EuroChem restarts mine shaft work on long-delayed potash project

02 August 2013 22:28  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--EuroChem has restarted the sinking of the cage shaft at its VolgaKaliy potash project that had been suspended due to technology complications and resulted in an almost three-year delay in completion, the Russian fertilizer producer announced on Friday.

Company officials said the halting of shaft sinking operations was the result of issues with the grouting technology used by a South African contractor that had been hired by the producer for the project. EuroChem said it has hired a different company to implement a new process that will protect the essential shaft for mining operations and anticipates the work will be completed by 2017.

“We are pleased with the progress we are making with the sinking of the cage shaft. We have suffered a delay of approximately two years and nine months as a result of the failure of the original shaft sinking grouting technology,” said Clark Bailey, EuroChem's head of mining.

Formed in 2001, EuroChem is now one of the world’s leading nitrogen and phosphate-based fertilizer producers. Based in Moscow, it operates production facilities in Russia and Belgium and has a network of distribution and sales offices globally.

The company is currently developing two sizeable greenfield potash projects in Russia that will provide it with more than 8m tonnes/year of potash capacity. In addition, it recently announced plans to build an ammonia and urea plant in Louisiana in order to increase its share of sales within the US agricultural market.

Company officials have not selected a site for the plant but expect to secure a location in southern Louisiana by the end of the year for the proposed $1.5bn (€1.1bn) project. EuroChem said construction could take four years to complete, but no details of potential production capacity have been given.

($1 = €0.76)


By: Mark Milam



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