Sollio Agriculture, the agribusiness division of 100-year-old Sollio Cooperative Group and Pursell, a coating technology innovator based in Sylacauga, Alabama (U.S.), are forming a joint venture to build and operate a fertilizer coating plant in St. Thomas, Ontario (Canada), for the production of advanced controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs).
The project represents an investment of over CDN$20 million.
The new plant will break ground in the fall of 2021 and is expected to become operational in August of 2022. It will produce CRFs leveraging Pursell’s innovative coating materials and proprietary processing techniques, as well its patented technology that enables the addition of micronutrients and temperature-sensitive additives, such as biologicals, growth enhancers and soil health promoters.
Pursell, which opened its flagship fertilizer coating plant in Sylacauga, Alabama in early 2018 has also initiated plans to open an additional plant in Savannah, Georgia (U.S.).
“Partnering with members of Sollio Cooperative Group to build a plant in St. Thomas is ideal. It’s located in close proximity to substrate and material suppliers and creates opportunities for retailers in the region to address the diverse nutrition needs of their customers in a predictable, prescriptive and profitable way,” said Nick Adamchak, Pursell CEO. “This first license of the Pursell Technology outside of the U.S. also enables us to move forward in further international licensing opportunities with our partners at Stamicarbon.”
Historically, CRF products have been difficult to access for commodity agricultural crops such as corn, wheat, canola or potatoes, and have been used primarily in turf and ornamental and specialty agriculture in the region. Pursell’s coating innovation and technology, coupled with local manufacturing of products, make widespread adoption of CRF into the commodity agriculture market economically and environmentally feasible.
“The establishment of our St. Thomas plant gives growers in eastern Canada and the northeastern U.S. access to controlled-release nitrogen, phosphate and potash fertilizers, as well as customized plant nutrition options,” noted Adamchak.
The St. Thomas plant will produce upwards of 100,000 tonnes once full capacity has been reached. According to the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), the use of CRFs could reduce by 20-30 percent the recommended rate of a conventional fertilizer while achieving the same yield.