AMG Vanadium’s production of FeV is likely to be less in 2019. The primary feedstock AMG uses, fly ash from Mexico and Venezuela, contains more impurities and less vanadium because refineries in both countries have switched to producing sweeter crude oil.
Last February AMG announced plans to address production shortfall issues at its Cambridge, OH, facility by investing $35-million to increase its recovery of vanadium from spent catalysts by 30%. It also said it had entered into a multi-year contract to process spent catalysts from a major refinery in North America.
AMG Vanadium, which has two roasters, has never been able to run both roasters simultaneously because of its limited capacity for off-gas treatment of sulfur. As a result, AMG reportedly has opted to run the newer, larger 16-hearth roaster, which was added in 2013/2014. The older roaster is believed to have 10 hearths.
Much of AMG’s $35-million investment reportedly will be used to install a new flue gas desulfurization unit. The company also has to obtain environmental permitting for the new desulfurization unit. AMG expects environmental permitting to be done by the end of the third quarter of this year and expansion of catalyst recovery to be complete by yearend 2019.
“AMG has started the process to get the Cambridge plant to capacity,” said an observer, “but it is not going to be done overnight. In the meantime, it is likely that AMG’s production will decline compared to last year and previous years.”