Redemption of Convertible Notes
Rentech redeemed all of its 4.00% convertible senior notes with principal amount of $57.5 million on December 31, 2012, in advance of their April 15, 2013 maturity. The early redemption resulted in interest savings of approximately $0.7 million. Upon redemption of the notes, Rentech, Inc. has no outstanding debt obligations, but those of Rentech Nitrogen Partners continue to appear on the Company’s consolidated balance sheets.
R&D Facility Closure and Elimination of R&D Costs
Rentech has decided to eliminate spending on research and development (R&D) activities and significantly reduce other expenses related to alternative energy technologies for the foreseeable future. On February 28, 2013, Rentech announced its decision to cease operations, reduce staffing at, and mothball its research and development Product Demonstration Unit (PDU), a demonstration-scale plant located in Commerce City, Colorado, and to eliminate all related research and development activities. Any ongoing activities related to the Company’s alternative energy technologies will be to protect patents, to maintain the Commerce City site if efforts to sell the site are unsuccessful, to continue low-cost efforts to seek partners who would provide funding to deploy Rentech’s technologies or to sell or license the technologies to third parties who are developing projects.
Given Rentech Nitrogen’s structure as a master limited partnership, management is focused on increasing cash available for distribution. Three growth projects are underway at Rentech Nitrogen’s facilities, which are expected to be accretive to per unit cash distributions in the beginning of 2014 or sooner. A fourth growth project is being planned to produce approximately 15 megawatts of power from waste steam at the Pasadena Facility, to reduce the facility’s electricity expenses and to create an additional revenue stream by exporting the remaining power for sale in the deregulated Texas power market. If financing for this project is obtained on schedule, this project is anticipated to begin contributing to cash distributions upon completion in the fall of 2014. Beyond these growth projects, Rentech Nitrogen has an active M&A team working on a prioritized list of opportunities to further enhance the Partnership’s growth prospects.