Urea-Ammonium Nitrate (UAN) is made by dissolving urea and ammonium nitrate(AN) in water. The aqueous solution may contain different percentages of nitrogen by weight, and this is denoted by a number being placed after the acronym UAN. In Trinidad, UAN32 is manufactured, and this means that it comprises 32% nitrogen, by weight.
UAN is the most popular nitrogen solution and is used as a direct application fertilizer or as a blending agent in liquid or suspension mixed fluids. UAN32 solution is used for tree crops such as almonds, cereal grains and potatoes.
Some of the benefits of using UAN are:
- it is safer to handle and apply than other nitrogen fertilizers;
- it can be applied more uniformly and accurately than solid nitrogen sources;
- many pesticides are compatible with UAN solutions and both can be applied simultaneously;
- it can be applied through various types of irrigation systems;
- it can be easily and safely transported an stored in bulk or small quantities.
UAN is used mainly in highly developed agricultural economies such as the United States and France. North America accounts for approximately 70% of world UAN usage whilst West Europe accounts for approximately 23%.
There is one UAN plant with a capacity of 4,326 metric tonnes per day (MTPD)at the Ammonium-UAN- Melamine (AUM) complex owned by Methanol Holdings Trinidad Ltd (MHTL).
Melamine is a white, crystalline powder produced from urea. The two melamine plants in Trinidad are an integral part of the AUM complex. The carbon dioxide and ammonia obtained as co-products in the melamine process are recycled as raw materials for the urea plant, therefore improving the yield and economics of the processes.
More than 90% of melamine production worldwide is used as a raw material to make the liquid resin, amino-formaldehyde, which is then processed and used in a variety of applications.
Some of the products of melamine are laminates used in floorings and wall paneling, wood adhesive resins used in plywood, particleboard, medium density fibreboard and moulding compounds used in dinnerware.
The construction and automotive industries are strong growth drivers for melamine.
There are two Melamine Plants in the AUM Complex each with a capacity of 90 MTPD.