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Saskatchewan Nitrogen Fertilizer Facility
Heavy vessel storage for shutdown and upgrade 
Customer name:
Saskatchewan nitrogen fertilizer facility
Building size and series: 72’ x 96’ Atlas Building Series
Building use: Heavy vessel storage for shutdown and upgrade
Authorized Dealer: Britespan Building Systems of the Prairies
Overview of business and benefits of the building:

Located in Saskatchewan in the heart of the Canadian Prairies, this customer’s facility is ideally situated in close proximity to its core markets in Western Canada and the Northern United States. The site has one ammonia plant, one nitric acid plant and one urea granulation plant, and the largest single line granulation plant in North America.

This customer produces an average of 3,000 tons of urea, 700 tons of UAN and 1,950 tons of ammonia per day. The majority of the ammonia produced is used in the production of UAN and granular urea; however some product is sold for agricultural purposes during peak ammonia seasons.

With a commitment to providing the lowest unit costs in the industry, this Britespan customer has always used leading edge technology to ensure that its operation is streamlined, efficient and cost-effective. This is one of the many reasons they chose a building from Britespan when they required a structure for heavy vessel storage. Britespan was tasked with providing a structure to house and prep these vessels within a tight timeline allowing the plant to avoid any downtime prepping these vessels for install. Britespan surpassed expectations and completed the structure ahead of schedule.

One of two Britespan buildings, the 72’ wide by 96’ long on a 10’ high leg Atlas building series houses three high pressure UREA synthesis vessels. Weighting 67,000kg, 70,000kg, and 156,000kg each, they are the main process vessels in the synthesis of UREA fertilizer from C02 and Ammonia inputs. They typically run at around 2100psi in pressure and around 180C in temp.

“They are extremely finicky and details are important during operation and installation. For these new vessels, there are a few critical tasks that we had to do within the structure to save massive amounts of time during the shutdown,” said a representative for the company.

Within the structure, this customer applies a demineralized water wash to the vessels to wash away any impurities that may cause corrosion under insulation, as well as prepares the nozzles for welding to piping.

“We also install a leak detection system on the vessels,” said the representative. This was a complicated system of small bore tubing designed to detect a leak within the vessel lining before a catastrophic failure occurs. “Pre-insulation of the vessels was also critical to saving time. If it was not done, we would have added huge amounts of cost to the shutdown, and risked running a vessel without the critical insulation.”

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