Agrium Inc. said today that it has successfully obtained sufficient natural gas supplies to allow for the operation of its Kenai nitrogen facility in 2007.
But the company does expect the plant to “experience an extended shutdown during the winter months due to seasonally higher demand for home heating,” the Calgary-based company said in a press release.
“I would like to thank the employees at the Kenai facility for the outstanding dedication they have shown. I would also like to thank the State of Alaska and Gov. Murkowski for the continued assistance in helping keep an important value add industry in Alaska,” said Mike Wilson, Agrium president and CEO. “An important consideration in Kenai’s continued operation is the potential future option value due to recent developments in the Cook Inlet that may create longer-term possibilities.”
Agrium said the extension is not expected to impact its guidance for the second half of the year and is anticipated to provide “only a modest contribution to earnings in 2007 … due to a lower anticipated operating rate and higher average gas price than in 2006.”
The company said the contracts are with “numerous Cook Inlet gas producers and are subject to strict confidentiality provisions.”
The Kenai facility is expected to operate one ammonia and one urea plant at about 75 percent of capacity over the next 12 months. If they were operating at full capacity they would produce 640,000 thousand tones of urea and the net ammonia capacity would be approximately 280,000 thousand tonnes, Agrium said.