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Alberta firms propose construction of plant to convert sulfur to fertilizer

Richard Gilbert

Two Calgary-based companies are proposing the construction of a plant in central Alberta to convert sulphur from sour gas into a new fertilizer product for farmers.


“With the Vitasul product, we are helping to address plant nutrient sulphur requirements in global agriculture”, said Sulvaris CEO Rick Knoll.

“The new Vitasul production facility will service agricultural markets both in North America and abroad.”

Sulvaris Inc. has signed an agreement with Keyera Partnership for the construction, ownership and operation of a new sulphur fertilizer production facility.

The new facility will be built on the site of Keyera’s existing Strachan Gas Plant near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.

It will convert elemental sulphur into Vitasul, a premium plant nutrient sulphur fertilizer.

Engineering work is underway. Construction of the facility is currently scheduled to start in 2013, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals, the completion of Sulvaris’ financing, and final approval for the project by both Keyera and Sulvaris.

The project would build on the sulphur and transportation facilities at the plant.

The Strachan gas plant also has sulphur handling capabilities, including: sulphur recovery; sulphur forming; sulphur truck/rail loading and off-loading; and a large sulphur block with storage capacity of 500,000 tonnes.

It also has connections to three major gathering systems (Strachan North, Garrington Caroline and Burnt Timber/Ram River).

This means the Strachan gas plant is able to attract gas from a large capture area covering about 2,500 square kilometres

The new facility, when completed, will have the capacity to produce up to about 217,000 metric tonnes of Vitasul per year, which will be sold into the Canadian, U.S., and Asian markets.

If this schedule is maintained, production could commence in early 2014.

The facility will be owned as a 50/50 joint venture between Keyera and Sulvaris, with Keyera as operator.

The joint venture will produce Vitasul for Sulvaris on a fee-for-service basis and Sulvaris will market and distribute the product.

The largest components of fertilizer are usually nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, but sulphur is often considered the next most important nutrient.

Plant nutrient sulphur is essential in a plant’s production of chlorophyll, oil and protein.

Vitasul has been extensively tested in Canada, the U.S., China and India on a variety of crops, including canola, corn, wheat and others.

The companies claim it has consistently out-performed other forms of sulphur fertilizer currently available in the market.

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