Pemex invests up to $475 mln to buy, revamp fertilizer plant

MEXICO CITY Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:20pm EST

MEXICO CITY Jan 16 (Reuters) - Mexico's Pemex will spend up to $475 million to buy and revamp a fertilizer production plant in the eastern state of Veracruz that will allow it to produce up to 990,000 tonnes of urea annually, the state oil monopoly said on Thursday.

The deal between Pemex subsidiary PMI and Minera del Norte subsidiary Agro Nitrogenados would allow the company to supply 75 percent of national demand for urea, Pemex said in a statement. The company said that would replace over $400 million worth of annual imports of urea, which is widely used in fertilizer as a source of nitrogen.

Ammonia, made from natural gas and one of the main inputs in fertilizer production, will be supplied by Pemex's petrochemical complex, located 28 kilometers from the Agro Nitrogenados plant in Cosoleacaque, Veracruz, the company said.

Mexico's president Enrique Pena Nieto pushed an energy overhaul through Congress last year that would allow private investment in the largely state-controlled oil, gas and petrochemical sectors.

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