The issue of pumping Russian ammonia through the Togliatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline remains unresolved, despite the agreements reached as part of the renegotiation of the grain deal in November 2022. Despite assurances from UN leaders in December last year that the parties are close to an agreement on unblocking exports of Russian ammonia through the pipeline, “there are no movements,” as Dmitry Mazepin, co-owner of Uralchem, noted earlier.
The resumption of transportation of Russian ammonia was provided for by a memorandum concluded between Turkey, Ukraine, Russia and the UN. “There was a clause in this memorandum that <…> the pipe, which historically connects Tolyatti and Odessa, will be unblocked,” Mazepin pointed out, however, the agreements on the part of Ukraine and the UN are not being implemented.
This, in particular, was the reason that Uralchem stepped up work on the formation of an alternative route for the delivery of ammonia to the world market. In November, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Mazepin said that by the end of 2023 Uralchem plans to launch the first ammonia transshipment terminal in the Russian Federation in the port of Taman, Krasnodar Territory. According to Mazepin, the volume of investments in the new project will amount to 50 billion rubles.
The resumption of ammonia exports through the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline is hindered by political reasons; there are no technical difficulties for restoring ammonia transportation through the pipeline, experts say.
Since 1979, the export of ammonia through the pipeline has been suspended only twice, for a short period in 2012 and in 2016, and in both cases due to disagreements with the Ukrainian side on tariffs for services for the transit of ammonia through the territory of Ukraine (according to various estimates , Ukraine annually received up to 100 million US dollars for the transit of ammonia).
Blocking the export of Russian ammonia through the pipeline could have a negative impact on crop production industries around the world. The situation with a drop in yields due to a shortage, primarily of nitrogen fertilizers, may worsen.
Despite the fall in gas prices and a slight increase in the production of nitrogen fertilizers in Europe, for farmers in a number of EU countries by the spring of 2023, there is a risk of undersupply of the required volume of fertilizers. The international trading company Trammo announced in early January that it intends to increase its attention to the European market and give priority to the supply of fertilizers and other agrochemical products from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan through the Trammo multimodal terminal in Batumi (Georgian port on the Black Sea – ed.)) , “which opened a new logistics corridor for the transit of finished fertilizers and other products by ships, barges and rail cars from Central Asia to the West.”
About the ammonia pipeline “Togliatti-Odessa”
Construction of the ammonia pipeline “Tolyatti-Gorlovka
Grigorievsky Estuary (Odessa) “was started in accordance with the Decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR of June 16, 1975, N2 513. 4 months after the adoption of the resolution, on October 16, 1975,a contract was signed for the complete supply of pipeline equipment and materials with foreign companies Occidental Petroleum Corporation (USA) and Anter.epoz (France).
The route of the ammonia pipeline “Tolyatti – Odessa” runs from the northeast to the southwest through the territory of Samara, Saratov, Tambov, Voronezh, Belgorod, Lugansk, Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Nikolaev, Kherson and Odessa regions. The total length is 2417 km (1396 km in Russia, 1021 km in Ukraine).
The first stage of the ammonia pipeline was commissioned in October 1979. In 1981, the construction of the ammonia pipeline was completely completed. Pipes for him were made by special order in France.
The transported ammonia is in the form of a liquid with a temperature of +4 °C and a pressure of 35 atm. Pipe thickness – 7.92 mm. To increase safety, the sections of the ammonia pipeline located under the railway and highways are additionally equipped with a special steel coating.