CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - December 21, 2015) - Agrium Inc. (TSX: AGU) (NYSE: AGU) announced today the successful completion of its proving run for the one million tonne production expansion at its Vanscoy potash facility. The Canpotex proving run has established a new annual nameplate production capacity of 3.024 million tonnes for the Vanscoy facility. As a result, we expect Agrium's new Canpotex allotment will be approximately 10.5 percent of Canpotex's total annual international shipments, effective from the beginning of 2016.
"We are excited to have achieved this significant milestone in our potash expansion ramp up and have done so in a timely and safe manner. The success of the proving run will allow Agrium to distribute more potash to growing international markets," stated Chuck Magro, Agrium's President and CEO. "Agrium remains focused on value creation for our shareholders. This expansion will significantly lower our potash cash cost of production and increase our earnings and free cash flow," added Mr. Magro.
Agrium Inc. is a major producer and distributor of agricultural products and services in North America, South America, Australia and Egypt through its agricultural retail-distribution and wholesale nutrient businesses. Agrium supplies growers with key products and services such as crop nutrients, crop protection, seed, and agronomic and application services, thereby helping to meet the ever growing global demand for food and fiber. Agrium produces nitrogen, potash and phosphate fertilizers, with a combined wholesale nutrient capacity of over nine million tonnes and with competitive advantages across all product lines. Agrium retail-distribution has an unmatched network of over 1,300 facilities and over 3,000 crop consultants. We partner with over half a million grower customers globally to help them increase their yields and returns on more than 50 different crops. With a focus on sustainability, the company strives to improve the communities in which it operates through safety, education, environmental improvement and new technologies such as the development of precision agriculture and controlled release nutrient products. Agrium is focused on driving operational excellence across our businesses, pursuing value-enhancing growth opportunities and returning capital to shareholders. For more information visit: www.agrium.com.
Canpotex is a Canadian company and a global industry leader that provides the scale to move potash to the world from the centre of Canada. Canpotex is the world's premier potash exporter, with wide international market access and reach. It has decades-long international customer relationships and a best-in-class logistics platform. Operating continuously since 1972, Canpotex is the exclusive offshore marketing company owned by the three Saskatchewan potash producing companies: Agrium Inc. Mosaic Canada Crop Nutrition, LP, a subsidiary of The Mosaic Company and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc.
Certain statements and other information included in this press release constitute "forward-looking information" and/or "financial outlook" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation or constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable U.S. securities legislation (collectively, the "forward-looking statements"). All statements in this press release other than those relating to historical information or current conditions are forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements as to management's expectations with respect to: cash cost of product manufactured at our Vanscoy potash facility; and our market outlook for the remainder of 2015 and future years, including anticipated supply and demand for our products and services, expected market and industry conditions with respect to crop nutrient application rates, planted acres, crop mix, prices and the impact of currency fluctuations and import and export volumes. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements. As such, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements.
All of the forward-looking statements are qualified by the assumptions that are stated or inherent in such forward-looking statements, including the assumptions referred to below and elsewhere in this press release. Although Agrium believes that these assumptions are reasonable, this list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the forward-looking statements and the reader should not place an undue reliance on these assumptions and such forward-looking statements. The additional key assumptions that have been made include, among other things assumptions with respect to Agrium's ability to successfully integrate and realize the anticipated benefits of its already completed and future acquisitions and that we will be able to implement our standards, controls, procedures and policies at any acquired businesses to realize the expected synergies; that future business, regulatory and industry conditions will be within the parameters expected by Agrium, with respect to prices, margins, product availability and supplier agreements; the completion of our expansion projects on schedule, as planned and on budget; assumptions with respect to global economic conditions and the accuracy of our market outlook expectations for the remainder of 2015 and future years; the adequacy of our cash generated from operations and our ability to access our credit facilities or capital markets for additional sources of financing; our ability to identify suitable candidates for acquisitions and negotiate acceptable terms; our ability to maintain our investment grade rating and achieve our performance targets; and our receipt, on time, of all necessary permits, utilities and project approvals with respect to our expansion projects and that we will have the resources necessary to meet the projects' approach. Also refer to the discussion under the heading "Key Assumptions and Risks in Respect of Forward-Looking Statements" in our 2014 annual MD&A, with respect to further material assumptions associated with our forward-looking statements.
Events or circumstances that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: general economic, market and business conditions; weather conditions, including impacts from regional flooding and/or drought conditions; crop yield and prices; the supply and demand and price levels for our major products may vary from what we currently anticipate; governmental and regulatory requirements and actions by governmental authorities, including changes in government policy, government ownership requirements, changes in environmental, tax and other laws or regulations and the interpretation thereof, and political risks, including civil unrest, actions by armed groups or conflict, regional natural gas supply restrictions, as well as counterparty and sovereign risk; delays in completion of turnarounds at our major facilities; the risk that work on the MOPCO nitrogen facility expansion in Egypt may be interrupted again and may not be completed on the timelines currently anticipated or at all; the risk of additional capital expenditure cost escalation or delays in respect of our Borger nitrogen expansion project and the ramp-up of production following the tie-in of our Vanscoy potash expansion project; and other risk factors detailed from time to time in Agrium reports filed with the Canadian securities regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission in the U.S. including those disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in our Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2014 and under the headings "Enterprise Risk Management" and "Key Assumptions and Risks in respect of Forward- Looking Statements" in our 2014 annual MD&A.
Agrium disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements in this press release as a result of new information or future events, except as may be required under applicable U.S. federal securities laws or applicable Canadian securities legislation.