Cherepovets is an important center of chemical industry in the Vologda Oblast. It focuses on production of phosphate-based mineral fertilizers, phosphoric and sulphuric acids, aluminium fluoride, ammonia, urea, ammonium nitrate (AN) and other nitrogen-based fertilizers.
AO Apatit is the largest producer of phosphate-based fertilizers and phosphoric and sulphuric acids in Europe, and also one of the leading producers of NPK fertilizers, ammona and AN in the Russian chemical industry.
AO Apatit, a Russian mining and processing enterprise engaged in the extraction of mineral raw materials for manufacture of chemicals and fertilizers was established on November 1, 2017. it was known as PhosAgro-Cherepovets that was set up on July 1, 2012 as a result of the merger of Ammophos and Cherepovetsky Azot, uniting the production capacities under one legal entity. In 2012 the plant produced close to 100% of its needs for mineral fertilizers.
The chemical enterprises of the oblast are encouraging technological innovation, installing state-of-the-art equipment for production of various mineral fertilizers.
The enterprises comprising the oblast's chemical industry operate on a stable basis. Their products have a ready market in Russia. The ongoing investment projects are being successfully implemented.
Key strategy elements of the chemical industry development:
- strategic focus on domestic market;
- development and launch into production of new products;
- modernisation of production facilities, introduction of technical developments;
- conformity to all the prescribed ecological requirements and industrial safety norms.
Phosphate-based fertilizers produced at capacities that are currently part of AO Apatit account for 31% of total production of such fertilizers and account for 7% of total ammonia production.
AO Apatit is Russia’s largest exporter of phosphate-based fertilizers (supplies to countries in Western Europe, Asia, America and Africa). AO Apatit is Russia's only producer of Monocalcium Phosphate (MCP), a valuable food additive for livestock and poultry.
The enterprise houses an industrial river port used to transport raw materials and finished products.
The company's activities are governed by an environmental management system based on ISO 14001 standards. The company also received the certificate on conformity to ISO 9001 standards for quality management system and OHSAS 18001.
From 2008 to 2010 PhosAgro-Cherepovets upgraded production to increase its production capacities. In 2009 it commissioned the final new sulphuric acid production unit (714,000 tonnes per year), the largest in Europe (total sulphuric acid production capacity of 2.72 million tonnes per year). PhosAgro-Cherepovets commissioned energy-generating capacities and at the same time built a new acid production line.
In 2012 the enterprise commissioned a new urea line with a production capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year, together with a new 32MW gas turbine power plant. The carbon dioxide from one of the existing ammonia production units is used as process feedstock, thereby increasing the utilisation of natural gas in commercial production. After the commissioning of the new urea production facility, two state-of-the-art ammonia-urea complexes are in operation at the Cherepovets chemical site.
The new gas turbine unit increased in turn the electricity self-sufficiency of PhosAgro-Cherepovets, and the new urea production line – and also improved performance indicators in the area of energy efficiency.
In October 2012 Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited Russian fertilizer producer PhosAgro-Cherepovets and participated in a ceremony to mark the official launch of a new urea and electricity facility. The event was also visited by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, Russian President's Representative in the North-West Federal District Nikolai Vinnichenko and Vologda Oblast Governor Oleg Kuvshinnikov.
In June 2013 PhosAgro signed a contract with an international consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries ltd for construction of a new, energy efficient ammonia plant with a capacity of 2,200 tonnes/day (760 ths tons/year) at PhosAgro-Cherepovets.
The contract with an international consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd was signed during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2013. The consortium also includes Sojitz and Renaissance Construction. The licensor of the ammonia production technology is Haldor Topsoe (Denmark), a leading global engineering company in this sector.
The new ammonia line has a production capacity of 2,200 tonnes/day (760 ths tonnes/year). It is the first ammonia line of such capacity in contemporary Russia. Total investments into the production facility and related infrastructure exceed RUB 25 billion. The commissioning of the new ammonia plant took place in 2017.
With the launch of the new ammonia plant, its ammonia production capacity will increase by nearly 70%, enabling the Company to reach full self-sufficiency in this raw material and creating a foundation for further development of Cherepovets' chemical complex.