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Sulphuric Acid on the WebTM Technical Manual DKL Engineering, Inc.

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Acid Plant Database  August 10, 2018

Owner Fertiberia

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Location Avda./ Francisco Montenegro, s/n
Background -
Website www.fertiberia.es
Plant -
Coordinates 37º 13' 32" N, 6º 56' 51" W
Type of Plant Sulphur Burner
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur
Plant Capacity 2400 MTPD
Status Shutdown
Sold and Dismantled
Year Built 2000
Technology Outotec
Contractor Outotec
Equipment Blower
Supplier: KKK
Delivery Year: 1999
Model: SFO 14
Quantity: 2
Flow Rate: 67.3 m3/s
Pressure Rise: 538 mbar
Power: 4100 kW
Remarks 19 months to build plant

Plant Description

Pictures       Fertiberia-Huelva-4.jpg (83424 bytes)
General -
References KKK Compressor Reference List
Ditecsa - Dismantling of Sulphuric Acid Plant
News November 7, 2013 - Fertiberia has confirmed that it will no longer be producing DAP at its Huelva plant. It took the decision to suspend phosphate fertilizer production on September 9 due to the high cost of production. It has since been in negotiations with OCP from whom it has been receiving its annual phosphoric acid requierments. Fertiberia has confirmed that it will instead take DAP from Morocco and is now curently in discussion for the supply of 250,000 mt/year DAP to be priced on a quarterly basis. Actual details of this pricing contract are yet to be finalised.  In the meantime Fertiberia will be taking 20-30,000 mt DAP from OCP for Q4 shipment. The November tonnage is said to have been priced at $420-430/mt CFR Mediterranean ports. A price for December tonnes has not yet been agreed.

December 31, 2010 - The company today officially Fertiberia leaves after 43 years of pouring phosphogypsum waste to the ponds located in the marshes of Huelva, thereby giving effect to the decision of the Audiencia Nacional of 17 February 2010 confirming the termination of the concession to the company. During these 43 years, ponds have reached an area of 1,200 hectares on which are stacked 70 million tons of phosphogypsum, which makes it considered the largest landfill of its kind in Europe.  The cessation of these discharges leads the company to face a new stage without making it so far was the product that will generate higher value added, phosphoric acid, the main raw material for fertilizer to produce, and less than five storeys production, four of sulfuric and phosphoric.  From now on, to continue producing fertilizers must be imported phosphoric acid, for which it has reached a supply agreement with the state-owned Moroccan OCP.  As he explained to EFE Falero Gregorio, secretary general of the UGT trade union branch in Fertiberia, real cessation of discharges occurred a few days ago, since the plant closed sulfuric mid-month and two of phosphoric were still active have done this week.  Falero pointed out that to meet the new situation the company designed at the time an industrial plan which remain in operation a total of five plants, one of them newly built, there will be purged all existing water phosphogypsum ponds to see you once again clean the estuary.  All of these plants in operation will employ 123 permanent workers of the current workforce, composed of 260 persons and twelve workers who have the character of transients in developing its work on wastewater plant, the remaining 140 will be out in early January under the conditions agreed between employer and committee.  (Translated)

November 29, 2010 - Fertiberia plans to avoid the shutdown of its Huelva plant by importing the phosphoric acid from Morocco. In October, Fertiberia concluded an agreement with state company OCP de Marruecos for the import of phosphoric acid. So, no phosphogypsum will arise at Huelva any longer and the plant will conform to the demand of the Audiencia Nacional to cease dumping of phosphogypsum before Dec. 31, 2010.  This means, however, that the phosphogypsum will arise in Morocco, where environmental legislation is, at least, lax, and even sea dumping of the phosphogypsum is allowed.

March 19, 2010 - European Commission demands end of phosphogypsum dumping at Fertiberia plant - The European Commission (EC) demanded an end to the dumping of phosphogypsum at Huelva. Brussels has given two months to the Spanish government so that it puts "order" in the production and treatment of the industrial remainders originated by the Fertiberia company. (El País )

December 22, 2009 - Court orders Fertiberia to cease phosphogypsum dumping by end 2010 - The Audiencia Nacional central court has demanded Fertiberia to definitively cease the dumping of phosphogypsum wastes before December 31, 2010. The court decision completely ruins the global plan that the government of Andalusia and the company had agreed on in October and that established a final limit to the dumping for December 2012. The court moreover ordered Fertiberia to start reclamation work immediately and to make a deposit of EUR 21.9 million to assure the completion of the necessary reclamation works. (El País )

October 14, 2009 - Fertiberia plant to continue operations with imported phosphoric acid - After the planned shutdown of phosphoric acid production in 2012, the Fertiberia plant will continue operations with imported phosphoric acid. This will eliminate the need to dump phosphogypsum wastes in the area. (El País )

May 6, 2009 - Government accepts progressive cease of phosphogypsum dumping by Fertiberia up to 2012 - The Ministry of Environment considers the plan of Fertiberia for the gradual reduction of the dumping of phosphogypsum wastes in the tailings dams of the salt marshes of Huelva "reasonable". This year, the dumping is to be cut by half. The dumping is finally to be terminated in 2012. (El País )

February 21, 2009 - Andalusia establishes expert group on management of Huelva phosphogypsum dams - On Feb. 20, 2009, the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Manuel Chaves, announced the creation of a group of experts for the recovery of the phosphogypsum dams that exist in Huelva. For 20 years, the Fertiberia company has been depositing its remainders there. 

September 27, 2008 - European Commission initiates procedure of infraction against Spain concerning the phosphogypsum dams of Fertiberia in Huelva - The European Commission initiates a procedure of infraction against Spain. Europe accuses the State to allow that the facilities of Fertiberia and Foret are developing their activity "without having an Autorización Ambiental Integrada (AAI) emitted in the fixed term", explained the commissioner of environment, Stavros Dimas.

March 20, 2009 - On March 19, 2009, the European Commission, in a subpoena, demanded the Spanish Government to supply information on the phosphogypsum dams of Fertiberia in Huelva. According to the Commission, around 120 million tons of phosphogypsum have been deposited in the salt marshes of the Río Tinto in the past 40 years. 

May 7, 2008 - European Commission demands explanation from Spain on spills at Fertiberia - The European Commission has lost the patience with the highly polluting spills of Fertiberia in the salt marshes of Huelva: on May 6, 2008, it decided to send a subpoena to the Spanish authorities in which it demands explanations on what is happening. Brussels demands measures to prevent further violations of the directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control.

March 26, 2008 - Administration deems Fertiberia's closing plan unacceptable - The Main Directorate of Coasts (Dirección General de Costas) has rejected the closing plan presented by Fertiberia in October 2007 as unacceptable. The company proposed the progressive closure of its Huelva facilities and phosphogypsum stacks over a period of 10 years. The administration rather wants a closure by 2011. The administration does not allow for the opening of new phosphogypsum stacks, but authorizes the continued use of the existing stacks.

January 12, 1999 - Environmental pressure groups on Tuesday presented a paper to Spanish Environment Minister Isabel Tocino requesting the closure of the phosphoric acid plants owned by Fertiberia and FMC Foret in Huelva, southern Spain.  Worldwide Fund for Nature Spain (WWF Spain) and Ecologistas en Accion, a national confederation of environmental groups, are seeking closure of the plants after acidic water spilled from the companies' gypsum waste reservoir into neighbouring estuaries during storms on 31 December.  They gave Tocino the letter at an unrelated meeting of the Donana National Park board, of which Tocino is president. WWF Spain campaigner Guido Schmidt said the environment groups will ask Tocino to put the Huelva spill on the agenda for the next Donana meeting, which is likely to take place in February. Donana National Park is a nature reserve which was hit by a toxic waste spillage last year.  Fertiberia said in a written statement that the amount of acidic water that spilled into the estuary, which it estimates at 30 000 - 50 000 m3, is the equivalent to less than a thousandth of the water that enters the estuary when the tide comes in. However, WWF Spain is claiming the figure is more like 500 000 m3.

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth