EuroChem postpones the launch of Usolsky Potash Plant until February or March

According to a statement issued by the company, Uralchem plans to produce 580-590 thousand tonnes of potassium chloride in 2018. This figure is below the previously announced goal of 600-900 thousand tonnes of potassium chloride.

The planned output figure includes the 450 thousand tonnes slated for production at the Usolsky Potash Plant (Perm Region). The first production line of this mining and processing complex, initially planned for launch in late 2017, was postponed for about two months due to a fire that took place at the construction site, said the company.

The fire broke out during the assembly of building structures at a site managed by Renaissance Heavy Industries, a contractor under the project.

The second production line of the Usolsky Potash Plant is scheduled for launch in H1 2018, and will be followed by the third and fourth lines, built under the same first stage of mining project operation. With all these lines in operation, the combined output should reach 2.3 million tonnes of potassium in 2021.

VolgaKaliy is expected to produce its first batches of product in the summer of 2018, and make a total of 130-140 thousand tonnes by the end of the year.

It’s worth reminding that in Q4 2017 the cage shaft of VolgaKaliy was again hit by flooding, which compelled the management to shift the launch to a later date. “Over the fourth quarter of 2017, we pumped out water from the cage shaft, bringing it below the 800 meter mark. However, the removal of water increased the load upon the ice wall in the bottom section of the shaft. The increased pressure damaged the ice wall, and the inflow resumed. The flooding was allowed to proceed and the shaft was filled with water to stabilize the pressure. Then, in order to restore the ice wall and keep it strong, six additional freezing holes were bored at minus 838 meters prior to restarting the pumps.

The commissioning of the cage shaft has been postponed until July 2021 (it was previously expected to open in 2019). This commissioning will take place during the second stage of the mining operations. “Although under the new schedule the cage shaft is to be commissioned in July 2021, it won’t be required for operational purposes until early 2022. Therefore two other shafts, measuring 7 meters in diameter each and initially designed as skip shafts will be used in the combined skip/cage role until 2022”, says the company’s statement.


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