Acron to Start Own Phosphate Output Within Year, Counter Costs

OAO Acron, a Russian nitrogen fertilizer producer, plans to produce its own phosphates within a year as it seeks to boost self-sufficiency in raw materials.

Acron will start its Oleniy Ruchey mine in the Murmansk region by the end of June 2012, Chairman Alexander Popov told investors today in Murmansk. The project will meet the company’s demand for apatite concentrate, which it currently buys from OAO PhosAgro at about $140 a metric ton including delivery, he said.

Fertilizer producers are looking to add more of their own raw materials as rising corn, soybean and wheat prices help to drive up the cost of the phosphates used in crop nutrients.

Investment in the Oleniy Ruchey project will total as much as $1 billion, Acron said today in a presentation to investors. It has already spent $250 million on the development since 2006 and plans to invest about $200 million this year, it said.

The Velikiy Novgorod-based company will build a processing plant at the site with initial capacity of 1 million metric tons of apatite concentrate a year, rising to 2 million tons in 2016.