Yara to buy Agrium fertilizer upgrading plant

Yara’s fertilizer terminal at Stockton, California. (Sebastian Braum photo, Yara.com)

Canadian fertilizer firm Agrium has a buyer lined up for a U.S. nitrogen upgrading site it’s been looking to sell since April.

Oslo-based fertilizer giant Yara said Thursday it’s made a deal to buy Agrium’s West Sacramento Nitrogen Operations plant for US$27 million (C$36 million) and use the facility instead as an import terminal for finished products.

Yara, which already has N terminals in California at nearby Stockton and further south at San Diego and Port Hueneme, said the Agrium site will improve its access to northern California and its “intensive agricultural market.”

Yara described the West Sacramento site as a “strategically important asset (that) will improve Yara’s customer service, reduce truck transit times, conserve fuel and enhance overall logistical efficiencies.”

The site will also boost Yara’s storage capacity, allow it a “continuous, predictable, year-round product supply and (limit) the chances of product shortages,” the company said.

Calgary-based Agrium said in April it would put the plant up for sale in the wake of a company-wide portfolio review. The sale’s impacts on Agrium’s books were “expected to be negligible,” the company said at the time.

On average, the plant had recently produced about 200,000 tonnes of UAN (urea/ammonium nitrate) products per year, just under its 204,000-tonne capacity, Agrium said.

By comparison, Agrium’s other N solutions upgrading plant at Kennewick, Wash., about 1,100 km north, has capacity to produce about 430,000 tonnes a year.

Both the West Sacramento and Kennewick plants came to Agrium in 2000 when it bought the fertilizer business of U.S. fuel company Unocal, now part of Chevron. — AGCanada.com Network


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