Fertilizer producer CF Industries Holdings Inc is looking at expansion outside the Western Hemisphere, Chief Executive Steve Wilson told Reuters news service this week. Where and when continue to be the questions.
The main expansion would apparently be in production of nitrogen fertilizers, but Wilson wouldn’t commit to any timeline or specific opportunities that the company has identified.
Jumping into an expansion would probably not be limited too much by financing. CF Industries Holding has been doing quite well financially. Reuters reported that as of Sept. 30, CF had $1.43 billion in cash, even after buying back $800 million of its own stock during the third quarter of 2011.
Iraq and the African continent hold promise for expansion, although each has its own challenges. Wilson told the news service that Iraq has a large amount of natural gas but obvious problems for investment by any company. Africa is thought to have huge reserves of natural gas, but some countries have major problems limiting a company like CF from investing, too.
Wilson was quoted as saying, "It's no secret if you look at North Africa, you see difficulties in Egypt and Tunisia and places like that. The notion that somehow you can magically go and secure cheap natural gas safely and securely for 20 years is questionable."
An ammonia and urea fertilizer project in Peru is basically at a stop, it was also noted.
The full Reuters article can be read by clicking here.