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K+S to expand Dutch brine production

K+S AG plans to boost production 25% at its Frisia Zout vacuum salt plant in the Netherlands to 1.2 million tonnes per year by the end of 2020.

K+S did not define the expansion cost in a March 27 press release, but a K+S spokesperson told S&P Global Market Intelligence that the investment required would be in the low tens of millions of euros.

The spokesperson said the bulk of spending will fund drilling a new offshore cavern and preparing it for brine extraction. There is existing capacity at the plant to fill, he said.

The brine will be handled by the Frisia Zout facility, which produces vacuum salts that are used for industrial purposes.

K+S said it recently received a permit to exploit the offshore brine that is in salt caverns about 3,000 meters below surface. It currently extracts brine from onshore deposits.

The Frisia Zout expansion comes on the back of production growth in the company's fertilizer business. K+S brought the Bethune potash project online in mid-2017.