OMAHA (DTN) -- Fertilizer giant Nutrien announced on Thursday it intends to increase potash and nitrogen production capacity due to changes in the global energy, agriculture and fertilizer markets. This comes on the heels of the Canada-based company's previous announcement in March 2022 that it was boosting potash production. (https://www.nutrien.com/…)
Nutrien's potash production capability is set to grow to 18 million metric tons (mmt) by 2025, an increase of 5 mmt or 40% over 2020 production, according to a company news release (https://www.nutrien.com/…). The boost in production is in response to the uncertainty of fertilizer supplies from eastern Europe due to the ongoing Russia and Ukraine military conflict, the company said.
The company expects to ramp up production at an annual rate similar to other additions in production it has made during the past two years. The company plans to hire 350 people and invest in underground mining equipment, mine development, storage and loadout capacity.
Nutrien is also evaluating adding low-cost brownfield (existing) expansion opportunities beyond the 18 mmt at its Saskatchewan mines.
The company is also increasing its nitrogen fertilizer production.
Earlier-announced brownfield expansion projects are expected to add about 500,000 metric tons of capacity by the end of 2025. Nutrien is also considering additional expansions with a final investment decision expected during the next 12 months.
"The challenge of feeding a growing world has never been clearer as global supply constraints have contributed to higher commodity prices and escalated concerns for global food security," said Ken Seitz, Nutrien's interim president and CEO. "There is no simple or fast solution to overcome this challenge, and we see potential for multi-year strength in agriculture and crop input market fundamentals."
Last month, Nutrien announced the company was evaluating its existing facility in Geismar, Louisiana, to build the world's largest clean ammonia facility (https://www.nutrien.com/…). The facility would leverage natural gas, gulf access to world markets and carbon capture and sequestration infrastructure to serve a growing demand in agricultural, industrial and emerging energy markets.
The plan would have annual production capacity of 1.2 mmt of clean ammonia and capture about 90% of carbon dioxide emissions, according to Nutrien.
DTN tracks retail fertilizer prices and writes a weekly Retail Fertilizer Trends column you can see at https://www.dtnpf.com/…. Our historical database of retail fertilizer prices goes back to the first week of November 2008.
While prices this past week were mostly lower for the first time in about 19 months, retail fertilizer prices have skyrocketed to all-time high prices. Various supply issues, including tariffs, weather issues, export reductions and the Russia-Ukraine military conflict, have combined to push prices higher.
Russ Quinn can be reached at Russ.Quinn@dtn.com
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