Origin Fertilisers has recently completed a £1 million investment at its Invergordon site which has more than doubled daily capacity and provided 5,000 tonnes of extra raw material storage.
The company is the biggest market distributor of fertiliser in Scotland, delivering 3,000 tonnes per day into the Scottish market at peak times.
It imports and handles more than 60 different raw materials across 12 blending facilities in the UK, including Montrose and Ayr, with around 300 raw materials vessels brought in each year from around Europe.
Speaking at a press briefing, managing director Mike Pater, said the investment at Invergordon would allow the business to meet peak seasonal demands and cover a larger geographical area.
“We are becoming more and more of a just-in-time business so our aim is to be able to increase capacity to produce and dispatch fertiliser on a daily basis across all of our facilities,” he said.
“The spring and autumn used to be our two main seasons within the fertiliser business but it’s now becoming more pressurised into the spring application period and less as an autumn base.
“In the autumn, there is an out of season nitrogen supply market and more of an NPK/PK just-in-time demand as per crop requirements in the spring.”
Production at the Invergordon site has now doubled from 200 tonnes per day to 400-450 tonnes per day with the installation of two 7.2 tonne batch blenders, to replace a single 4.8 tonne blender.
Mr Pater said the additional raw material storage would allow the company to bring in larger vessels carrying 2,000 to 2,500 tonnes of fertiliser on a more regular basis direct to Invergordon, which will cut costs and reduce the carbon footprint.
New indoor storage for finished products is also part of the redevelopment and the facility can hold up to 500 tonnes of bagged fertiliser under cover.
Mr Pater said the company was also focusing on IT investment to be able to apply trace elements, micronutrients, protectors on phosphates and nitrogen inhibitors to reduce ammonia emissions and gases from fertilisers.
Origin Fertilisers invested £2.5m in a state-of-the-art facility at the Montrose site in 2014 and now has plans to upgrade the Ayr facility in the coming year.
The Montrose site produces more than 1,000 tonnes of finished product per day, while the Ayr site has a daily capacity of 700 tonnes per day.