MBAC Fertilizer begins phosphate production at Brazilian plant

11 July 2013 20:43  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--MBAC Fertilizer has begun production of single super phosphate (SSP) powder at its Itafos Arraias project in Brazil, the Canadian phosphate and potash producer announced on Thursday.

Toronto-based MBAC expects to begin delivering granulated SSP in order to settle existing contracts later this month. In June, the company received final regulatory approval to begin running all of its facilities, which include a sulphuric acid plant, a single superphosphate plant and the granulation plant.

The company has invested $323m (€252m) in the project and said it plans to reach nominal production capacity by this fall, in time to meet the demands of the regional planting season.

MBAC said capacity will be 330,000 tonnes/year of phosphate rock concentrate grading 28%. This material will be then used to create approximately 550,000 tonnes/year of SSP.

Officials said the company is currently looking at a second phase of development that could potentially double the production by 2015.

The open pit operation is estimated to have a mine life of 19 years, with reserves measuring at 64.8m tonnes. MBAC acquired the project in 2008 but has been slowed in the development because of issues with land acquisition, governmental approval and delays with importing essential equipment.

“The company remains focused on its sales efforts and believes it can accelerate this effort now that it has started to produce SSP powder. Management continues to believe that it will be able to sell into Brazil’s upcoming planting season,” said MBAC.

The company’s Itafos operation is the first large-scale fertilizer facility in the booming agricultural region of Cerrado and is expecting to greatly benefit local farmers by supplying necessary crop nutrients while bringing about reduced logistical problems and lowering overall costs.

In addition, the plant will increase the surrounding infrastructure, which is an issue in many of Brazil’s farming sectors as governmental transportation projects have not been able to keep pace with the surge of the agricultural industry and its growing impact on global commodity trade and supply.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Mark Milam
+1 713 525 2653

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