Having restarted production at one ammonia line in early November, Achema will temporarily stop ammonia production on 19 December owing to rising gas prices.
The producer will continue to produce ammonium nitrate and resin on both lines from stocks of ammonia. However, it is unclear how long this will continue.
The 600,000t/year ammonia line had begun production in early November, with Achema understood to have secured enough gas at the time to cover production for at least a month. The production was being utilised to produce all down stream products, including AN, UAN, CAN and urea.
With the majority of Achema’s production committed into European markets, as opposed to the domestic market, the news will be unwelcome to importers across Europe.
This shutdown is the first major production cutback in Europe since day-ahead and forward gas prices advanced from the lows seen in the first week of November.
Current Dutch TTF values for January are in the low €120s per mWh ($38mmBtu eqv), implying a breakeven ammonia cash cost of over $1,370pt ex-works before emissions costs.