Deal marks Apache West Australia exit
■ Norwegian fertiliser giant Yara International has struck a $US391 million ($551 million) deal to buy Apache out of its ammonia joint venture near Karratha.
The deal, last week, will see Yara acquire all of Apache Fertilisers, which in turn owns 49 per cent of Yara Pilbara Holdings.
It marks the completion of Apache’s exit from WA, having sold out of the Wheatstone LNG project (to Woodside Petroleum) and its WA gas business (to Quadrant Energy).
The deal with Yara will give the Norwegians 100 per cent of the 850,000 tonne a year liquid ammonia plant on the Burrup Peninsula and a bigger interest in the technical ammonium nitrate plant, which is being built next door and due for start-up early next year.
The liquid ammonia plant, which was the brainchild of Pankaj Oswal before he was forced out by Yara and company creditors, delivered earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation last year of $US218 million.
“We are pleased to secure full ownership of the Pilbara ammonia plant, which is the largest and mode modern ammonia plant in Yara’s portfolio,” Yara chief executive Svein Tore Holsether said.
“The Pilbara assets are already operated by Yara, and therefore require limited efforts to fully integrate.
The investment will also yield synergies within governance and tax structure.”
Yara also revealed that the gas supply contract to ammonia plant, which historically had come from Apache’s Harriet joint venture, “contains a price step-up effective mid-2016”.
Quadrant took over the Harriet field when it bought out Apache earlier this year.