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Indian Journal of Fertilisers, Vol. 12 (6),pp.

96-103 (8 pages)

Innovative Approach in Fertiliser Production at GSFC Sikka

D.R. Dave and P.S. Trivedi
GSFC, Sikka P.O. Mati Khavdi - 361 140, Sikka, Dist. Jamnagar, Gujarat
Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd. (Sikka Unit) installed a diammonium phosphate (DAP) plant in 1986 with
two streams and later added one more stream in 2001-02. Best available technologies were adopted at the design
stage and provisions were provided such that grades other than DAP could also be produced with some modifications.
In 2001-02, GSFC started production of APS (20:20:20:13) fertilisers. The existing trains were modified by adding a pre-
neutraliser and sulphuric acid pump and making arrangements for meeting higher water requirement in fume
scrubber. Simultaneous manufacturing of two products was achieved by making provisions for bagging one product
while diverting other to the silo. In later years, the fuel oil-based boiler and combustion chambers were changed to
natural gas. The other modifications involved improving reliability of refrigeration system at offsite and implementing
schemes for savings in power consumption. The paper describes these efforts made in improving the energy
efficiency and reliability of plant.
Key words: GSFC-SU, energy-saving measures, fuel oil, natural gas, DAP, NPK grades, APS, filler conveyors, bottle
type cooling tower

1. Introduction growth of granular DAP and wild life in vicinity of Sikka

production is to complement coastal line.
Products and inputs of Gujarat pressing demand for use of
State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd. ammonium phosphates in At GSFC-SU, best available
touch all walks of life. In addition agriculture worldwide. technology (BAT) has been focused
to being major player in fertilizer whenever phosphatic fertilizer
manufacturing, GSFC is now a One of the vital industries for the projects were envisaged in year
multi-product enterprise, Indian economy is the Indian 1986-87 and 2001-02 and planned
delivering a wide array of fertiliser ind ustry as it for year 2017. Further after
petrochemicals, industrial gases, manufactures very critical raw commissioning, energy efficient &
plastics, agro-products, fibres and materials for agriculture. GSFC - environment-friendly measures
much more. Farmers in Gujarat Baroda unit has pioneered to have been thought of as a continual
and else where have come to manufacture the synthetic improvement to derive economic
regard GSFC as not a mere seller of fertiliser urea along with benefits.
fertilisers but an organization conventional DAP and
which could help them with ammonium sulphate (AS) since 2. Process Description
innovative approaches to year 1967. As a part of
farming. Likewise, innovations in expansion aimed at catering to the Process operation of existing
DAP manufacturing has been needs of primary market of three trains of DAP production
playing major role since Gujarat's farmers, GSFC has been summarized below:
historical inception when drum established its coastal
granulation process for making diammonium phosphate (DAP) In year 1986, the DAP plant was
DAP or granular compound plant in year 1986-87 at laid down in two identical streams
fertilisers containing DAP was Motikhavdi, Sikka, 27 kms away called Train 'A' and 'B' having total
first developed by Dorr Oliver from Jamnagar city and 10 kms capacity to produce 3,26,000 MTPA
and improved upon by the away from Sikka port. The plant DAP fertiliser. Each train is
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). produces DAP from merchant designed to produce at 30 MTPH
It is the most common process grade phosphoric acid (53% P20S instantaneous rate considering 20
used worldwide today for making concentration) and anhydrous working hours per day due to
granular DAP. The TVA version liquid ammonia. Both major raw requirements of cleaning and
of the process features the materials are imported from preventive maintenance services.
ammonia tor-granulator which is Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, The granulation process offered
fed by slurry of fresh Qatar and Saudi Arabia by by Dorr-Oliver features the direct
ammonium phosphate and a marine vessels through liquid production of granular DAP. The
recycle of dry ground product. cargo berth known as Sikka jetty. slurry process continues to be
Improvised conceptions for This is prudent and innovative the most flexible means available
making granular DAP has been move in itself for producing for production of hard, free
modified to incorporate the use of essential phosphatic fertilizers flowing, well rounded granular
the pipe cross reactor. The main without going for captive raw fertilizer of uniform size and
driving force behind the large material plants. This has been composition.
planned out to take care of marine national park, sanctuary Subsequent phase-II expansion

Indian Journal of Fertilisers, June 2016





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Figure 1 - Major process steps involved in DAP Manufacturing

project in year 2001-02, Train C has low water content that allows materialized later on in year 2001
been producing DAP at the lower recycle rate of 4:1. This when GSFC started production of
installed capacity of 396000 MTPY innovative approach of low ammonium phosphate sulphate
with the granulation process recycle rate has definitely given (20:20:0:13) as per agri-business
developed and licensed by energy conservation in disguise. requirement. Existing trains have
INCRO S.A. Spain. This process is been modified as following:
based on the use of two INCRO S.A. 3. Expansion of Product
designed pipe cross reactors Profile i. Higher water requirement of
installed into the granulator. For fume scrubber was fulfilled
DAP production under average Each train of the DAP plant is with additional line and
conditions, each pipe reactor can roughly grouped into two major utilizing idle phosphoric acid
produce 50% of the total sections namely wet section and (PA) line rerouting from
ammonium phosphate slurry dry section. Figure 1 gives granulator to fumes scrubber
needed. The overall pipe reactor schematic representation of the system (Figure 2).
granulator system allows great major process steps involved and
operational flexibility, enhanced grouping of various systems. ii. As sulfuric acid (SA) addition
control of operational parameters, During the design stage of these A at pre-neutralizer has
high reaction efficiency, reduced and B trains, layout provisions increased substantially, SA
ammonia emissions to the were made to produce other feed with dip pipe was modified
scrubber system and use of fertilizer compounds. This from 1-2 m depth to 4.2 m
reactor heat to reach a slurry with innovative process link was length to safeguard against

Indian Journal of Fertilisers, June 2016







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Figure 2. Modification in PA feed line to scrubber section for APS production


to FUMES sat8A





Figure 3. Modification in PN and GN piping for APS production

Indian Journal of Fertilisers, June 2016

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Figure 4. Extension modification of filler conveyors from Train-C to Train-A and B

process surge on instantaneous were carried out in NPK divert and reclaim from bulk-silo
exothermic reaction (Figure 3). processing effectively in the lying in between. In due course of
years 2005 and 2007. The major time, it was experienced that multi
iii. Original plants (Train A&B) change was to provide extension of phosphatic fertilizer production
were designed for DAP product filler conveyors from Train-C to has been limited to anyone
only. Hence, augmentation of Train A&B (Figure 4) along with product at a time due to
APS manufacture required installation of receiving hoppers. infrastructural constraint of single
higher capacity sulfuric acid Thus, charging of muriate of belt gallery to bagging and a
pump at utility services which potash (MOP) is executed in a logistic field. To overcome this, the
was installed to achieve 1200 metered way to manufacture any following in-house modifications
MTPD APS production. one of the desired NPK grades at a were carried out in September
time at the rate of 1800 MTPD. 2013:
Later on, market demand of NPK
grades, especially 10:26:26 and GSFC-SU has commissioned DAP i. One more VFD-controlled
12:32:16, has increased production units with suitable conveyor belt was installed for
significantly in primary marketing infrastructure of single conveyor simultaneous metered feeding
areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra. gallery running to bagging and of MOP and filler to achieve
To meet the demand, modifications logistic section with a facility to stream factor with better

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Fiqure 5. In-house modification for simultaneous production of two phosphatic fertilisers

Indian Journal of Fertilisers, June 2016

capacity utilization in Train A presently, GSFC-SU may exceed bagging and logistic floor
& B (Figure 5). the threshold limit of 30,000
MTOE. Thus, it may become a 4.1 Switch Over of Fuel from
ii. Simultaneous manufacturing of potential candidate for Fuel Oil to Natural Gas in
two products can be designated consumer in fertiliser Boilers and Plant Combustion
established with vigilant sector under Energy Conservation Chambers at Train A, B & C
operations for one product Act. Oiammonium phosphate, when
diversion to silo and the other dry, will decompose if
product for direct bagging In fact, complex fertilizer plants overheated. This limits the dryer
operation. Existing silo of without captive source of raw exit temperature to about 90C
20,000 MT capacity has been materials are lower in energy (maximum). Dryer exit gas
provided with make-shift intensity compared to plants temperature is controlled by
bifurcation. having captive ammonia and acid combustion chamber fuel oil
plants. Even though the energy firing since inception. Mild steel
Thus, these modifications helped consumption is low at GSFC-SU, refractory-lined combustion
to establish more phosphatic actual SEC has been brought chambers of all three trains
fertilizer production routes in down with varieties of have been equipped with
existing trains and to enhance innovative technical efforts as burner for FO/LSHS with
stream factor of different products. listed below: capacity of 9.32 mkcal/h each.
Similarly, boiler is also designed
4. Energy saving Measures i. Fuel switch over from FO to NG to use FO for generating steam.
in boilers and plant To improve combustion
As GSFC-SU has been combustion chambers at Train- efficiency and uniformity in fuel
manufacturing phosphatic A, B &c.
oil-fired furnaces, primary air
fertilizers without captive atomization needs to be fine-
ammonia and acid plants, the ii. Installation of FRP square tuned round the clock. This fine-
weighted average specific energy bottle type cooling tower at tuning was found impaired
consumption is 0.229 Gcal/MT of Motikhavdi (MK) site many a times in viscous liquid
OAP. With better capacity spraying and atomization which
utilization efforts from available iii. Installation of FRP square resulted in hot spot and later on
major raw materials, actual bottle type cooling tower at frequent refractory damages in
specific energy consumption of Sikka Shore Terminal (SST) combustion chambers of OAP /
0.17 Gcal/MT of OAP could be site NPK units. Frequent downtimes
achieved in 2014-15. The specific resulted into apparently big
energy consumption at full iv. Replacement of central air and unbearable production
capacity and actual during the year conditioning unit at A & B losses.
2014-15 have been compared in trains
Table 1. GSFC-SU had substituted fuel
v. Cross country phos-acid with natural gas in March 2014.
On achieving full capacity pipeline replacement GSFC- SU had laid its own pipeline
utilization along with normal from metering station of GSFC
operation of expansion project vi. Provision of transparent acrylic pipeline to the consuming point.
Train-O under construction sheets at one of walls at the The imported R-LNG is being

Table 1. GSFC-SU specific energy consumption (Gcal/MT)

Installed canacitv case I Actual case (2014-15)

I Train C I
Train A,B & C I
TrainA&B I
Train C I
Train A,B & c
MTPD, name plate 1,200 1,320 2,520 1,030 1,528 2,558
MTPA, name plate 7,22,000 3,14,600
FO MT/MT 0.D18 0.005 0.011 0.013 0.004 0.008
Power, kWh/MT 59 51 55 33.384 39.661 37
Steam MT/MT 0.029 0.D18 0.023 0.0171 0.0152 0.016
Equi. NG, Sm3/MT 18.25 5.25 11.44 7.718 4.073 5.54
SEe, Gcal/MT 0.282 0.170
SEC MTOE/MT 0.0282 0.0170
MTOE/YEAR 20366 5356

Indian Journal of Fertilisers, June 2016


supplied by GSPc. ammonia condensation and compressors could only be
auxiliary heat exchange package operated at a time due to
Existing fuel oil (FO) burner of gas compression units. limitation in existing cooling
system has also been modified to tower cooling capacity.
natural gas handling after GSFC-SU has been divided into 2
obtaining dual fuel compatible operational areas viz. Sikka Shore Ammonia storage, at - 33C,
burners and complete burner Terminal (SST) where liquid cargo through refrigeration system
management system. Anticipated berth (Jetty) has been constructed (which includes compressors
monetary expenses has been since inception so that vessels of and cooling tower) is very
worked out to Rs. 4.35 crores major raw materials can be cri tical and essential activity
including Rs.15 lakh for natural berthed and liquid ammonia can round the clock. Existing cooling
gas line laying from GSFC be transferred to SST and second tower is very old and in bad
metering station to consuming area viz. phosphatic fertilizer shape giving poor performance.
points of plants and utility manufacturing units at For revamping job, long shut
services. Motikhavdi (MK) site almost 11 km down cannot be undertaken
s away from SST and Jetty. Both and had to fully depend on
By switching over fuel oil (FO) to storage and process locations another small capacity cooling
clean natural gas, significant have a requirement to install tower as the refrigeration
saving has been observed from ammonia storage tanks with system has to be operated
earlier NG equivalent FO of 8.50 thermal- efficient cooling towers. continuously to maintain tank
Sm3/MT OAP to actual NG of 5.50 Initially, there were two towers at pressure with existing cooling
Sm3 per MT OAP. That means MK plants and one tower at SST tower in line.
actual saving is of 3.0 Sm3 NG per zone. In case of any eventuality I
MT OAP. Considering installed
failure in existing cooling tower
capacity basis of 7,22,000 MTPY Wooden cooling towers were
during ammonia rail/road
OAP and spot gas pricing as considered at MK and SST during
tankers/wagon unloading,
average out at Rs. 25.50 per Sm3 1985-86 along with ammonia
critical situation may arise due
NG, there is net monitory gain of storage and refrigeration system.
to over pressure in the tank as
Rs. 5.50 crores, resulting in cost As these cooling towers were
benefit ratio of almost 1 year. very old and in bad shape, its
no alternate I standby
arrangement is provided for
wooden structure, supporting V
Further, fuel changeover has given existing cooling tower.
bars, started falling apart
following benefits: frequently resulting in stoppage
Considering all these process
of refrigeration operation. Also,
i. Stoppage of air atomization constraints, a counter current
life of wooden structure of
compressor saving Rs. 8.75 FRP cooling tower (Figure 6) as
cooling tower had exhausted and
lakh per year standby to existing wooden
it became unsafe to work on
Paharpur make cooling tower at
cooling tower.
ii. Stoppage of fuel oil transfer Motikhavdi site was installed.
pump saving Rs. 3.25 lakh per There were many other reasons This resulted in power saving of
year for consideration of standby CT 50 kWh on daily basis. Annually,
tower to existing one as stated this resulted in power saving of
iii. Stoppage of steam below: 18250 units equivalent to Rs
consumption to heat FO 1,10,0001 -at a unit cost of Rs 6.0.
saving Rs. 10.50 lakh per year Existing cooling towers (CTs)
are designed for 27.5C wet 4.3 Installation of FRP Bottle
iv. Combustion chamber refrac- bulb temperature (WBT). Type Cooling Tower at SST Site
tory failure has totally However, actual WBT remains
stopped. around 29.5 C during pre- At Sikka Shore Terminal site, two
monsoon I monsoon period. As numbers of ammonia storage
4.2 Installation of FRP Square humidity remains on higher tanks are provided each with a
Bottle Type Cooling Tower at side during this period, cooling storage capacity of 10,000 MT. To
Plant Site of CT-circulated water was take care of radiation heat input
not sufficient, which to tank and 4 km long unloading
GSFC-SU phosphatic fertilizer ultimately affected ammonia line, refrigeration system
units without captive acid and refrigeration. To make ammonia consisting of three numbers of
ammonia do not need specific refrigeration system more reciprocating compressors are
cooling water for process but effective and improve provided. One number of twin
imported anhydrous liquid refrigeration, provision of new cell induced draft-cooling tower
ammonia refrigerated storage cooling tower suitable to with cooling capacity of 1.5 million
(cup in tank) system requires prevailing climate conditions kcal/h is provided for evaporative
small but energy-efficient cooling was required. Out of four cooling of re-circulated cooling
tower system to take care of refrigeration compressors, three water.

Indian Journal of Fertilisers, June 2016

Existing cooling tower was having augmented with captive wind farm liquid ammonia vessel unloading
many limitations such as faulty power wheeling. from Sikka Jetty to Sikka shore
design, poor performance, improper terminal storage.
In nutshell for innovativeness
type, and no standby. Long life was
already achieved; therefore a need
No.2 and 3, original wooden 4.4 Replacement of Central Air
was felt to provide a standby
structured cooling towers of Sikka Conditioning Unitfor AB Train
cooling tower so that existing
Unit were provided by M/ s Control Room, QC Lab and
wooden old cooling towers can be
Paharpur for cooling capacity of Adjoining Offices
1.5 mkcal per hour and water flow
revamped in future.
of 125x2 M3 per hour circulation Sikka Unit Train-A & B phosphatic
Considering the need to make
with two fans having solid fertilizer manufacturing units
ammonia refrigeration system
metallic blades. But coastal area control room along with quality
more effective and safety aspects,
corrosion has affected the original control laboratory have been
as SST being an isolated place,
cooling towers adversely. provided with single loop
an additional efficient cooling
Therefore, FRP square bottle semi- graphic analog control
tower suitable to prevailing
cooling towers have been system with conventional
climate conditions and operating
provided at each site for process central air conditioning unit of
on existing RCC basin and raw
safety and reliability. Thereafter, 45TR since 1986. M/s Blue star
water pumps was required to be
old original cooling towers were make central air conditioning
revamped with pultruded FRP unit for Train-A &B was very old
Accordingly, one number of FRP, components for structure and having poor performance with
bottle type counter current flow internal splash fills and V-bars etc. frequent maintenance issues. To
cooling tower was procured, Old cooling towers after overcome maintenance issues and
installed and commissioned at revamping are kept in line from get benefits of energy
SST site. Installation of counter basin to basin for pumping conservation, two numbers of
current FRP cooling tower (Figure purpose. Fills and internals are M/s Blue star make 16.5 TR air
6) as stand-by to existing wooden kept wet to keep old revamped condi tioning units have been
Paharpur make cooling tower at towers in healthy and reliable provided with lower power
SST site resulted in to power condition to be used as standby. In consumption. Further, it has
saving of 45 kWh on daily basis. all, FRP square bottle cooling helped to safeguard switch over
Annually, this resulted in power towers have been working quite from conventional control
saving of 16,500 units equivalent to satisfactorily without any system to PC-PLC system later on
approximately Rs 1,00,000/ -at a downtime/maintenance and in year 2013 without any additional
unit cost prevailing at GEB panicky situations during major refrigeration load. As a result,


WBT 295"C





Figure 6. Installation of FRP square bottle type cooling tower at MK & SST site

Indian Journal of Fertilisers, June 2016

power saving of 1,93,680 kWh saved during the year 2014-15. After provlsIOn of transparent
could be achieved annually. This Overall energy saving achieved acrylic sheet as mentioned, all the
gave financial gain of Rs 10.17 lakh was 63,196.82 kWh per annum 18 lamps have been kept 'OFF'
at a unit cost of Rs 5.25 during the equivalent to Rs 3,79,181 at a unit due to availability of natural light
year 2012-13. cost of Rs 6.0. It has overcome during the day time i.e. 12 hrs. This
frequent leakages and maintenance resulted in to power saving of 9,855
4.5 Replacement of 10.5 km Out Side Battery Limit (OSBL). kWh annually equivalent to
Long 6 inch Diameter SS316L Rs.59,130/ - at a unit cost of Rs 6.0.
PA Cross Country Pipeline 4.6 Provision of Transparent
(Phase-I&II) Acrylic Sheets at One of the 5. Conclusion
Walls at Bagging Floor
Phosphoric acid being stored in GSFC-SU has always been
three phosphoric acid storage At bagging plant, bagging implementing innovative ideas for
tanks at Sikka shore terminal is machine floor is surrounded by better productivity, energy-saving
pumped by means of phosphoric various belts and bins. Area is and making production more eco-
acid transfer pumps to three housed by construction of friendl y. Indian fertilizer
phosphoric acid storage tanks at building walls followed by shed. industry is operating in a regulated
Motikhavdi plant site covering During day time, illumination is environment. The present policies
approximate distance of 10.5 km. very poor and not sufficient to for P&K fertilisers affected the
work without lights. capacity utilization of phosphatic
For transfer operation, NS 150 plants. It has become even more
stainless steel 10.5 km long cross Hence during the day time, for important to achieve high
country pipelines has been working on bagging and stitching efficiency levels at sub-optimal
provided. This line was laid machine operation, all 18 level of production loads. The
during 1985-86. With higher numbers of 125, watt lamps had GSFC-SU has tried to meet the
head of pump required due to to be kept ON. This was resulting changing dynamics by modifying
slope towards SST site, cross- in illumination power the plant to produce other
country pipeline leakages were consumption. variants of NPK fertilisers in
frequent. To get dual benefit of addition to DAP. The GSFC-SU also
overcoming line leakages and In order to avoid power adopted measures, however
reduced power consumption, it consumption for lighting during small, to reduce energy
was planned to replace 10 km day time, it was planned to consumption and improve
long cross-country pipeline with provide transparent acrylic reliability of the plant and
NS 200 stainless steel pipeline in 2 sheets at top wall at bagging equipment. The installation of
phases. machine floor so that natural standby cooling towers at plant
light can penetrate through the site and shore, replacement of air
During first phase,S km long pipe transparent sheets and area condition units, replacement of
line was replaced during 2002-03. below is sufficiently illuminated cross-coun try phosphoric acid
Second phase of line replacement for safe working. pipeline and provision of acrylic
was taken up during 2014. On sheet have saved about 2.0 lakhs
completion of phase 2 replacement Accordingly, transparent acrylic kWh of power per annum and
job, power to the tune of 0.211 kWh sheets were provided at defined accrued corresponding financial
per MT of phosphoric acid was locations by civil department. gains .


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Indian Journal of Fertilisers, June 2016