Russian phosphate fertiliser manufacturer EuroChem is investing 7 billion USD to start production at two mines in the country in 2017 in a bid to challenge one of the world’s largest potash producers and exporters, Uralkali.
“We will be able to mine the first potash at both mines in late 2017”, said Clark Bailey, EuroChem’s mining head, noting that about two more years will be needed for start of shipments to external customers.
“Given that we have a port at the Black Sea, we think that we will be able to sell potash at a very competitive price to Europe or Latin America, including Brazil”, he added.
EuroChem is developing an annual capacity of 8.3 million metric tons of potash, a form of potassium that strengthens plant roots, at the Vekhnekamskoye deposit in the Perm region and in another two at the Gremyachinskoe deposit in the Volgograd region in western Russia.
The company controlled by billionaire Andrey Melnichenko kept its pace even as Uralkali plunged into turmoil in July last year by ending a marketing venture with Belarus that accounted for 40 percent of worldwide potash exports.
Uralkali is also a Russian potash fertilizer producer and exporter. It is traded on the London Stock Exchange and Moscow Exchange using the symbol, URKA. The Company’s assets consist of 5 mines and 7 ore-treatment mills situated in the towns of Berezniki and Solikamsk (Perm Region, Russian Federation). Uralkali employs 7200 people. Founded in 1930, the Company posted in 2012 about 4 billion US dollars in revenues.