Michigan could potentially become an industry leader in potash supply for fertilizer if the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues.
Rendering of the future Michigan Potash and Salt Company.
Potash is one of three nutrients found in plant fertilizer.
It helps plants with water intake and development and has no known substitutes.
The Michigan Potash and Salt Company, located in Osceola County, says the U.S. is 96% reliant on potash imports from Russia, Belarus, and Canada, and uses about 11 million tons of potash annually.
The Michigan Potash and Salt Company will be located at a potash deposit that could produce around 650,000 tons of potash annually.
“Potash, in the last 18 months, has increased in price 3x what we were looking at before,” said Michigan Potash and Salt Company Vice President of Potash and Marketing Development Ward Forquer. “With the combination of producing potash and salt, and the way we do it, we’ll still be the lowest cost producers in the world.”
Currently, the company is looking to fund a $1.1 billion project that, once fully funded, would be able to extract potash and salt from 7,800 ft deep in the earth.
“Not a lot of people know about potash, not a lot of people know where potash comes from,” said Forquer. “As it becomes more and more an everyday topic, of potash and other products being sanctioned, the inquiries to know about potash have increased substantially. It’s going to help us get to the finish line on the financing of our project.”
The potash the company would produce annually could replace 100% of the U.S. potash imports from Russia, once their project is fully funded and production is underway.
“Even though potash is approaching $1,000 a ton now, even if it should go back to normal levels, we can still be competitive and still be profitable and still go forward with our project,” said Forquer.
The Michigan Potash and Salt Company says they are a few months away from fully funding their project in order to begin construction.