Friday, September 24, 2010

Great Salt Lake Minerals to expand, add 50 jobs

Great Salt Lake Minerals Corp. is launching a $160 million upgrade of its existing solar evaporation ponds on the shores of the Great Salt Lake so it can increase its production of potassium sulfate fertilizer. The investment is expected over the next four years to boost production at the company’s existing facilities by approximately 60 percent and increase employment to 400 workers from 350.

“Work will begin immediately with some new capacity available starting in 2012,” said Angelo Brisimitzakis, president and CEO of Compass Minerals, GSLM’s parent company. The announcement came Thursday as the company celebrated the 40th anniversary of its first shipment of “sulfate of potassium” or SOP, a nonchemically enhanced fertilizer widely used to improve fruit and vegetable yields.

Brisimitzakis said the $160 million investment is the second of a three-phase plan to address the growing agricultural demand for SOP in the decades ahead. The company, which currently produces approximately 350,000 tons every year from its 45,000 acres of solar ponds, contends it is the only SOP producer in the United States. The first phase, which saw the company invest $40 million in its plant to increase its annual potassium sulfate production by 100,000 tons, was launched in 2008 and is expected to be completed by year end. The Salt Lake Tribune