Eurochem Aims For No.3 Spot In Russia Potash Market

16.07.2010 -

Fertilizer maker EuroChem said on Thursday it plans to mine 4.6 million tons of potash in 2016 as it aims to become Russia's third-largest producer.

EuroChem, already one of the world's top 10 nitrogen and phosphorus miners, plans to begin potash production by 2013 at its Gremyachinskoye potassium salts deposit in the Volgograd region and the Verkhnekamskoye in the Perm region.

When the deposits come on stream, EuroChem will compete with Uralkali, whose export agent accounts for more than 30% of global potash sales, and Silvinit.Gremyachinskoye has proven potash reserves of 1.6 billion tons.

EuroChem, controlled by billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, said last year it plans to hold an initial public offering within five years, and before that will finance its development through borrowings.

It has this year secured a $261 million credit loan backed by an export credit agency to develop its potash reserves.

Chief Executive Dmitry Strezhnev said that in order to cut its dependency on exports, EuroChem will be targeting the domestic market with compound fertilizers, and plans to produce a total of 15 million tons of fertilizers in 2016.

"We believe that cost efficiency will allow us to feel comfortable. We have a good alternative to sales in the spot market, which is a good distribution market in Russia and Belarus, where we believe prices will rise," he said.

Strezhnev also said that the company hoped to lower costs by launching two export terminals in the Baltic and Black sea.