Clough and Saipem close deal to build Australia’s biggest urea plant
24 April 2023
Contractors Clough and Saipem have reached financial close on a €2.56 billion (US$2.8 billion) deal to build Australia’s largest urea plant.
The two contractors, working in a 50-50 joint venture, will start work on the Ceres plant in western Australia shortly for Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers.
Located on the Burrup Peninsula, approximately 20 kilometres north of Karratha on the coastline of Western Australia, the plant will have a production capacity of more than 2 million metric tons of urea per year.
The plant will produce fertiliser from urea by transforming natural gas into ammonia and then into urea.
The joint-venture will install the new SynCOR Ammonia technology from Topsoe, making the largest ammonia plant in the world on a single synthesis reactor, while the production process of urea will use Snamprogetti proprietary technology.
Meanwhile, Perdaman and the joint venture have committed to making the plant net carbon zero by 2050.
Clough is a subsidiary of Italian contractor Webuild (formerly Salini Impreglio). Webuild struck a deal to acquire Clough’s assets after Clough fell into administration last year.
Australia is now Webuild’s second biggest market after Italy, responsible for €12 billion (US13.2 billion) worth of order backlog.
Projects include the construction of part of the Sydney Metro-Western Sydney Airport rail line that will connect the city to the new airport, and the North East Link, the missing section of Melbourne’s beltway.
Webuild chief executive Pietro Salini said, “Thanks to this contract, Webuild enters a new and promising market segment – urea production – at a time when global demand is growing
“This contract brings valuable expertise to our group thanks to the know-how brought by Clough. It also confirms the strategic value of this recent acquisition.”