November 11, 2016

Uusikaupunki expansion responds to global challenges

The expansion project at Yara's Uusikaupunki NPK2, which will add about 250,000 tonnes of production capacity, is complete and is now in commissioning.
Uusikaupunki aerial view
Uusikaupunki aerial view

"The expansion will enable us to meet the growing global demand for NPK-fertilizers, while improving the plant's competitiveness in a tightening global market," says Plant Manager Tommi Hevonoja.

The production volume of the plant will rise by about 250,000 tonnes, all of which will go to export, bringing the plant's total production capacity to about 1.3 million tonnes.

Launched in 2014, the expansion project has provided work for a large number of local contractors. The total employment impact of the project during the construction period was 150 man-years (or around 255,000 hours of work).

Yara is a major employer in Uusikaupunki: According to an estimate made by KPMG, the total employment impact of the plant was about 900 man-years in 2015.

Higher quality, lower carbon

The heart of the new production line is a spherodizer-drum in which the fertilizer slurry is granulated into homogeneous NPK granules.

The granules are dried by using the recovery heat from nitric acid production instead of oil-fired heating, which reduces the plant's carbon footprint. Test runs have also shown that the unit has the capability to further improve Yara’s product quality, which is extremely important in a tightening market situation.

According to Hevonoja, the plant’s efficient production will strengthen its competitive position in international markets. "We will simply be able to produce more and better products with less," he states.

The investment and its impact on employment and Finnish exports was widely reported both in print media, digital channels, and in the regional TV news.