Rentech Nitrogen has secured strong product pricing in its spring forward sales book. The Company believes it properly gauged the market and sold a significant portion of its spring book during the September/October window last year when pricing for spring deliveries was at a premium. The Company sold limited additional tonnage in late December through February when product prices were softer. The premium pricing Rentech Nitrogen captured is reflected in the average pre-sold product prices for spring delivery, of $741 per ton for ammonia and $386 per ton for UAN, which are well above prices offered during last December through February. Product prices have strengthened recently, and the Company anticipates further nitrogen price appreciation as the spring season develops. Rentech Nitrogen sees factors such as record forecasted planted acres and high corn prices as positive indicators to support its view.
Ammonia Capacity Expansion: The expansion project currently underway at the Company’s plant remains within budget and on schedule, to be completed by the end of 2013. The expansion project is designed to increase ammonia production capacity by approximately 23%, or 70,000 tons annually, and includes the addition of a 20,000 ton ammonia storage tank. The expansion will bring Rentech Nitrogen’s annual ammonia production capacity to approximately 370,000 tons, and will increase on-site ammonia storage capacity to 60,000 tons. Rentech Nitrogen also has access to 15,000 tons of leased ammonia storage in Niota, IL. The additional ammonia production is expected to be sold primarily as ammonia, but could also be available for upgrade to other products. Rentech Nitrogen continues to expect the expansion project to generate a return of greater than 20%, given current expectations for pricing of products and costs of natural gas.
In February 2012, Rentech Nitrogen secured a $100 million multiple draw term loan (Capital Expenditures Facility) to finance the entire projected cost of the ammonia production and storage capacity expansion. GE Capital served as administrative agent and GE Capital Markets served as sole lead arranger and book-runner on the financing which also included a $35 million working capital credit facility (Working Capital Facility). Simultaneously with the closing of the Capital Expenditures Facility and the Working Capital Facility, Rentech Nitrogen Partners terminated the bridge loan facility provided by Rentech, Inc., which was put in place in December 2011 to continue the expansion project while the Capital Expenditures Facility was being negotiated and finalized. The Company has drawn approximately $8.5 million on the Capital Expenditures Facility to repay the outstanding principal under the bridge loan facility and to pay fees associated with the new credit facility.