MOSCOW - Uralchem-Uralkali Group, one of Russia's largest producers of mineral fertilizers, told Sputnik on Tuesday it may include 55,000 tonnes of potassium chloride, blocked in the port of Latvia's capital, Riga, since March 2022 due to sanctions, in a humanitarian shipment to Sri Lanka, while the next shipment could go to Nigeria, reports Sputnik.
"Uralchem-Uralkali Group does not exclude the possibility that about 55 tonnes of potassium chloride, which have remained on board of the Asian Majesty vessel in the port of Riga for over a year, could be shipped to Sri Lanka," the company's press service told Sputnik.
The company pointed out that Uralchem-Uralkali Group had already sent to African countries a total of about 54,000 tonnes of mineral fertilizers out of over 260,000 tonnes "de facto blocked at European warehouses and ports in 2022."
In total, the group intends to donate to developing countries about 300,000 tonnes of mineral fertilizers, it said. "Nigeria could be the next recipient," the company added.
Uralchem-Uralkali Group also told Sputnik the construction of a new harbor transshipment complex for ammonia and mineral fertilizers in the southern city of Taman should partly solve the problem of the blocked Tolyatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline.
"The construction of the new terminal in Taman and its' starting to function at full design capacity will partly solve the problem of the blocked Tolyatti-Odessa ammonia pipeline," it said.
It is scheduled that the first line designed for a cargo turnover of up to 2 million tonnes of ammonia a year, will be put into operation at the end of 2023. After the completion of the project's second stage, the capacity of the complex will increase to 3.5 million tonnes of ammonia and 1.5 million tonnes of carbamide a year. The full capacity of the complex by the end of 2025 will be 5 million tonnes of ammonia a year.
The company added it is also considering a buyout of Russian assets belonging to foreign grain traders who intend to leave the country.
"We have considered and we are currently considering various options. Our attention to grain traders is caused by the importance of securing grain shipments for international markets and maintaining food security in several regions of the world," the company said.
In November, Uralchem-Uralkali Group said the ports of Estonia, Latvia, Belgium and the Netherlands had blocked more than 260,000 tonnes of the company's fertilizers, which it was prepared to donate to African countries. The company's co-owner, Dmitry Mazepin, said it could not pay freight charges due to sanctions and asked the UN for assistance.
The first humanitarian shipment of 20,000 tonnes of Uralchem-Uralkali Group's fertilizers left a Dutch port in late November 2022 and arrived in Malawi in March via Mozambique. In late April 2023, 34,000 tonnes of fertilizers destined for Kenya were loaded onto a ship in Riga and are currently en route to the southeastern Kenyan port of Mombasa.