ICL, a global manufacturer of products based on specialty minerals that fulfill essential needs of the world's growing population in the agriculture, processed food and engineered materials markets, today announced that it is examining options to erect a potassium nitrate production plant to enable ICL to increase its production of soluble fertilizers and food-grade phosphoric acid.
The Company's examination is in line with its 'Next Step Forward' growth strategy to meet anticipated increased need for soluble specialty fertilizers, as well as for food-grade phosphoric acid.
Potassium nitrate is a major component in liquid and water soluble fertilizers, as well as in several other industrial applications. Food-grade phosphoric acid is produced by reacting phosphate rock with hydrochloric acid (HCl), followed by several cleansing steps.
The scale of the proposed plant would be designed to secure ICL's internal needs, as well as to supply international markets. The construction of a new plant to produce potassium nitrate would benefit ICL's customers by broadening ICL's line of soluble fertilizers and food-grade phosphoric acid products throughout the world and enabling ICL to provide better and more comprehensive service.
The Company has initiated a project to analyze and determine the optimal location to construct the potassium nitrate plant based on considerations that include raw materials supply (including potash, phosphate rock and ammonia), logistical considerations, tax and investment encouragement policies and proximity to ICL's customers. ICL currently produces potash in Israel, England and Spain, and it mines phosphate rock in Israel.
Commenting on the proposed plant, ICL Fertilizers President & CEO, Mr. Nissim Adar stated: "As part of ICL's global expansion strategy we are focused on scaling the capacity of our manufacturing activities for our growing Specialty Fertilizers and Specialty Foods businesses. We see a number of substantial advantages arising from the construction of a potassium nitrate plant which would enable ICL to better convert our raw materials into specialized, downstream products for both the specialty fertilizers and food additives markets, thereby enhancing our position as a leading company in these areas. As a company dedicated to meeting essential human needs in agriculture and food, as well as engineered materials, we view the development of this additional manufacturing capability as vital for strengthening our product portfolios in the areas of soluble specialty fertilizers to support agrochemical needs and solidifying our role as a global leader in integrated solutions for food texture and stability. The new plant would also enable us to enhance our back integration to key raw materials and better serve our markets worldwide."