Agrium To Build Production Facility

Agrium Inc. will proceed with construction of a new facility for production of its branded polymer coated nitrogen product, ESN, which has been specifically designed for the agricultural markets. New Madrid, MO, has been selected as the home of the new ESN facility.

"We are excited about the opportunity to increase our production capacity of ESN so that we can continue to meet the growing demand for this unique product," says Andrew Mittag, president, Agrium Advanced Technologies. "We selected New Madrid due to its great access to markets, its skilled workforce and its location on the Mississippi River, making it ideally suited for our business."

The coating facility will have an annual production capacity of 120,000 tons, and has been designed such that capacity could be doubled in the future. The incremental capacity will bring our total ESN production capacity to 360,000 tons at three separate locations. All plans will be finalized shortly and groundbreaking on the new facility is expected to begin in early June 2009. The plant is expected to cost approximately $36 mm, be operational in 2010, and have 18 full-time employees.

ESN, or Environmentally Smart Nitrogen, is an innovative, controlled-release agricultural fertilizer. ESN features a unique semi-permeable polymer coating that allows water to enter the urea granule, dissolve the nitrogen inside based on temperature and moisture, and release as the plant needs it.

ESN is a product widely used by growers of corn, wheat, canola, potatoes, and other crops. The benefits are numerous including a more controlled release of nitrogen which makes it a more environmentally friendly fertilizer and produces greater yielding crops. More information can be found at www.smartnitrogen.com.

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