Fertilizer factory in the Gaúcha Campaign will start to be built in the second semester
Eduardo Torres, special for the JC
More than a decade after the start of studies in Lavras do Sul, in the Campanha region, Águia Fertilizantes intends to start work on its industrial plant for the production of fertilizers from phosphate to be explored in the municipality itself in the second half of this year . According to the CEO of Águia, Fernando Talarico, between August and September earthworks should start. From then on, in 12 months, the phosphate factory and mine should be operating, with a production capacity of 300,000 tons of fertilizers per year, capable of meeting 15% of the state’s agricultural demand. The information is contained in the 2023 Yearbook of Investments of Jornal do Comércio.
The company, which operates with Australian capital, plans to invest BRL 60 million in Lavras do Sul this year. It is more than half of the BRL 100 million already invested since 2011 in the project – in 2022, the company invested BRL 17 million in the initiative. During the works, the expectation is to generate 180 jobs in the region and, in the operation phase, another 145. enhancement of the mineral capacity of this region.
Another project valued at R$ 100 million is in its initial phase, with the first investments, around R$ 5 million, to be contributed this year. This is the copper extraction plan in Caçapava do Sul, in a deposit of 22 million tons with good quality ore, discovered by Águia Fertilizantes. The trend, points out Talarico, is for this initiative to be processed more quickly than what happened in Lavras do Sul. He believes that, in 2026, it is possible that the company will already be producing copper bars from the Campaign.
“In both operations, the idea is to be able to apply a completely new, green concept, committed to environmental preservation and to the generation of wealth for the region, precisely because of the environmental differentials of our production”, explains the executive.
Photovoltaic plant is in the economic readjustment phase
With the installation license for the Lavras do Sul unit delivered by Fepam in November last year, Águia Fertilizantes began a process of economic readjustment of the project.
“The industrial scenario, and especially the fertilizer market, has been very volatile since the war in Ukraine. There are costs with materials for building the industrial plant, which have also varied a lot since our last study, but the finding that phosphate , with the differential of being produced here in Rio Grande do Sul, continues to be a great attraction”, explains the company’s CEO.
The survey will guide not only the necessary contribution, but also the release of the credit line already approved by BRDE for the enterprise. It is estimated that, of the R$ 60 million to be invested in 2023, half will be supported by financing. The budget includes the construction of a photovoltaic plant with 600 kW of nominal power. The generation of solar energy, which is intended to make Águia’s production self-sufficient from an energy point of view, is a fundamental step in the company’s environmental responsibility strategy.
According to Talarico, the fertilizer factory will be installed less than two kilometers from the mine. The 300-hectare area has already been acquired and should have around 50 hectares of built-up area. The remainder, points out the executive, will be reversed in yet another environmental responsibility action.
“Our idea is to reserve these 250 hectares for reforestation to generate carbon credits. In the operation, we will have, in addition to cleaner energy, a whole system for reusing the use of water, which will not be used in the direct production of fertilizer”, he says. talaric.
It is estimated that 100% of the phosphate to be explored in Lavras do Sul will be absorbed by Águia’s own production. And then, points out the executive, the final product will also have the environmental differential. “There is no addition of chemical products in our production”, he guarantees.
From the open pit rock phosphate removal line, the ore will be transported by trucks to the industrial plant, where it will be dried, ground and packaged. The result will be the so-called Pampafos, pointed out by the company as an organic fertilizer. Tests on soy, rice, wheat and oat crops would have already shown good product efficiency results.
Source for clean industry
Just over 50 kilometers from the place where it will produce fertilizers, in Caçapava do Sul, Águia plans to produce copper plates. Or, as the company has called it, “green copper”, in an investment plan that will reach, until the operation, up to R$ 100 million.
“When you talk about mining, which is the basis of any form of industry, people naturally associate it with processes of environmental degradation. But copper, as an electrical conductor, is the key, for example, for the manufacture of electric cars, of clean technology. Our project wants to ensure that this entire production chain is environmentally responsible”, points out Fernando Talarico.
The idea, according to him, is to replicate the actions of Lavras do Sul, such as, for example, the generation of solar energy, measures to reduce consumption of water and inputs in the production and exploitation of ore. Therefore, part of the R$ 5 million expected to be invested in Caçapava do Sul in 2023 – R$ 2 million – will be provided by Finep, which approved a line of research for the clean production of copper.
The remainder of the initial investment will be allocated to the engineering studies phase for the mine and industrial plant and the start of licensing processes in the state. The forecast is that the environmental impact study can be started in the second half of the year. “Today, in Brazil, the production of copper compounds ends up supplying the industry. We will have the capacity to supply a product with 99% purity. A process that will certainly trigger a very important production chain in the Campanha region”, values the Eagle Executive.
Investment: BRL 65 million (total: BRL 160 million)
Company: Eagle Fertilizers
Cities: Lavras do Sul and Caçapava do Sul
Internship: Running until 2026
Investments in 2022: BRL 17 million