Canada’s $1 trillion potash boom: Is it ready for prime time?
A $1.4-trillion deal to buy a significant chunk of Canadian potash and refine it into fertilizer could come to fruition within a year.
The Canadian Press reports that a group of industry players has submitted proposals for a joint venture with U.S. firm TerraForm to buy up to 85 per cent of the world’s potash market.
Potash is the most important commodity in the country’s fertilizer industry, used for crops including corn and soybeans.
TerraForm would supply fertilizers and other feedstocks to the consortium, and would operate the plant and process plants under the name SunPower.
Potato growers and agribusinesses have long been demanding greater access to fertilizer in the United States, but it has not been a priority in Canada.
SunPower said it would use the proposed deal to ensure it gets a significant amount of Canadian fertilizers.
Potassium nitrate is also in demand in the U.K. and China, but Canadian fertilizer companies say that is not their priority.
“We’re looking for Canadian-produced fertilizer and we’re looking to grow the industry,” said Doug Worsley, a spokesman for SunPower Canada.
Potatoes are an important crop for farmers in Canada and in the Midwest, and SunPower wants to use that in a joint development with Canadian growers.
Worsleys company is also involved in a proposed $6-billion deal to build a rail terminal in the province of Manitoba.
SunPower has been working to secure U.s. fertilizer contracts and is looking for a Canadian partner for the deal.
The company also wants to ensure its operations are not impacted by the Canadian fertilizer market and that its plants are grown and processed in a Canadian environment.