US firm to take stake in planned Panama urea project

22 August 2012 18:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based investment and management services firm Universal Capital Management has signed a memorandum of understanding to take a stake of up to 43% in NB Regeneration, which is developing a urea fertilizer project in Panama, it said on Wednesday.

NB Regeneration’s project will have a capacity of up to 4,000 tonnes/day of granulated urea and could cost about $2bn (€1.6bn), Universal CEO Michael Queen told ICIS.

Construction of the fertilizer plant could begin within eight months and the plant could be in production within three years, Queen said.

However, these timelines depend to some extent on the Panama Canal expansion, he said. The Panama Canal expansion is expected to be finished by the the end of 2014.

"Once everything is set there [on the canal expansion], we are ready to go,” Queen said. He added that work on the canal expansion was moving very well.

Queen said that according to industry forecasts, urea demand will continue to grow by 5-6%/year.

“With excellent margins, this is an industry that presents tremendous opportunity for our company," he said.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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