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Yara’s $700 Million Australian Ammonium Nitrate Plant Stalls

Yara International ASA’s ammonium-nitrate project in Australia, costing an estimated $700 million, is stalled after the largest publicly traded nitrogen-fertilizer producer failed to win approval from its venture partner.

“We have not gotten the approval from the board,” Asle Skredderberget, a Yara spokesman, said by phone today. “We tried to have a board meeting with all relevant stakeholders. It was impossible to get the approval needed.”

Yara, based in Oslo, said in March it signed a letter of intent with Tecnicas Reunidas SA for construction of a plant to produce an annual 330,000 metric tons of technical ammonium nitrate that would be used primarily to make explosives for iron ore mines. The deal was subject to approval by the board of its venture partner Burrup Holdings Pty Ltd., Yara said at the time.

“Yara is disappointed that the board of Burrup Holdings has been unable to make a positive resolution,” Yara, which owns 35 percent of Burrup, said in a statement today.

Burrup Fertilisers Pty, a unit of Burrup Holdings that’s in receivership, has attracted interest from Orica Ltd. and Incitec Pivot Ltd. Final bids for Burrup Fertilisers are due in July, the receiver managing the company’s sale said today.

Burrup Fertilisers officials in Australia didn’t pick up phone calls from Bloomberg News seeking comment outside of office hours today. Calls by Bloomberg to the press office of Tecnicas Reunidas weren’t immediately returned.

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