in the Russian chemical industry as part of Apatit’s investment programme. Among other things, investments were aimed at increasing production volumes and reducing manufacturing costs.

Total investment in PhosAgro Group’s Cherepovets chemical facilities from 2014 through 2018 exceeded RUB 85 billion.

Phosphorus complex

December 2018 saw the commissioning of an upgraded sulphuric acid production unit and a terminal for feedstock storage with a capacity of 30 kt. With the upgrades in place, the capacity of the SK-600/3 unit increased from 680 ktpa to 1 mtpa of sulphuric acid, helping to reduce the Company’s dependence on third-party supplies of sulphuric acid.

Investment in the project exceeded RUB 5 billion.

Aluminium fluoride production unit was upgraded in December 2017 increasing the facility’s total aluminium fluoride capacity from 23 kt to 47 kt. Last but not least, the project will reduce phosphate-based by-products by 6.61 ktpa, which will reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

Investment in the project exceeded RUB 2 billion.

Nitrogen complex

A new production facility comprising the third high-tech ammonia plant with a capacity of 760 ktpa and a granulated urea plant with a capacity of 500 ktpa was launched in late 2017. It helped us boost output of mineral fertilizers, expand sales markets and curb feedstock import. The new ammonia and urea capacities use state-of-the-art licensed technologies and entirely meet the best available technology requirements. Following the launch of the new urea unit and upgrades to the two existing units in 2017, Apatit took the lead in urea output in Russia at a single production facility.

Total investment in the project exceeded RUB 65 billion.

In July 2017, we put into operation state-of-the-art biological and chemical wastewater treatment facilities with a capacity of 10,000 cubic metres per day included in the country’s action plan for the Year of Ecology. Industrial effluents, rainwater and domestic sewage from Apatit’s Nitrogen Complex and from third-party properties, such as the Novye Ugli town and the Cherepovets industrial park, are fed to the wastewater treatment facilities. Cutting-edge technologies eliminate effluent discharge into waterbodies, and treated wastewater is reused in Apatit production cycle.

Construction costs exceeded RUB 883 million.

A comprehensive investment programme to ramp up the facility’s ammonia capacity to 1.15 mtpa was implemented in 2006–2016.

Project investment totals RUB 16 billion.

A new modern prilled urea facility of 500 ktpa and a gas turbine power plant (GTPP) of 32 MW were put into operation in October 2012. With the launch of the new urea unit, total mineral fertilizer output on Phos-Agro Cherepovets’ site exceeded 4 mt, and urea production doubled. The integrated urea facility and the energy efficient GTPP are based on the most advanced technologies available. Carbon dioxide is used in the urea production process as feedstock, which is essential for improving environmental protection in Cherepovets.

Capital expenditure in the new urea unit and power plant totalled ca. RUB 7.6 billion.

At its facility in Cherepovets, the Company is building a new plant to produce nitric acid used as a raw material for complex mineral fertilizers. With more feedstock, the ammonium nitrate production will increase by 170 ktpa. This project is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Total investment, including spending on equipment design, complete delivery and installation, is estimated at ca. RUB 2.3 billion.

Another ongoing project focuses on the construction of SK-1100 – a cutting-edge sulphuric acid plant with a capacity of 3,300 tonnes per day, or 1.1 mtpa, designed in line with both Russian and global Best Available Technology guidelines. With the fifth sulphuric acid plant in place, the Cherepovets facility will significantly reduce its dependence on third-party sulphuric acid supplies. The new plant is scheduled for commissioning in December 2019–January 2020, with investments totalling RUB 10.5 billion.

The construction of an ammonium sulphate plant is underway. With an annual capacity of 300 kt, it will give yet another boost to the manufacturing of mineral fertilizers, reducing the dependency on feedstock from external sources and ensuring the consistently high quality of both ammonium sulphate and complex fertilizers produced from it. The plant will process Apatit’s own sulphuric acid and ammonia and comply with all applicable environmental requirements. In terms of unit capacity, it is expected to be superior to any other plant of this kind existing elsewhere in the world. Its completion is scheduled for the period from December 2019 to January 2020.

Total investment, including spending on equipment design, complete delivery and installation, will exceed RUB 2.2 billion.

The NIUIF has developed engineering solutions to boost the output of phosphate-based fertilizers at Apatit (Cherepovets). They focus on upgrading section No. 1 of the wet-process phosphoric acid plant with a view to increasing its process systems’ P2O5 capacities from 600 ktpa to 830 ktpa, sections No. 1 and 2 of the mineral fertilizer plant, and two sulphuric acid plants to ramp up their aggregate capacity from 1.5 mtpa to 2 mtpa. With these upgrades in place, the volumes of phosphate-based fertilizers produced and apatite concentrate processed should rise by 1,120 ktpa and 580 ktpa, respectively.

In 2016–2018, a total of RUB 7.2 billion was invested, with another RUB 3.7 billion to be allocated for 2019–2021.

A project is underway to revamp the Kriolit railway station and build a private track connecting it to the October Railway’s Nelazskoye station. Once the railway infrastructure is put in place, the freight turnover should increase from 11 mt to 17 mt, as in 2020–2025 Apatit plans to launch new apatite concentrate processing and mineral fertilizer manufacturing capacities. Redistribution of cargo flows is expected to reduce the load on the existing infrastructure at the Severnaya Railway's Koshta station.

The total investment planned for 2017–2022 stands at RUB 4.7 billion.

In 2015–2017, PhosAgro ran a capital-intensive investment project to build a high-tech ammonia unit with a capacity of 760 ktpa and a urea facility of 500 ktpa in Cherepovets (Vologda Region). Investment exceeded RUB 65 billion (infrastructure included). This has been the largest investment in the region recently.

An investment programme adopted in 2018 provides for the construction of a sulphuric acid unit (1.1 mtpa); the fourth nitrogen unit (135 ktpa); an ammonium sulphate unit (300 ktpa); ramp-up of the phosphate-based fertilizer capacity with the upgrade of two sulphuric acid facilities, the wet-process phosphoric acid plant, and the mineral fertilizer plant; along with the refurbishment of the Kriolit railway station and construction of a private track connecting it to the October Railway’s Nelazskoye station.

The programme’s total investments in 2019–2020 will exceed RUB 14.2 billion. In 2015–2018, more than RUB 10.3 billion was spent on these projects.