London – A delegation from PhosAgro took part in the Russian-British Business Forum, which was held in London for the fourth time.
The Company delegation included Andrey A. Guryev, PhosAgro CEO and President of the Russian Association of Fertilizer Producers; Andrey G. Guryev, Deputy Chairman of PhosAgro’s Board of Directors and Vice President of the Russian Union of Chemists; PhosAgro’s Deputy CEO for International Projects, Siroj Loikov; and PhosAgro's Deputy CEO for Business Development, Roman Osipov.
The purpose of the forum is to develop Russian-British economic relations and trade and investment cooperation between Russia and the international business community. At the annual forum, Russian and British experts assess market dynamics and international trade relations, identify trends in the economy and investor interests and determine ways to expand trade and economic cooperation.
Speaking at a reception at the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom on the occasion of the forum, PhosAgro CEO Andrey A. Guryev thanked the Embassy and the Trade Delegation of the Russian Federation in the United Kingdom for their efforts to promote the interests of Russian business. He noted that ongoing dialogue between Russia and the United Kingdom had already brought qualitative results: “With overall growth in trade between Russia and the United Kingdom of 18.7% in the first half of 2018, non-resource exports increased by over 50%.”
During his speech at a panel session titled ‘Innovations and technologies as a factor of export development’, Andrey Guryev spoke about the successful experience of introducing innovative and best-available technologies and digital solutions based on the Industry 4.0 platform in the construction of new high-tech production facilities and the modernisation of existing ones at PhosAgro enterprises. It is these factors, along with the high quality and purity of the Company’s products, constant work to improve labour efficiency and productivity, as well as to optimise business processes and costs, that strengthen PhosAgro’s competitive advantages in non-resource-based export markets.
According to Andrey Guryev, the development of both the mineral fertilizer industry and PhosAgro Group have always been centred around innovation. Long ago, the transition was made from delivering the main nutrient components – nitrogen, phosphate and potash – to offering a single product with the proper combination of these nutrients, after which complex solutions were devised to tailor fertilizer grades and their proper application to maximise yield. Modern solutions for managing the yield and quality of agricultural products are based not only on mineral raw materials, but also on the use of bio-additives and innovative agricultural technologies. In our mining and production operations, we are introducing robotic mining equipment, and we are implementing advanced data management technologies to further increase the efficiency of our operations.
Innovative solutions in the production of mineral fertilizers are supported by the only research institute on fertilizers and insectofungicides in the industry in Russia, the Y V Samoilov Research Institute for Insectofungicides and Mineral Fertilizers, a subsidiary of PhosAgro, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. This institute was founded with the mission of creating a robust phosphate feedstock and mineral fertilizer production capabilities in Russia.
PhosAgro also works with leading international agricultural research organisations to help farmers increase crop yields through the proper use of fertilizers. Recently, during a large-scale experiment with the International Plant Nutrition Institute in the Vologda Region, high-precision fertilizer application techniques were used to achieve an impressive 30% increase in yield, while the number of harvests per year increased from three to four.
Over the past five years, more than RUB 150 billion (USD 2.5 billion) has been invested in R&D and the development of PhosAgro as a whole, i.e., which represents at least 50% of EBITDA.
Together with UNESCO, PhosAgro promotes scientific and applied research in the field of green chemistry, thus contributing to higher production efficiency and environmental conservation, while involving young scientists from around the world.
Commenting on the possibility of increasing the volume of high-tech, non-resource exports based on the example of PhosAgro’s supply of fertilizers to the United Kingdom, Andrey Guryev noted that the Company is constantly analysing potential opportunities that will make PhosAgro’s safe and pure fertilizers more accessible to local farmers producing products for British and other European buyers. “PhosAgro's annual supply of fertilizers to the UK varies in the range of 60,000 to 110,000 tonnes, which accounts for less than 10% of the country’s imports of phosphate-based fertilizers, and we see significant growth potential,” said Andrey Guryev, stressing that the removal of the EU’s 6.5% customs tariff on fertilizers from Russia would contribute to this.