• Bert Quin

Togo or not to go?

Watched an interesting Newshub TV3 story about Ballance the other night. Too light on hard scientific questions, but well put together. Several statements by Ballance CEO Mark Wynne must be challenged:

(1) Boucraa is an 'ideal' phosphate for NZ. Wrong; it is not effective for direct application and has to be attacked with concentrated sulphuric acid, to make 'superphosphate'. Both the attack, and making the acid in the first case, release several toxic and/or global warming gases. Not ideal.

(2) Superphosphate is 'the best fertiliser for NZ because it contains both phosphate (P) and sulphur (S)'. Wrong: any P fertiliser can have S added to it as required, just like the TSP and DAP that Ballance import.

(3). 'Looking for 10 years for an alternative' (to stolen Boucraa). Wrong. Togo, Chinese and Vietnam manufacturing phosphates are all available, and are already used in smaller quantities by Ballance. Two bulk Togo shipments are due NZ in Sep/Oct. Strange this was not mentioned. In my assessment, the real reason Boucraa is preferred by the NZ industry (rubber-stamped by the Govt), is that as NZ is now the only buyer of Boucraa the Moroccans have, they sell it to B and R at a big discount.