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Verde to reach 3 million t potash production capacity in 2022

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World Fertilizer,

Brazil's Verde AgriTech has started working to double the capacity of its second production facility, currently under construction (Plant 2), located in the state of Minas Gerais.

Verde will also upgrade local infrastructure to sustain Plant 2’s increased output and enable a future Plant 3 (Expansion Plan). Plant 2 is on track to start production in 3Q22, and the enlarged production capacity is expected to be in operation in early 4Q22. Verde expects to start construction on Plant 3 in 2023 conditioned on permits.

In the face of recent geopolitical events involving Russia and Ukraine, noticeably the collateral impact of economic sanctions on Russia and its ally Belarus on the potash supply to Brazil, Verde’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved an accelerated investment programme to sustain the Expansion Plan. Plant 2 is on track to reach commercial production of Verde’s multinutrient potassium products, BAKS® and K Forte® sold internationally as Super Greensand®, by 3Q22 with an initial operational capacity of 1.2 million tpy. The company will simultaneously work on the Expansion Plan with two core objectives:

  • Expand Plant 2’s operational capacity from 1.2 million tpy to 2.4 million tpy by 4Q22.
  • Upgrade local infrastructure to sustain Plant 2’s logistics with added capacity to enable a future Plant 3.

By 4Q22, with Plant 2’s expansion, Verde expects to have raised its overall production capacity to 3 million tpy, becoming Brazil’s largest potash producer. On 10 February 2022, the company received a further 2.5 million tpy Mining Concession, bringing the total capacity now fully permitted to mine to 2.83 million tpy.

“Over the past months, we have followed the escalation of tensions in Ukraine and become concerned about the suffering of the innocents caught in this geopolitical tussle. Given the latest sanctions applied to Belarus and Russia, we are acutely aware of the collateral impact on Brazil’s agriculture in the case of a potash supply disruption. We are equally worried about a global food shortage, which might be unavoidable if there is a break down in fertilizer supply”, commented Verde’s Founder, President & CEO Cristiano Veloso.

Brazil ranks second in world potash consumption and first in importation. The country relies on imports for more than 96% of its potash needs. Verde’s potash production in Brazil is strategic to the development of a domestic supply that will increasingly help reduce the country’s dependence on imported fertilizers, and meet Brazil’s demand for food production, consumption and exports. This strategy becomes particularly important in light of the recent geopolitical events involving directly and indirectly two of the world’s largest potash producers, Russia and Belarus.

In 2021 Brazil’s consumption of potash (in K2O) was 7.92 million, which is equivalent to 79.2 million t of Verde’s Product. This market stood at 3.99 million t (in K2O) in 2010 and 2.71 million t (in K2O) in 2000, reflecting Brazil’s growing agricultural production.

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