Aquirian settles purchase of ammonium nitrate production facility

Mining services provider Aquirian (ASX:AQN) says it’s reached a ‘remarkable milestone’ after acquiring the 160,000-tonnes-per-year Wubin Ammonium Nitrate Emulsion Facility in Western Australia. 

Aquirian, which has a $16.53 million market capitalisation, acquired Wubin from South Korean conglomerate Hanwha for $9.6 million. The purchase was fully debt-funded by National Australia Bank (ASX:NAB).

According to today’s announcement, Aquirian is hoping the Wubin facility will deliver revenue of $40 million to $60 million per year, with an EBITDA range of 12% to 16%.   

The company says the ‘transformative’ acquisition will enhance its earnings profile and play a ‘pivotal’ role in its future strategic objectives by bringing it closer to its customers, as well as aligning its technology and energetics strategy. 

Wubin sits on the northern freight corridor and was built in 2020 with licensing to produce 110,000tpa of ammonium nitrate emulsion annually. 

Ammonium nitrate is a widely used chemical compound commonly utilised as a fertiliser and as the main component in many types of mining explosives, where it is mixed with fuel oil and detonated by an explosive charge. 

The plant can potentially increase production to its nameplate capacity of 160,000tpa and become a critical logistics and storage hub for customer demand across Western Australia.   

Aquirian Managing Director David Kelly says Wubin is a “remarkable milestone for our business,” and notes the facility restart is in progress. 

“This acquisition is a key enabler of our technology and energetics strategy. It allows us to offer our customers and partners a more comprehensive range of high-quality products and services.”

During the settlement process, Aquirian said it had garnered ‘significant’ interest from existing and new customers. 

The facility will trade under Aquirian’s wholly owned subsidiary Western Energetics. 

Aquirian provides people, equipment, and products that support mining clients across their operations. 

Hanwha is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and has a balanced business portfolio that includes aerospace, energy and materials, finance, and retail and services.

As of December 2023, Aquirian had under $4.45 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest half yearly accounts.

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Images: Aquirian
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.