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06 November 2019, 16:07

Belaruskali, Chinese Migao set up enterprise to make potassium nitrate

OAO Belaruskali
OAO Belaruskali

SOLIGORSK DISTRICT, 6 November (BelTA) – Belaruskali in association with the Chinese company Migao has commissioned an enterprise to make potassium nitrate. The ceremony to inaugurate the first startup complex of the factory OOO Belkali-Migao took place at the industrial site of Belaruskali's fourth mine administration on 6 November, BelTA has learned.

The new factory is the first joint project of OAO Belaruskali and the Chinese company Migao Corporation Limited (the leading manufacturer of specialized potash fertilizers on the Chinese market). The enterprise also represents Belarus' first factory to make potassium nitrate.

Fertilizers will be made using Migao Corporation's technology by converting ammonium nitrate and potassium chloride. Potassium chloride made by the fourth mine administration and ammonium nitrate imported from Russia will be used as raw materials. The first batch of raw materials from Russia (700 tonnes) has already been dissolved and pumped into storage tanks.

The enterprise now has all the technology specialists and repairmen it needs. It switched to 24/7 operation in shifts on 1 October. The enterprise employs 120 people. As many as 30 graduates of the Soligorsk mining and chemistry college have been given jobs at the new enterprise.

The annual output capacity of the first startup complex of the new factory will be 80,000 tonnes of potassium nitrate and 62,000 tonnes of granulated nitrogen-potassium fertilizers. The second stage of the enterprise will make potassium nitrate and potassium sulfate. The company intends to sell the products to the European Union, Turkey, Russia, and China. There are plans to later penetrate the markets of North Africa and Latin America.

Pingfu Sun, Anatoly Isachenko, Piotr Miklashevich, and Ivan Golovaty
Pingfu Sun, Anatoly Isachenko, Piotr Miklashevich, and Ivan Golovaty

Minsk Oblast Governor Anatoly Isachenko, Belaruskali Director General Ivan Golovaty, Presiding Judge of the Constitutional Court Piotr Miklashevich, Migao Corporation Vice President Pingfu Sun, and Chairman of the Board of BelVEB Bank Vasily Matyushevsky took part in the event.

The Minsk Oblast governor said: “We've gone on a tour of the enterprise and it is impressive. Such a huge factory has been built within literally one year and it is ready to make products. A new page in Belaruskali's history has been opened today. Once the second stage of the enterprise is finished soon – after slightly more than one year I hope – the annual output capacity will reach 160,000 tonnes. It is important that potassium nitrate can also be successfully used in metallurgy, can be used to make glass, pyrotechnic products, explosives, and for other purposes. It will make our export position even stronger.”

A control room of the enterprise
A control room of the enterprise

Anatoly Isachenko also stressed that the new enterprise had created over 150 high-performance jobs. The enterprise will add to Minsk Oblast's revenues, will help resolve many social issues, and will help raise living standards of people living in the region.

According to Belaruskali Director General Ivan Golovaty, the production of potassium nitrate has a lot of promise nowadays. “The potassium nitrate market is not that large. Once the two stages of the enterprise are completed, the share of Belarusian potassium nitrate on the global market will be close to 5%. Besides, while the average price for a tonne of potash fertilizers stands at $250-290, potassium nitrate is priced at $800 per tonne. The profitability of the enterprise will be close to 40%,” he said.

Ivan Golovaty continued: “We also have plans to develop joint products with Migao Corporation, this is why I think we can build more than one factory in Belarus. An enterprise to make potassium sulfate is a future prospect.”

In turn, Migao Corporation Vice President Pingfu Sun described the project as cooperation between two very strong companies. “Belaruskali is the largest exporter of potassium chloride to China. It has many clients. And our company boasts cutting-edge technologies for processing potash fertilizers. Our cooperation began six years ago. Today we are happy to present the first joint venture with a continuous output, a high level of automation, and highly qualified workers,” Pingfu Sun said.

BelVEB Bank has helped fund the project. According to the bank's press service, a non-revolving credit line to the tune of €57 million was opened for building the Belkali-Migao enterprise. The cost of the project to build the first stage of the enterprise stands at €102.9 million.

Potassium nitrate is an innovative product for Belaruskali and the country as a whole. The substance is primarily used as a premium mineral fertilizer in agriculture since it contains two staple nutrients at once (nitrogen and potassium) and virtually no chloride.

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