The Board of Yara International ASA has approved expansion projects at the company's Belle Plaine (Canada) and Porsgrunn (Norway) facilities, adding respectively 1.3 million tons of urea and 300 kilotons NPK on completion of the projects.

"I am delighted to confirm these highly value-creating projects for Yara. Taking advantage of the excellent location of our existing Belle Plaine facility in Canada, we will increase our presence and scale in the North American market by more than doubling our capacity at the site. The Porsgrunn expansion marks an important step in our value-added fertilizer growth plans, driven by increasing demand for high-quality NPK fertilizer for cash crop markets outside Europe," said Jørgen Ole Haslestad, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yara.

The Belle Plaine expansion will comprise an integrated world scale ammonia and urea line with a urea capacity of approximately 1.3 million tons per annum. Part of the urea produced will be with sulphur, which will meet the increasing demand from the canola crop segment in the Northern Plains region. The Belle Plaine project is approved for a fast-track process, with expected start-up in second half 2016. The final decision to implement the project is subject to an EPC contract, and agreements with Saskatchewan authorities related to utilities and other key terms of the project.

In Porsgrunn, Yara will invest approximately NOK 300 million to increase NPK capacity by 300 kilotons. The project will be implemented with a gradual step-up in capacity from 2012 to completion in 2014.