CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CF) announces that it has signed an agreement with Shell Oil Company to use Shell’s Thiogro process technology to produce a superior sulfur-enhanced phosphate product.
Under terms of the agreement, the company will implement the new production technology at its Plant City, Florida facility. CF Industries is the first North American licensee of the process, and the first domestic manufacturer of the product.
The product manufactured with this technology will be a sulfur-enhanced monoammonium phosphate (MAPS) with a nutrient content of 11 percent nitrogen, 40 percent phosphorus, 0 percent potassium and 12 percent sulfur. The process technology incorporates sulfur within the fertilizer granule, which allows the nutrient to be released over time in a form that is highly usable by plants. Benefits over competitive products include lower dust content and better blending and application characteristics. The process also has the unique feature of allowing the manufacturer to control and vary the mix of elemental (slow release) versus sulfate (immediate release) sulfur, resulting in agronomically superior sulfur-sulfate proportions.
Said CF Industries president and chief executive officer Stephen R. Wilson, “There is a growing agronomic need for this kind of product. Alternative products, most made in Poland, China and Russia, have not been available to growers consistently in our target markets. CF Industries identified the need and is now positioning itself to meet it with a high-quality product that is easy to handle. The product’s superior traits also present CF Industries with a higher margin opportunity over competitive MAP products.”
Loh Seng Yee, general manager, Shell Thiogro, added, “We are delighted to work with CF Industries to bring this technology to the United States. CF Industries quickly recognized the value this sulfur-enhanced product would bring to their customers and we are pleased that they will introduce this progressive fertilizer product to U.S. and international markets.”
CF Industries will produce the MAPS 11-40-0-12 at its Plant City, Florida phosphate complex. Changes to the complex will not require a meaningful capital investment and the company expects to produce limited quantities of the new product by mid-year 2011.
CF Industries plans to market the product in the U.S. through its established channels and—through KEYTRADE AG—in Brazil and other Latin American markets where there is strong demand for fertilizers containing sulfur.