Borealis looks to divest nitrogen and melamine business


Headquartered in Austria, polyolefin and fertilizer producer Borealis says it looking to sell its nitrogen business unit including fertilizer, technical nitrogen and melamine products.

Borealis said the company’s share in fertilizer production sites in the Netherlands and Belgium, through the company Rosier, were not presently being considered within the potential sales process.

The company operates fertilizer production plants in Austria and France, with around 60 warehouses and inventory capacity of 700,000 t. Across Europe, the company supplies around five million tonnes of products annually in Western, Central and South East Europe markets via the Borealis L.A.T distribution network.

The product portfolio comprises nitrogenous fertilizers, compound NPK fertilizers and speciality fertilizers with various formulas of primary and secondary nutrients as well as oligo-elements [trace elements], the company stated in its 2019 annual report.

The largest Borealis fertilizer production facility is in Linz, Austria. Fertilizer raw materials produced here include ammonia, nitric acid and urea as well as NPK and CAN (calcium ammonium nitrate) fertilizers. The CAN is a by-product of its NPK production route. Among its products, Borealis L.A.T sells calcium ammonium nitrate with magnesium and an NS product MyNitras (26 N+13 SO3). Around 50,000 t/y of melamine are also produced at Linz. 

The majority of the technical nitrogen is urea destined for adhesives used in chip-board production.

Borealis will continue to focus on its core activities of providing solutions in the fields of polyolefins and base chemicals, extending OMV’s value chain towards higher value chemical products, the company said in its statement. Borealis has two shareholders: OMV, Austria’s energy major, with 36%, and Mubadala from UAE with 64%.

Borealis returned the fertilizer and melamine business to profit in 2019. In the 2019 annual report, CFO Mark Tonkens said: “We are very pleased to see that our Fertilizer business has turned the corner and posted good results in 2019 after three straight years of under-par performance.”

Borealis acquired GPN, the largest nitrogen fertilizer manufacturer in France, from TOTAL in 2013, and the French company PEC-Rhin, located at Ottmarsheim, France, from GPN in 2012.

In 2013, Borealis closed an agreement with TOTAL to acquire its majority interest of 56.86% in Rosier, a fertilizer manufacturer with two production facilities, one is Moustier in Belgium and the other in Sas van Gent in the Netherlands.

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