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Volkhov Branch of Apatit

Operations

The Volkhov Branch of Apatit (PhosAgro Group’s Volkhov chemical cluster) is Russia’s only producer of sodium tripolyphosphate and one of Russia’s leading producers of mineral fertilizers. The facility (formerly known as Metachem) was established in 2003 after the Volkhov aluminium smelter was split up into chemical and steelmaking plants. It joined PhosAgro Group in 2012.


The branch’s favourable geography and its proximity to the St Petersburg Port enables us to ship products to any destination, including foreign markets.


The site’s boasts capacities of up to 900 ktpa of ammophos, 1.035 mtpa of sulphuric acid, over 500 ktpa of phosphoric acid and more than 100 ktpa of sodium tripolyphosphate


Products


  1. Sodium tripolyphosphate (powder, granules).
  2. Sulphuric acid.
  3. Liquid aluminium sulphate.

Investment program

Over the recent five years, PhosAgro Group has invested more than RUB 5 billion in the Volkhov chemical cluster considerably expanding its product range and bolstering output by more than 60%. Now, its product portfolio includes 17 sodium tripolyphosphate grades and at least 10 fertilizer grades (vs two products on offer when the company joined PhosAgro Group).


We built new wet-process phosphoric acid capacities, state-of-the-art storage facilities and packaging lines (for fertilizers and sodium tripolyphosphate), and ramped up aluminium sulphate capacities (a high-performance coagulant used in the Leningrad Region for water treatment).


Immediately after the company became part of PhosAgro Group, we started to build wastewater treatment facilities, and adopted an environmental protection programme moving the site to closed water treatment in 2018. Environmental investments amounted to RUB 500 million in 2018–2019 alone.


The Volkhov Branch is developing production technology for new fertilizer grades therefore being a test bed for the Group’s R&D and innovations.


A new NРКS and РКS facility with a capacity of 100 ktpa was created in 2014. Not only it increased gross output, but also expanded the product portfolio and helped enter into new markets by offering an innovative product line that includes various NPKS and РКS fertilizer grades based on ammonia-free potassium chloride.

Investment exceeded RUB 400 million.


A new extraction unit of 105 ktpa of Р2О5 was launched in 2017. This maximised fertilizer and sodium tripolyphosphate output, and eliminated risks relating to the failure of obsolete extractors.

Investments exceeded RUB 1 billion.

One of the key elements of PhosAgro Group’s Strategy to 2025 is the project to build a new sophisticated phosphate-based fertilizer facility and a power plant in Volkhov.


The project is nearing completion. It focuses on the overall upgrade of mineral fertilizer production involving complete replacement of technological and gas recovery equipment as well as construction of a new unit to produce soluble mineral fertilizers. The aggregate fertilizer output will stand at almost 900 ktpa. It also includes construction of an 800 ktpa sulphuric acid facility, a liquid ammonia and finished product warehouses, and a combined heat and power plant with an installed capacity of over 30 MW. In addition, wet-process phosphoric acid units will be upgraded to reach a capacity of 500 ktpa. The project also involves development of support infrastructure for new production capacities: a railway station, feedstock warehouses (phosphate rock, sulphuric acid, ammonia, and mineral fertilizers), power distribution systems and equipment, chemical water treatment facilities. This investment project is set to embrace best available technologies, as well as solutions developed by major Russian and global companies and institutes, including the NIUIF, Russia’s only and one of Europe’s leading agrochemical research institutes. The project’s total cost will stand at some RUB 34 bn.


In 2021, we were through with most of the works to switch mineral fertilizer production lines No. 2 and 3 to monoammonium phosphate. In December, pilot operation of a sulphuric acid production unit with a capacity of 800 ktpa began. In late April 2022, a combined heat and power plant with a capacity exceeding 30 MW entered pilot operation.


Design documentation is being developed for the third start-up facility (construction of a water soluble MAP unit), with equipment being delivered. The pre-commissioning and pilot stages are scheduled for late 2022.