Salt Lake Potash brings fertiliser industry to WA
Lowering emissions across Australia’s fertiliser industry
The company’s sulphate of potash brine operation at Lake Way, near Wiluna in Western Australia, has the potential to cut emissions from fertiliser production by more than a third, supporting significant carbon abatement in the agriculture sector.
SO4 is on track to be one of the first SOP producers in Australia, and we are excited to have this opportunity to influence and support an important industry of the future. By setting ambitious renewable energy targets and adopting sustainable production practices, SO4 demonstrates to new entrants how sustainability measures can make an important contribution to building a profitable business.Rob WilsonHead of Resources, CEFC
The US$47 million senior project finance loan by the CEFC to Salt Lake Potash is part of a US$138 million syndicate senior debt facility. SO4 is projected to become one of the lowest cost sulphate of potash (SOP) producers in the world.
The SO4 processing plant will be part-powered by renewable energy, with a 5 MW solar farm and a 2 MW battery. The company will also undertake additional clean energy initiatives, setting sustainable benchmarks for a new Australian industry and demonstrating that the resources sector can be decarbonised economically.
SOP is a premium specialist fertiliser used to improve the quality of crops, particularly in regions prone to drought and high salinity. The Lake Way SOP operation will use the brine production technique on the vast salt lakes near Wiluna, emitting substantially less carbon during production than SOP created using the alternative Mannheim technology.
SO4 is also working closely with the local Wiluna community, setting an Indigenous employment target for the project of at least 25 per cent within the first five years of operation. It has already reached 21 per cent, employing 20 Indigenous workers at the Lake Way operation – 60 per cent of whom are from nearby Wiluna – and has committed to employing a further 20 Indigenous people across the company.