Agrium Inc. announced plans to proceed with detailed engineering on a proposed expansion of its controlled release urea fertilizer product "ESN(R)" at the Carseland, Alberta, nitrogen facility. The proposed expansion would increase ESN(R) coating capability from 30,000 to 150,000 tonnes of product per year. Should the project proceed to construction, the additional product would be available in the market as early as January 2006.



ESN(R), or Smart Nitrogen, has a unique semi-permeable polymer coating that allows water to enter the urea granule and dissolve the nitrogen. The nitrogen release rate is controlled by soil temperature, which similarly determines plant growth and nutrient demand. Therefore, ESN(R) technology provides for a better matching of nutrient availability in the soil with plant nutrient requirements. The result is increased productivity per pound of nitrogen, providing an economic advantage for growers, while reducing nitrogen loss to the environment.



"We are pleased to have received recognition on a number of fronts for ESN(R) however, the response we have received from our customers is the most rewarding," said Mike Wilson, Agrium's President and CEO. "We are proceeding with the further development of this project due to the exceptional demand from our customers, and because it will add value for our shareholders."



Agrium will continue to market ESN(R) primarily in the Corn Belt region of the Mid-Western United States.



Source: Company Release