$2m fertiliser plant opens near Timaru

More than $2million has been invested at Ballance Agri-Nutrients' Washdyke site with the official opening of a specialist PhaSedN fertiliser manufacturing plant.

Timaru Mayor Damon Odey and Ballance chief executive Mark Wynne attended the opening, along with local farmers.

The plant was developed in partnership with Te Poi Manufacturing Ltd. It was expected to initially produce about 10,000 tonnes annually with capacity to build production as demand grew.

PhaSedN is a granulated combination of SustaiN, elemental sulphur and lime. The decision was made in May last year to install a plant in the South Island.

Ballance was previously transporting materials from the North Island to the South Island to supply its southern customers, but that was uneconomic and also degraded the quality of the product, Ballance marketing manager John Elliott said.

The process was developed seven years ago at a pilot plant at Te Poi and it was a four-stage closed system.

The product was developed with hill country in mind and it was good to have the plant within the South Canterbury operation, with raw materials close by and within close proximity to PrimePort Timaru, he said.

Initially, the plant would be operated by a staff of two, but numbers were expected to grow to four or five as the market grew.

Mr Wynne said interest for the product had increased from farmers reviewing their annual fertiliser programme in light of budget constraints.

That was because it offered a combined nitrogen and sulphur application and the flexibility to adjust the timing of other base nutrient applications of phosphate and potash, he said.


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