Severe Drought Conditions Affect Potash Production

Despite the persistent, extreme drought, full production at the three sites of the Werra potash plant is now guaranteed up to and including December 23. The reason for this is the continuous optimization of wastewater management as well as the use of existing possibilities for off-site disposal.

Against this background and assuming a prolonged extreme drought, disposal-related stoppages in production are now only expected to continue over the holidays until January 1. Should significant rainfall occur in the coming days, these stoppages could be further reduced.

Because of this, K+S expects a negative EBITDA effect of a maximum of € 15 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. "We can now confirm our range for the EBITDA of  € 570 to 630 million, including this possible additional burden. Thereby we expect an average de-icing salt business in December," says Dr. Burkhard Lohr, CEO of K+S.

K+S will use the expected production stoppages to reduce inventories in the buffer storage ponds. This should mean that stoppages in potash production at the Werra plant are unlikely, even if the drought persists in the first quarter of 2019.

From early summer 2019, K+S is also expected to be in a position to increase the on-site temporary storage capacity for saline wastewater by further up to 400,000 m3 to a total of up to 1 million m3. The technical solution for the underground storage of saline wastewater has been found. The preparation of the approval has been initiated. "In the coming year, we should have a significantly higher level of reliability in production, even in drought conditions", concluded Dr. Lohr.

Production times of the Werra potash plant

The calendar below indicates earlier production impacts. This calendar will be updated every Monday.

« 12/3/18 to 12/9/18  (week 49) »

plant Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  Full production
  Regular maintenance
  No production


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