Agrium still assessing whether to restart Alaskan nitrogen plant

08 October 2013 22:24  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Agrium is still assessing whether it should restart its idled nitrogen plant in Alaska that was shuttered due to a shortage of natural gas, the Canadian fertilizer producer said on Tuesday.

Speaking at an investor’s conference in New York on Tuesday, Chief Operating Officer Chuck Magro said that the company’s evaluation was in the early stages but that a decision will be forthcoming within the next year.

A review of the equipment and facility assessment was conducted this past summer at the Kenai plant located in Nikiski, Alaska, as company officials previously said that overall market conditions had raised the possibility of resuming production.

Agrium shut the plant in 2007 when gas supplies tightened. The plant was purchased by the company in 2000 from Union Oil of California and during its operation was the company’s largest facility. It had a listed production capacity of 1.25m tonne/year and primarily sold to overseas buyers.

Magro said there are still ongoing limitations with the existing natural gas supply in the area, which would hinder restarting the facility, but that the company is in discussion with local providers to determine if that issue could be resolved in the future.

“Today there is not enough natural gas to restart Kenai, but there is a lot of gas drilling in the Cook Inlet again, and we are working with the gas companies to determine if there is a possibility to restart those assets,” said Magro.

By: Mark Milam
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