Sollio Agriculture, along with partners from its retail networks and Pursell, a coating technology company based at Sylacauga, AL, have announced plans for a joint venture to build and operate a fertilizer coating plant at St. Thomas, Ont.

The new, $20 million plant will be dedicated to the production of controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs).

The companies are expecting to break ground in the fall of 2021 and begin operating in August of 2022. It will produce CRFs leveraging Pursell’s 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.

Controlled-release coatings can improve plant uptake of nutrients, and have the potential to significantly improve yield and quality, while lowering greenhouse gas emissions from volatilization and reducing the risk of nutrient leaching and runoff, the company says.

“This partnership was made possible by the participation of many member cooperatives and retail joint ventures from our distribution networks across Eastern Canada. This collaborative effort with our retailers makes this innovative technology that has great potential for the farmers we serve widely available,” states Ghislain Gervais, president of Sollio Cooperative Group.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Pursell to make the numerous economic and environmental benefits of its CRF technology available to Canadian farmers,” says Casper Kaastra, Sollio Agriculture CEO. “Local manufacturing reduces logistics expense to customers, provides ability to offer previously unavailable CRF products to this market and supports nutrient stewardship initiatives associated with the use of fertilizer products,” added Kaastra.

Pursell, which opened its flagship fertilizer coating plant at Sylacauga, Alabama, in early 2018, has also initiated plans to open another plant at Savannah, Ga.

“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,” says 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.”

The St. Thomas plant will produce upwards of 100,000 tonnes once full capacity has been reached.

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