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Nutrien to increase its potash production capability in response to the uncertainty of supply from Eastern Europe

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(Kitco News) - Nutrien (TSX: NTR) announced today it plans to increase fertilizer production capability in response to structural changes in global energy, agriculture and fertilizer markets.

According to the company's statement, Nutrien is accelerating the ramp-up of its annual potash production capability to 18 million tonnes by 2025 in response to the uncertainty of supply from Eastern Europe.

Nutrien said that this represents an increase of more than 5 million tonnes, or 40 percent, compared to the company's production in 2020.

"The acceleration pathway is through existing low-cost capacity that is unmatched in the industry and supported by world-class global logistics infrastructure. The incremental production capability is expected to be added at a similar annual pace to the additions over the past two years," the company said in a statement.

To boost production, the company said it will hire and train approximately 350 people and invest in underground mining equipment, mine development, storage and load-out capacity.

Nutrien also continues to evaluate additional low-cost brownfield expansion opportunities beyond 18 million tonnes at its Saskatchewan mines that would supply longer-term market demand growth.

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As for the company's nitrogen portfolio, Nutrien said it is advancing previously announced brownfield expansion projects that are expected to add approximately 500,000 tonnes of capacity by the end of 2025 and further enhance the energy efficiency and product mix of our plants.

Importantly, Nutrien said it is planning to repurchase an additional $2 billion of shares, for a total of approximately $4 billion of repurchases in 2022, under its existing normal course issuer bid.

This is expected to increase the company's total return of capital to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases to approximately $5 billion in 2022.

Nutrien is the world's largest provider of crop inputs and services, playing a critical role in helping growers increase food production in a sustainable manner.

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