Venezuela has three ammonia and urea plants, such plants are located at the three major petrochemical complexes, reaching an installed capacity of 3,1 million tons/year. El Tablazo in the west (renamed as Ana Maria Campos), Moron in north Venezuela (renamed Hugo Chavez) and Jose Antonio Anzoátegui in the east. All this plants are owned directly or through a subsidiary (Fertinitro) by Petroquimica de Venezuela S.A. (Pequiven), the state-owned petrochemical company. In the past, urea and methanol exports supported venezuelan economy, being the main petrochemical products sold overseas.
These installed capacity positioned Venezuela as the major urea producer in South America. Although, the country has not been able to reach a predominant position along the region, due to several factors affecting each plant and also the whole national petrochemical industry.
El Tablazo Ammonia and Urea plant was built in 1972, this plant has two ammonia and urea trains, with a capacity of 900 tons/day of ammonia and 1200 tons/day of prilled urea (each train). In 2001, both plants were put out of services due to economical reasons. Later in 2005, major maintenance was carried out and allowed the reactivation of one complete ammonia and urea train. Between 2005 and 2011, the plant was operating intermittently due to lack of natural gas produced by PDVSA and other sources in the region (Colombia). Since 2012, to date the plant is out of services due to lack of natural gas and mechanical issues. Last October, Pequiven President announced on national TV the beginning of maintenance work on this plant, but to date the work has not begun.
Fertinitro, counts with two ammonia and urea plants constructed in 1998 in Anzoategui state (east Venezuela). In the past Fertinitro was a private company with Pequiven holding a 35% shares. It was nationalised in October 2010, others owners were private U.S. company Koch and Saipem, a subsidiary of Italy’s Eni. Ammonia Production capacity is 1.2 million tons/year and 1.5 million tons/year of granular urea. Since December 2017, just one plant of the complex is on service due to lack of maintenance activities and resignation of operational staff due to the economic conditions of the country.
In 2014, was inaugurated at the Moron Complex (later Hugo Chavez Complex) a new ammonia and granular urea plant. This plant has an ammonia production capacity of 630.000 tons/year and 770.000 tons/year of granular urea. However, this plant has been operating at low capacity (30-40%) and subject to gas availability from PDVSA.
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