WESFARMERS subsidiary CSBP has announced that it will proceed with a $200 million expansion of its ammonium nitrate plant at Kwinana, despite a 33 per cent increase in costs from earlier estimates. The expansion, due to begin early next year, will double capacity to a world-scale 470,000 tonnes a year. The project will take about 18 months and, at its peak, will generate about 125 new jobs. Managing director Richard Goyder said the expansion was part of Wesfarmers’ planned $900 million capital spending program in the current financial year. He said the company had negotiated long term off-take agreements for explosive grade ammonium nitrate with major mining industry customers, which would account for more than half the extra output. “There is currently a shortage of supply of this product in Western Australia and we expect that the increased production capacity will meet current and projected demand over the next 10 years,” he said. CSBP managing director Keith Gordon said the remaining product from the expanded facility would be used to produce a range of liquid fertilisers that were currently imported. He said CSBP had experienced very strong growth in the demand for liquid fertilisers.
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