Diversifies crop and market concentration
Currently, Rentech Nitrogen sells products that are applied mostly to corn. With ammonium sulfate, this crop concentration is diversified, as AS is commonly applied to multiple crops such as soybeans, potatoes, cotton, alfalfa and wheat. The acquisition also expands Rentech Nitrogen’s geographic customer base, from a concentration in the Mid-Corn Belt, to broad coverage across the U.S. and into Brazil.
Reduces single location risk
With the addition of another site, located in a different region, Rentech Nitrogen will now have multiple plant locations, and therefore risk associated with being a single location company will be reduced.
Reduces seasonality of sales
Rentech Nitrogen’s sales are currently weighted toward the fall and spring application periods for corn crops in the Midwest. AS from Agrifos’ plant is applied to multiple crops in multiple regions, including Brazil, with application periods throughout the year, which will reduce the seasonality of Rentech Nitrogen’s consolidated sales.
Future accretive growth opportunities
The Pasadena site provides several organic growth opportunities which could provide growth in cash flows from the acquisition. The Partnership has identified three potential growth projects for the near term:
Debottlenecking Project to Increase Ammonium Sulfate Production:
The Partnership plans to implement several improvements to the production process next year which are expected to increase ammonium sulfate production capacity by 20% at the plant, from approximately 1,750 tons per day to approximately 2,100 tons per day. This project is expected to maximize production of the highest margin product, AS. The Partnership expects to fund this project from the debt capacity under the new credit facility. The additional AS production should contribute to cash distributions in the second half of 2014.
Cogeneration Power Project:
The Partnership has identified a relatively low-risk power cogeneration project at the plant. Currently, the sulfuric acid plant vents excess steam. The project contemplates installing a steam turbine which could use this excess steam to produce baseload power. Some of the power could be used internally, reducing electricity expenses, and the remaining power could be exported and sold in the deregulated Texas power market, creating an additional revenue stream. The new debt facility will have an accordion feature, which the Partnership could utilize, subject to new lending commitments, to fund this project.