Partner sought for Ballance plant revamp

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We now have a potential price for a world-class ammonia urea plant capable of meeting the highest safety, environment and production standards.

April 20, 2016

Partner sought for Ballance plant revamp

Ballance Agri-Nutrients will investigate a partnership arrangement for its proposed redevelopment of the Kapuni ammonia urea plant in Taranaki.

Ballance CEO, Mark Wynne, said today the decision to invite partners into the project was the next step in a process which to date has included a year-long study, followed by an extensive tendering round.

“We now have a potential price for a world-class ammonia urea plant capable of meeting the highest safety, environment and production standards.

“As you can imagine, a project of this scale has lots of moving pieces.  The costs are in the hundreds of millions and they have come in higher than expected.  It makes good sense for us to be looking at inviting an appropriate partner on board who can share in the investment and add value to the wider business.

Mr Wynne said despite the revised costings, the project was still stacking up as a sound investment. 

“We are really excited about the possibilities this project provides to future-proof our production capacity and improve our global manufacturing competiveness.”

The co-op will seek to engage with potential partners over the coming months before making any further decision on the project.  Shareholders will be fully consulted over any final recommendations.

Tender prices for the project could not be disclosed outside of partnership discussions due to commercial sensitivity.

The Kapuni plant, owned by Ballance for more than 20 years, is the only one of its kind in New Zealand.  It produces around 260,000 tonnes of agricultural urea each year – around one third of New Zealand's total needs.


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