Ambès is located downstream of Bordeaux between the rivers Dordogne and Garonne. The site is part of an industrial area previously occupied by oil refineries and storage facilities for petroleum products. Built by Norsk Hydro, the plant was completed in 1990.
The site has two production units, a nitric acid plant and an ammonium nitrate plant.
Ammonia is the main raw material and is stored at atmospheric pressure and at low temperature (-33°C) in a double-walled storage tank. The ammonia is imported by ship in liquid form. The site’s harbor on the river Garonne can accommodate ships with 10-meter draught.
Fertilizer products are distributed by rail and road for sale in the French fertilizer market.
The plant is using the best available technology and operates in accordance with French law and emission permits received. The ammonium nitrate fluid bed granulation ensures good health and working conditions. The finished product EXTRAN has excellent characteristics in terms of crushing strength, low-dust content and grain distribution, and cannot detonate.
French authorities regularly audit the site and its safety management system. The site is OHSAS 18001 certified.
The quality system is certified according to ISO 9001, whereas the environment system is certified according to ISO 14001. The inspection system for pressurized tanks, storage vessels and pipes has also been certified by the authorities (SIR).
Facts about Ambes
• 1987 Decision to build plant
• 1990 Start of production
Nitric acid 450,000 tons
Ammonium nitrate 550,000 tons