Construction of a fertilizer plant

Construction of a fertilizer plant

Challenge

Project to build a fertilizer plant in Mers El Hadjadj, Arzew, Algeria, near the Arzew industrial platform and harbour, on 75 h of shore land.

The impact study that is a prerequisite to environmental authorization must comply with Algerian regulations, with the SONATRACH guidelines and with international regulations and procedures (IFC procedures), in particular with the Equator Principles, which impose environmental conditions on funding by international banking institutions.

The impact study must include:

  • an initial status of the socio-economic and natural context (baseline), and an inventory of pre-existing environmental nuisances;
  • an assessment of the impact of the project;
  • a description of prevention measures to be implemented.

Solution

  • Preparation of the baseline survey:
    • Gathering of existing data, synthesis and mapping
    • Subsurface reconnaissance and  evaluation of hydrogeological characteristics
    • Soil, groundwater and seawater sampling, and interpretation of the results
    • Air quality measurements and noise level measurements
    • Inquiry of the main actors concerned
  • Analysis of impacts and the prevention measures:
    • Study of the dispersion of the thermal plume in the sea (MARS software)
    • Modelling of atmospheric dispersion (ADMS 3 software)
    • Modelling of the foreseeable noise impact (MITHRA software)
    • Interpretation and summary of all of the elements of the study / Preparation of a report
  • Preparation of a draft Environmental Management Plan 
  • Preparation and follow-through of administrative and technical permit applications.

Results

The project drove to the construction of an ammonia manufacturing plant producing 2 x 2,000 t/day of ammonia using natural gas as a feedstock, a urea manufacturing unit producing 2 x 3,500 t/day of granular urea, and all of the related equipment such as electrical power generators, a seawater desalination unit and dedicated port installations with a pier.