October 14, 2009 / 3:32 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-CF Industries sees up to $2 bln Peru investments

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LIMA, Oct 14 (Reuters) - CF Industries (CF.N) sees its Peru petrochemical project requiring investments of between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, although a final investment plan will not be completed for a couple months, the company’s Peruvian representative said on Wednesday.

Construction of the plant, the company’s first investment outside North America, would start near the end of the first half of 2010 and be finished around the third quarter of 2013, Ismael Benavides said.

“This will be the first plant of its kind on the entire west coast of the Americas,” Benavides said.

The plant would produce 930,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate a year, which would be turned into 1.3 million tonnes of urea, a fertilizer. The fertilizer would be sold locally and exported.

CF is looking at financing around half the plant’s costs and is talking with the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and with the investment bank MBA Lazard about options, he said.

Peru is working to persuade foreign companies to invest billions of dollars to develop petrochemical plants that turn natural gas into ammonium nitrate used to make explosives, fertilizers and ethylene for plastics.

The government of President Alan Garcia was forced in August to try to guarantee domestic gas supplies after critics said plans to export the fuel could lead to local shortages. (Reporting by Patricia Velez and Terry Wade; +511.221.2130; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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