World’s largest manufacturer and marketer of fertilizers in the cooperative sector, Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative (IFFCO) on Wednesday announced a strategic alliance with Canadian company GrowMax Agri Corp to make its foray into potash project and oil and gas exploration.
Terming the step as backward integration to strengthen its potash sourcing for the manufacture of phosphatic fertilizers in India, IFFCO Managing Director U. S. Awasthi said IFFCO had become a joint venture partner in GrowMax Agri Corp. which owns concessions over large potash deposits covering about 820 sq km in its Bayovar project in Peru.
GrowMax is a subsidiary of Americas Petrogas which is a Canadian company in the oil and gas sector and is at present engaged in exploring on-shore oil well in Argentina. It has already struck oil and commenced trial production in its Medanito Sur concession in Neuquen Basin in central Argentina.
Dr. Awasthi said IFFCO has a 20 per cent shareholding in GrowMax and about 10 per cent stake in Americas Petrogas with representation on the board of GrowMax. IFFCO will have an offtake agreement for 50 per cent of potash to be produced from the Peru project.
He said after diversification into insurance, power, rural mobile telephony and commodity exchange, IFFCO had now entered into another important sector of potash, oil and gas.
On its foray into oil and gas, Dr. Awasthi said the company had been considering entering oil and gas business for the last five years.
It offers IFFCO an opportunity to set up gas-based fertilizer plant in the near future on discovery of gas in the concession areas of Maricas Petrogas.