UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|☑||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
| ||For the fiscal year ended||December 31, 2020|
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
| ||For the transition period from to |
Commission file number: 001-35120
CVR Partners, LP
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
2277 Plaza Drive, Suite 500, Sugar Land, Texas 77479
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of Each Class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common units representing limited partner interests||UAN||New York Stock Exchange|
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No ☑
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☑
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☑ No ☐.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☑ No ☐.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer||☐||Accelerated filer||☑||Non-accelerated filer||☐|
|Smaller reporting company||☑||Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm prepared or issued its audit report. ☑
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☑
At June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the voting common units held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $62.3 million based upon the closing price of its common units on the New York Stock Exchange Composite tape. As of February 19, 2021, there were 10,692,332 of the registrant’s common units outstanding.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CVR Partners, LP
Annual Report on Form 10-K
GLOSSARY OF SELECTED TERMS
The following are definitions of certain terms used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 (this “Report”).
Ammonia — Ammonia is a direct application fertilizer and is primarily used as a building block for other nitrogen products for industrial applications and finished fertilizer products.
Capacity — Capacity is defined as the throughput a process unit is capable of sustaining, either on a calendar or operating day basis. The throughput may be expressed in terms of maximum sustainable, nameplate or economic capacity. The maximum sustainable or nameplate capacities may not be the most economical. The economic capacity is the throughput that generally provides the greatest economic benefit based on considerations such as feedstock costs, product values, regulatory compliance costs and downstream unit constraints.
Catalyst — A substance that alters, accelerates, or instigates chemical changes, but is neither produced, consumed nor altered in the process.
Corn belt — The primary corn producing region of the United States, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Ethanol — A clear, colorless, flammable oxygenated hydrocarbon. Ethanol is typically produced chemically from ethylene, or biologically from fermentation of various sugars from carbohydrates found in agricultural crops and cellulosic residues from crops or wood. It is used in the United States as a gasoline octane enhancer and oxygenate.
MMBtu — One million British thermal units, or Btu: a measure of energy. One Btu of heat is required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
MSCF — One thousand standard cubic feet, a customary gas measurement.
Petroleum coke (pet coke) — A coal-like substance that is produced during the oil refining process.
Product pricing at gate — Product pricing at gate represents net sales less freight revenue divided by product sales volume in tons. Product pricing at gate is also referred to as netback.
Southern Plains — Primarily includes Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.
Spot market — A market in which commodities are bought and sold for cash and delivered immediately.
Turnaround — A periodically performed standard procedure to inspect, refurbish, repair, and maintain the plant assets. This process involves the shutdown and inspection of major processing units and occurs every two to three years. A turnaround will typically extend the operating life of a facility and return performance desired operating levels.
UAN — An aqueous solution of urea and ammonium nitrate used as a fertilizer.
Utilization — Measurement of the annual production of UAN and Ammonia expressed as a percentage of the plants’ nameplate production capacity.
Important Information Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), including, but not limited to, those under Item 1. Business, Item 1A. Risk Factors and Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. These forward looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including without limitation, statements regarding future operations, financial position, estimated revenues and losses, growth, capital projects, unit repurchases, impacts of legal proceedings, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward looking statements. The words “could,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “estimate,” “expect,” “may,” “continue,” “predict,” “potential,” “project,” and similar terms and phrases are intended to identify forward looking statements.
Although we believe our assumptions concerning future events are reasonable, a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results and trends to differ materially from those projected or forward looking. Forward looking statements, as well as certain risks, contingencies, or uncertainties that may impact our forward looking statements, include, but are not limited to, the following:
•our ability to generate distributable cash or make cash distributions on our common units;
•the ability of our general partner to modify or revoke our distribution policy at any time;
•the volatile nature of our business and the variable nature of our distributions;
•the severity, magnitude, duration, and impact of the novel coronavirus 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic and of businesses’ and governments’ responses to such pandemic on our operations, personnel, commercial activity, and supply and demand across our and our customers’ and suppliers’ businesses;
•changes in market conditions and market volatility arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including fertilizer, natural gas, and other commodity prices and the impact of such changes on our operating results and financial position;
•the cyclical and seasonal nature of our business;
•the impact of weather on our business including our ability to produce, market, sell, transport or deliver fertilizer products profitably or at all;
•the dependence of our operations on a few third-party suppliers, including providers of transportation services, and equipment;
•our reliance on, or our ability to procure economically or at all, pet coke we purchase from CVR Energy, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, but excluding the Partnership and its subsidiaries, “CVR Energy”) and other third-party suppliers;
•our reliance on the natural gas, electricity, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur processing, compressed dry air and other products that we purchase from third parties;
•the supply, availability, and prices of essential raw materials;
•our production levels, including the risk of a material decline in those levels, including our ability to upgrade ammonia to UAN;
•accidents or other unscheduled shutdowns or interruptions affecting our facilities, machinery, or equipment, or those of our suppliers or customers;
•potential operating hazards from accidents, fire, severe weather, tornadoes, floods or other natural disasters;
•our ability to obtain, retain, or renew permits, licenses and authorizations to operate our business;
•competition in the nitrogen fertilizer businesses including potential impacts of domestic and global supply and demand; and/or domestic or international duties, tariffs, or similar costs;
•foreign wheat and coarse grain production, including increases thereto and farm planting acerage;
•existing and future laws, rulings and regulations, including but not limited to those relating to the environment, climate change, and/or the transportation or production of hazardous chemicals like ammonia, including potential liabilities or capital requirements arising from such laws, rulings, or regulations;
•alternative energy or fuel sources and impacts on corn prices (ethanol), and the end-use and application of fertilizers;
•risks of terrorism, cybersecurity attacks, the security of chemical manufacturing facilities and other matters beyond our control;
•our lack of asset diversification;
•our dependence on significant customers and the creditworthiness and performance by counterparties;
•our potential loss of transportation cost advantage over our competitors;
•risks associated with third party operation of or control over important facilities necessary for operation of our nitrogen fertilizer facilities;
•the volatile nature of ammonia, potential liability for accidents involving ammonia including damage or injury to persons, property, the environment or human health and increased costs related to the transport or production of ammonia;
•our potential inability to successfully implement our business strategies, including the completion of significant capital programs or projects;
•our reliance on CVR Energy’s senior management team and conflicts of interest they may face operating each of CVR Partners and CVR Energy;
•control of our general partner by CVR Energy;
•our ability to continue to license the technology used in our operations;
•restrictions in our debt agreements;
•asset impairments and impacts thereof;
•asset usefule life;
•realizable inventory value;
•the number of investors willing to hold or acquire our common units;
•our ability to issue securities or obtain financing;
•the possibility of changes in tax and other law, regulations and policies;
•ability to qualify for 45Q tax credits;
•changes in our treatment as a partnership for U.S. federal income or state tax purposes;
•rulings, judgments or settlements in litigation, tax or other legal or regulatory matters;
•instability and volatility in the capital and credit markets;
•competition with CVR Energy and its affiliates;
•transactions and/or conflicts with CVR Energy’s controlling shareholder;
•the value of payouts under our equity and non-equity incentive plans; and
•our ability to recover under our insurance policies for damages or losses in full or at all.
All forward looking statements contained in this Report only speak as of the date of this Report. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date of this Report, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except to the extent required by law.
Part I should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis in Item 7 and our consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto in Item 8.
Item 1. Business
CVR Partners, LP (referred to as “CVR Partners” or the “Partnership”) is a Delaware limited partnership formed in 2011 by CVR Energy, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, but excluding the Partnership and its subsidiaries, “CVR Energy”) to own, operate and grow its nitrogen fertilizer business. The Partnership produces nitrogen fertilizer products at two manufacturing facilities, which are located in Coffeyville, Kansas (the “Coffeyville Facility”) and East Dubuque, Illinois (the “East Dubuque Facility”). Both facilities manufacture ammonia and are able to further upgrade to other nitrogen fertilizer products, principally urea ammonium nitrate (“UAN”). Nitrogen fertilizer is used by farmers to improve the yield and quality of their crops, primarily corn and wheat. The Partnership’s products are sold on a wholesale basis in the United States of America. As used in these financial statements, references to CVR Partners, the Partnership, “we”, “us”, and “our” may refer to consolidated subsidiaries of CVR Partners or one or both of the facilities, as the context may require.
Organizational Structure and Related Ownership
The following chart illustrates the organizational structure of the Partnership as of December 31, 2020.
Coffeyville Facility - We own and operate a nitrogen fertilizer production facility in Coffeyville, Kansas that includes a gasifier complex having a capacity of 89 million standard cubic feet per day of hydrogen, a 1,300 ton per day capacity ammonia unit and a 3,000 ton per day capacity UAN unit. The Coffeyville Facility is the only nitrogen fertilizer plant in North America that utilizes a pet coke gasification process to produce nitrogen fertilizer. The Coffeyville Facility’s largest raw material used in the production of ammonia is pet coke, which it purchases from CVR Energy and third parties. For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, the Partnership purchased approximately $18.4 million, $20.0 million, and $13.2 million, respectively, of pet coke, which equaled an average cost per ton of $35.25, $37.47, and $28.41, respectively. For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, we upgraded approximately 87%, 90%, and 93%, respectively, of our ammonia production into UAN, a product that typically generates greater profit per ton than ammonia, however, this did not hold true for 2020 due to market conditions. We upgrade substantially all of our ammonia production at the Coffeyville Facility into UAN and expect to continue to do so when the economics are favorable.
East Dubuque Facility - We own and operate a nitrogen fertilizer production facility in East Dubuque, Illinois that includes a 1,075 ton per day capacity ammonia unit and a 1,100 ton per day capacity UAN unit. The East Dubuque Facility has the flexibility to vary its product mix enabling it to upgrade a portion of its ammonia production into varying amounts of UAN, nitric acid, and liquid and granulated urea, depending on market demand, pricing, and storage availability. The East Dubuque Facility’s largest raw material cost used in the production of ammonia is natural gas, which it purchases from third parties. For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, the East Dubuque Facility incurred approximately $22.0 million, $21.5 million, and $22.5 million for feedstock natural gas, respectively, which equaled an average cost of $2.35, $3.08, and $3.15 per MMBtu, respectively.
The nitrogen products we produce are globally traded commodities and are subject to price competition. The customers for our products make their purchasing decisions principally on the basis of delivered price and, to a lesser extent, on customer service and product quality. The selling prices of our products fluctuate in response to global market conditions and changes in supply and demand.
The three primary forms of nitrogen fertilizer used in the United States of America are ammonia, urea, and UAN. Unlike ammonia and urea, UAN can be applied throughout the growing season and can be applied in tandem with pesticides and herbicides, providing farmers with flexibility and cost savings. As a result of these factors, UAN typically commands a premium price to urea and ammonia, on a nitrogen equivalent basis. However, during 2020, UAN commanded a discount price to urea and premium to ammonia, on a nitrogen equivalent basis.
Nutrients are depleted in soil over time and, therefore, must be replenished through fertilizer use. Nitrogen is the most quickly depleted nutrient and must be replenished every year, whereas phosphate and potassium can be retained in soil for up to three years. Plants require nitrogen in the largest amounts, and it accounts for approximately 59% of primary fertilizer consumption on a nutrient ton basis, per the International Fertilizer Industry Association (“IFIA”).
Global demand for fertilizers is driven primarily by grain demand and prices, which, in turn, are driven by population growth, farmland per capita, dietary changes in the developing world, and increased consumption of bio-fuels. According to the IFIA, from 1976 to 2018, global fertilizer demand grew 2% annually. Global fertilizer use, consisting of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, is projected to increase by 1% through 2023 to meet global food demand according to a study funded by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Currently, the developed world uses fertilizer more intensively than the developing world, but sustained economic growth in emerging markets is increasing food demand and fertilizer use. In addition, populations in developing countries are shifting to more protein-rich diets as their incomes increase, with such consumption requiring more grain for animal feed. As an example, China’s wheat and coarse grains production is estimated to have increased 35% between 2011 and 2021, but still failed to keep pace with increases in demand, prompting China to grow its wheat and coarse grain imports by more than 1,038% over the same period, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”).
The United States is the world’s largest exporter of coarse grains, accounting for 32% of world exports and 26% of world production for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020, according to the USDA. A substantial amount of nitrogen is consumed in production of these crops to increase yield. Based on Fertecon Limited’s (“Fertecon”) 2020 estimates, the United States is the world’s third largest consumer of nitrogen fertilizer and the world’s largest importer of nitrogen fertilizer. Fertecon is a reputable agency which provides market information and analysis on fertilizers and fertilizer raw materials for fertilizer and related industries, as well as international agencies. Fertecon estimates indicate that the United States represented 11% of total global nitrogen fertilizer consumption for 2020, with China and India as the top consumers representing 22% and 17% of total global nitrogen fertilizer consumption, respectively.
North American nitrogen fertilizer producers predominantly use natural gas as their primary feedstock. Over the last five years, U.S. oil and natural gas reserves have increased significantly due to, among other factors, advances in extracting shale oil and gas, as well as relatively high oil and gas prices. More recently, global demand has slowed with production staying steady even as oil and gas prices have declined substantially over the past two years. This has led to significantly reduced natural gas and oil prices as compared to historical prices. As a result, North America has become a low-cost region for nitrogen fertilizer production.
Raw Material Supply
Coffeyville Facility - During the past five years, just under 60% of the Coffeyville Facility’s pet coke requirements on average were supplied by CVR Energy’s adjacent Coffeyville, Kansas refinery pursuant to a multi-year agreement. Historically, our Coffeyville Facility has obtained the remainder of its pet coke requirements through third-party contracts typically priced at a discount to the spot market. In 2020, our supply of pet coke from the Coffeyville refinery declined to approximately 33%, generally attributable to increased processing of shale crude oil, which reduced the amount of pet coke produced by the refinery and increased the amount of third-party purchases made at spot prices. With increased reliance on third-party pet coke, we have contracts with multiple third-party refineries to purchase approximately 275,000 tons of pet coke at a fixed price for delivery at different dates through December 2021, which could be delivered primarily by truck, railcar or barge.
Additionally, our Coffeyville Facility relies on a third-party air separation plant at its location that provides contract volumes of oxygen, nitrogen, and compressed dry air to the Coffeyville Facility gasifiers. The reliability of the air separation plant can have a significant impact on our Coffeyville Facility operations. In 2020, to mitigate future impacts, we executed a new product supply agreement that provides for a consistent volume of oxygen that will be maintained within tanks provided by the on-site vendor. Should the oxygen volume fall below a specified level, the on-site vendor will provide excess oxygen through its own mechanism or through third party purchases.
East Dubuque Facility - Our East Dubuque Facility uses natural gas to produce nitrogen fertilizer. Our East Dubuque Facility is generally able to purchase natural gas at competitive prices due to its connection to the Northern Natural Gas interstate pipeline system, which is within one mile of the facility, and a third-party owned and operated pipeline. The pipelines are connected to a third-party distribution system at the Chicago Citygate receipt point and at the Hampshire interconnect from which natural gas is transported to our East Dubuque Facility. As of December 31, 2020, we had commitments to purchase approximately 0.6 million MMBtus of natural gas supply for planned use in our East Dubuque Facility for each of January and February of 2021 at a weighted average rate per MMBtu of approximately $2.60 and $2.52, respectively, exclusive of transportation cost.
Marketing and Distribution
We primarily market UAN products to agricultural customers and ammonia products to agricultural and industrial customers. UAN and ammonia, including freight, accounted for approximately 65% and 28%, respectively, of total net sales for the year ended December 31, 2020.
UAN and ammonia are primarily distributed by truck or railcar. If delivered by truck, products are most commonly sold on a free-on-board (“FOB”) shipping point basis, and freight is normally arranged by the customer. We operate a fleet of railcars for use in product delivery. If delivered by railcar, products are most commonly sold on a FOB destination point basis, and we typically arrange the freight.
The nitrogen fertilizer products leave our Coffeyville Facility either in railcars for destinations located principally on the Union Pacific or Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads or in trucks for direct shipment to customers. Our East Dubuque Facility primarily sells product to customers located within 200 miles of the facility. In most instances, customers take delivery of nitrogen products at our East Dubuque Facility and arrange to transport them to their final destinations by truck. Additionally, our East Dubuque Facility has direct access to a barge dock on the Mississippi River, as well as a nearby rail spur serviced by the Canadian National Railway Company, both of which are used from time to time to sell and distribute its products.
Retailers and distributors are the main customers for UAN and, more broadly, the industrial and agricultural sectors are the primary recipients of our ammonia products. Given the nature of our business, and consistent with industry practice, we sell our products on a wholesale basis under a contract or by purchase order. Contracts with customers generally contain fixed pricing and most have terms of less than one year. Some of our industrial sales include long-term purchase contracts. For the year ended December 31, 2020, our top two customers in the aggregate represented 26% of net sales.
Nitrogen fertilizer production is a global market with competitors in every region of the world. The industry is dominated by price considerations which are driven by raw material and transportation costs, currency fluctuations and trade barriers. Our business has experienced and expects to continue to experience significant levels of competition from domestic and foreign nitrogen fertilizer producers, many of whom have significantly greater financial and other resources. In the United States during the spring and fall fertilizer application periods, farming activities intensify and geographic proximity to these activities is also a significant competitive advantage for domestic producers. We manage our manufacturing and distribution operations to best serve our customers during these critical periods.
Subject to location and other considerations our major competitors generally include CF Industries Holdings, Inc., including its majority owned subsidiary Terra Nitrogen Company, L.P.; LSB Industries, Inc.; Koch Fertilizer Company, LLC; and Nutrien Ltd. (formerly known as Agrium, Inc. and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Inc.). Domestic competition is intense due to customers’ sophisticated buying tendencies and competitor strategies that focus on cost and service. We also encounter competition from producers of fertilizer products manufactured in foreign countries, including the threat of increased production capacity. In certain cases, foreign producers of fertilizer who export to the United States may be subsidized by their respective governments.
Because we primarily sell agricultural commodity products, our business is exposed to seasonal fluctuations in demand for nitrogen fertilizer products in the agricultural industry. In addition, the demand for fertilizers is affected by the aggregate crop planting decisions and fertilizer application rate decisions of individual farmers who make planting decisions based largely on the prospective profitability of a harvest. The specific varieties and amounts of fertilizer they apply depend on factors like crop prices, farmers’ current liquidity, soil conditions, weather patterns, and the types of crops planted. We typically experience higher net sales in the first half of the calendar year, which is referred to as the planting season, and net sales tend to be lower during the second half of each calendar year, which is referred to as the fill season.
Our business is subject to extensive and frequently changing federal, state, and local environmental, health, and safety laws and regulations governing the emission and release of hazardous substances into the environment, the transportation, storage, and disposal of waste, the treatment and discharge of wastewater and stormwater, and the storage, handling, use, and transportation of our nitrogen fertilizer products. These laws and regulations and the enforcement thereof impact us by imposing:
•restrictions on operations or the need to install enhanced or additional controls;
•liability for the investigation and remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater at current and former facilities (if any) and for off-site waste disposal locations; and
•specifications for the products we market, primarily UAN and ammonia.
Our operations require numerous permits, licenses, and authorizations. Failure to comply with these permits or environmental laws and regulations could result in fines, penalties, or other sanctions or a revocation of our permits. In addition, the laws and regulations to which we are subject are often evolving and many of them have or could become more stringent or have become subject to more stringent interpretation or enforcement by federal or state agencies. These laws and regulations could result in increased capital, operating, and compliance costs.
The Federal Clean Air Act (“CAA”)
The CAA and its implementing regulations, as well as corresponding state laws and regulations governing air emissions, affect us both directly and indirectly. Direct impacts may occur through the CAA’s permitting requirements and/or emission control requirements relating to specific air pollutants, as well as the requirement to maintain a risk management program to help prevent accidental releases of certain regulated substances. The CAA affects the Partnership by extensively regulating the air emissions of sulfur dioxide (“SO2”), volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, and other substances, including those emitted by mobile sources, which are direct or indirect users of our products. Some or all of the regulations promulgated pursuant to the CAA, or any future promulgations of regulations, may require the installation of controls or changes to our nitrogen fertilizer facilities (collectively referred to as the “Facilities”) to maintain compliance. If new controls or changes to operations are needed, the costs could be material.
The regulation of air emissions under the CAA requires that we obtain various construction and operating permits and incur capital expenditures for the installation of certain air pollution control devices at our operations. Various standards and programs specific to our operations have been implemented, such as the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants, the New Source Performance Standards, and the New Source Review.
The EPA regulates GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act. In October 2009, the EPA finalized a rule requiring certain large emitters of GHGs to inventory and report their GHG emissions to the EPA. In accordance with the rule, our Facilities monitor and report our GHG emissions to the EPA. In May 2010, the EPA finalized the “Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule,” which established GHG emissions thresholds that determine when stationary sources, such as the nitrogen fertilizer plants, must obtain permits under Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) and Title V programs of the CAA. Under the rule, facilities already subject to the PSD and Title V programs that increase their emissions of GHGs by a significant amount are required to undergo PSD review and to evaluate and implement air pollution control technology, known as “best available control technology,” to reduce GHG emissions.
The Biden Administration has signaled that it will take steps to address climate change. On January 27, 2021, the White House issued its Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, as well as a formal notification re-accepting entry of the United States into the Paris Agreement.
The EPA’s approach to regulating GHG emissions may change again under future administrations. Therefore, the impact on our Facilities due to future GHG regulation is unknown.
Recent Greenhouse Gas Footprint Reduction Efforts
In October 2020, the Partnership announced that it generated its first carbon offset credits from voluntary nitrous oxide abatement at its Coffeyville Facility. The Partnership has similar nitrous oxide abatement efforts at its East Dubuque Facility. According to the EPA, nitrous oxide represents approximately 7% of carbon dioxide-equivalent (“CO2e”) emissions in the United States.
The Partnership previously entered into a Joint Development Agreement with ClimeCo, a pioneer in the development of emission-reduction projects for nitric acid plants, to jointly design, install and operate a tertiary abatement system at one of its nitric acid plants in Coffeyville. The system was designed to abate 94% of all N2O in the unit while preventing the release of approximately 450,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent on an annualized basis. The N2O abatement systems at the East Dubuque Facility’s two nitric acid plants have abated, on average, the annual release of approximately 233,000 metric tons of CO2e during the past five years.
CVR Partners’ N2O abatement projects are registered with the Climate Action Reserve (the “Reserve”), a carbon offset registry for the North American market. The Reserve employs high-quality standards and an independent third-party verification process to issue its carbon credits, known as Climate Reserve Tonnes.
The Partnership also sequesters carbon dioxide that is not utilized for urea production at its Coffeyville Facility by capturing and purifying the CO2 as part of its manufacturing process and then transferred to its partner, Perdure Petroleum LLC, that compresses and ships the CO2 for sequestration through Enhanced Oil Recovery (“EOR”). In January 2021, the Internal Revenue Service published final regulations under Section 45Q which provides tax credits to encourage CO2 sequestration. We believe that our process for CO2 sequestration would qualify for tax credits under Section 45Q and intend to pursue a claim of those credits starting in 2021.
Combining our nitrous oxide abatement and CO2 sequestration activities reduces our CO2e footprint by over 1 million metric tons per year. In addition, our Coffeyville Facility is uniquely qualified to produce hydrogen and ammonia that could be certified ‘blue’ to a market that is increasingly demanding reduced carbon footprints. These greenhouse gas footprint reduction efforts support our core Values of Environment and Continuous Improvement, and our goal of continuing to produce nitrogen fertilizers that feed the world’s growing population in the most environmentally responsible way possible.
The Federal Clean Water Act (“CWA”)
The CWA and its implementing regulations, as well as the corresponding state laws and regulations that govern the discharge of pollutants into the water, affect the Partnership. The CWA’s permitting requirements establish discharge limitations that may be based on technology standards, water quality standards, and restrictions on the total maximum daily load of pollutants allowed to enter a particular water body based on its use. In January 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) announced that it is undertaking a plan to review, and update effluent standards for many industries. EPA is prioritizing those sectors that are ranked high in point source categories for total nitrogen discharges, including fertilizer manufacturers. The EPA’s review eventually could result in different regulations governing the Partnership. In addition, water resources are becoming and in the future may become more scarce. The Coffeyville Fertilizer Facility has contracts in place to receive water during certain water shortage conditions, but these conditions could change over time depending on the scarcity of water.
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (“EPCRA”)
The release of hazardous substances or extremely hazardous substances into the environment is subject to release reporting requirements under federal and state environmental laws. Our Facilities also periodically experience releases of hazardous and extremely hazardous substances from their equipment. From time to time, the EPA has conducted inspections and issued information requests to us with respect to our compliance with reporting requirements under the CERCLA and EPCRA. If we fail to timely or properly report a release, or if a release violates the law or our permits, we could become the subject of a governmental enforcement action or third-party claims. Government enforcement or third-party claims relating to releases of hazardous or extremely hazardous substances could result in significant expenditures and liability.
As is the case with all companies engaged in similar industries, we face potential exposure from future claims and lawsuits involving environmental matters, including soil and water contamination and personal injury or property damage allegedly caused by hazardous substances that we manufactured, handled, used, stored, transported, spilled, disposed of, or released. There is no assurance that we will not become involved in future proceedings related to the release of hazardous or extremely hazardous substances for which we have potential liability or that, if we were held responsible for damages in any existing or future proceedings, such costs would be covered by insurance or would not be material.
We are covered by CVR Energy’s site pollution legal liability insurance policy, which includes business interruption coverage. The policy insures any location owned, leased, rented, or operated by the Partnership, including our Facilities. The policy insures certain pollution conditions at, or migrating from, a covered location, certain waste transportation and disposal activities, and business interruption.
In addition to the site pollution legal liability insurance policy, we maintain umbrella and excess casualty insurance polices which include sudden and accidental pollution coverage policies maintained by CVR Energy. This insurance provides coverage due to named perils for claims involving pollutants where the discharge is sudden and accidental and first commences at a specific day and time during the policy period.
The site pollution legal liability policy and the pollution coverage provided in the casualty insurance policies are subject to retentions and deductibles and contain discovery requirements, reporting requirements, exclusions, definitions, conditions, and limitations that could apply to a particular pollution claim, and there can be no assurance such claim will be adequately insured for all potential damages.
Health, Safety, and Security Matters
We are subject to a number of federal and state laws and regulations related to safety, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”) and comparable state statutes, the purposes of which are to protect the health and safety of workers. We also are subject to OSHA Process Safety Management regulations, which are designed to prevent or minimize the consequences of catastrophic releases of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive chemicals.
Our Facilities are subject to the Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards (“CFATS”), a regulatory program designed to ensure facilities have security measures in place to reduce the risk that certain hazardous chemicals are weaponized by terrorists. In addition, the East Dubuque Facility is regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act.
We operate a comprehensive safety, health, and security program, with participation by employees, consultants, and advisors at all levels of the organization. We have developed comprehensive safety programs aimed at preventing OSHA recordable incidents. Despite our efforts to achieve excellence in our safety and health performance, there can be no assurances that there will not be accidents resulting in injuries or even fatalities. We routinely audit our programs and seek to continually improve our management systems.
As of December 31, 2020, we had 287 employees across both Facilities and related marketing and logistics operations, all of which are located in the U.S. Of these, 94 employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements with various labor unions. We may leverage independent contractors, workers to provide flexibility for our business and operating needs. We also rely on the services of employees of CVR Energy and its subsidiaries pursuant to a services agreement between us, CVR Energy, and our general partner. We believe that our future success largely depends upon our continued ability to attract and retain highly skilled employees. We are committed to wages and benefits that are competitive with a market-based, pay for performance compensation philosophy.
Our core Values define the way we do business every day. We put safety first, care for our environment, require high business ethics and integrity consistent with our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, and are proud members of and good neighbors to the communities where we operate. We believe in continuous improvement for individuals to achieve their maximum potential through teamwork, diversity and personal development. Our employees provide the energy behind our core Values to achieve excellence for all our key stakeholders – employees, communities and unitholders. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis” in Part II, Item 7 for further discussion on our core Values.
We are an equal opportunity employer and are committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive work environment free from harassment and discrimination regardless of race, religion, color, age, gender, disability, minority, sexual orientation or any other protected class. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion helps us attract and retain the best talent, enables employees to realize their full potential, and drives high performance through innovation and collaboration.
We have an unwavering commitment to providing as safe and healthy workplace as possible for all employees. We accomplish this through strict compliance with applicable laws and regulations regarding workplace safety, and maintaining robust training and emergency and disaster recovery plans.
Our website address is www.CVRPartners.com. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available free of charge through our website under “Investor Relations,” as soon as reasonably practicable after the electronic filing or furnishing of these reports is made with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) at www.sec.gov. In addition, our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Codes of Ethics and Business Conduct, and the charter of the Audit Committee, the Compensation Committee, and the Environmental, Health, and Safety Committee of the Board of Directors of our general partner are available on our website. These guidelines, policies, and charters are also available in print without charge to any unitholder requesting them. We do not intend for information contained in our website to be part of this Report.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
The following risks should be considered together with the other information contained in this Report and all of the information set forth in our filings with the SEC. If any of the following risks or uncertainties develops into actual events, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected. References to CVR Partners, the Partnership, “we”, “us”, and “our” may refer to consolidated subsidiaries of CVR Partners or one or both of the facilities, as the context may require.
Risks Related to Our Business
The COVID-19 pandemic, and actions taken in response thereto, could materially adversely affect our business, operations, financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic and actions of governments and others in response thereto is negatively impacting worldwide economic and commercial activity and financial markets. The COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in significant business and operational disruptions, including closures, supply chain disruptions, travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders, and limitations on the availability and effectiveness of the workforce. Further, if general economic conditions continue to remain uncertain for an extended period of time, our liquidity and ability to repay our outstanding debt may be harmed. The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown and is rapidly evolving. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacts our business and operations, including the availability and pricing of feedstocks, will depend on the severity, location, and duration of the effects and spread of COVID-19, the actions undertaken by national, regional, and local governments and health officials to contain such virus or remedy its effects, and if, how quickly and to what extent economic conditions recover and normal business and operating conditions resume.
Our business is, and nitrogen fertilizer prices are, cyclical and highly volatile, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Demand for nitrogen fertilizer products is dependent on fluctuating demand for crop nutrients by the global agricultural industry. These fluctuations historically have had and could in the future have significant effects on prices across all nitrogen fertilizer products and, in turn, our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Nitrogen fertilizer products are commodities, the price of which can be highly volatile. The prices of nitrogen fertilizer products depend on a number of factors, including general economic conditions, cyclical trends in end-user markets, supply and demand imbalances, governmental policies, and weather conditions, which have a greater relevance because of the seasonal nature of fertilizer application. If seasonal demand exceeds the projections on which we base our production levels, customers may acquire nitrogen fertilizer products from competitors, and our profitability may be negatively impacted. If seasonal demand is less than expected, we may be left with excess inventory that will have to be stored or liquidated. The international market for nitrogen fertilizers is influenced by such factors as the relative value of the U.S. dollar and its impact upon the cost of importing nitrogen fertilizers, foreign agricultural policies, the existence of, or changes in, import or foreign currency exchange barriers in certain foreign markets, changes in the hard currency demands of certain countries and other regulatory policies of foreign governments, as well as the laws and policies of the U.S. affecting foreign trade and investment. Supply is affected by available capacity and operating rates, raw material costs, government policies and global trade. A decrease in nitrogen fertilizer prices would have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flow and ability to make distributions.
Nitrogen fertilizer products and our business face intense competition.
Our business is subject to intense price competition from both U.S. and foreign sources. With little or no product differentiation, customers make their purchasing decisions principally on the basis of delivered price and availability of the product. Increased global supply or decreases in transportation costs for foreign sources of fertilizer may put downward pressure on fertilizer prices. We compete with a number of U.S. producers and producers in other countries, including state-owned and government-subsidized entities that may have greater total resources and are less dependent on earnings from fertilizer sales, which make them less vulnerable to industry downturns and better positioned to pursue new expansion and development opportunities. An inability to compete successfully could result in a loss of customers, which could adversely affect our sales, profitability and cash flows and, therefore, have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our business is geographically concentrated and is therefore subject to regional economic downturns and seasonal variations, which may affect our production levels, transportation costs and inventory and working capital levels.
Our sales to agricultural customers are concentrated in the Great Plains and Midwest states, and nitrogen fertilizer demand is seasonal. Our quarterly results may vary significantly from one year to the next due largely to weather-related shifts in planting schedules and purchase patterns. Because we build inventory during low demand periods, the accumulation of inventory to be available for seasonal sales creates significant seasonal working capital and storage capacity requirements. The degree of seasonality can change significantly from year-to-year due to conditions in the agricultural industry and other factors. As a consequence of this seasonality, distributions of available cash, if any, may be volatile and may vary quarterly and annually.
Our sales volumes depend on significant customers, and the loss of several significant customers may have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We have a significant concentration of customers. Our two largest customers represented approximately 26% of net sales for the year ended December 31, 2020. Given the nature of our business, and consistent with industry practice, we do not have long-term minimum purchase contracts with our customers. The loss of several of these significant customers, or a significant reduction in purchase volume by several of them, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows.
Any decline in U.S. agricultural production or limitations on the use of nitrogen fertilizer for agricultural purposes could have a material adverse effect on the sales of nitrogen fertilizer, and on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Conditions in the U.S. agricultural industry significantly impact our operating results. The U.S. agricultural industry can be affected by a number of factors, including weather patterns and field conditions, current and projected grain inventories and prices, domestic and international population changes, demand for U.S. agricultural products, U.S., state and foreign policies regarding trade in agricultural products, and changes in governmental regulations and incentives for corn-based ethanol production that could affect future ethanol demand and production.
State and federal governmental policies, including farm and biofuel subsidies and commodity support programs, as well as the prices of fertilizer products, may also directly or indirectly influence the number of acres planted, the mix of crops planted and the use of fertilizers for particular agricultural applications. Developments in crop technology could also reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and adversely affect the demand for nitrogen fertilizer. Unfavorable state and federal governmental policies could negatively affect nitrogen fertilizer prices and therefore have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We are subject to cybersecurity risks and other cyber incidents resulting in disruption to our business.
We depend on internal and third-party information technology systems to manage and support our operations, and we collect, process, and retain sensitive and confidential customer information in the normal course of business. Despite the security measures we have in place and any additional measures we may implement in the future, our facilities and these systems could be vulnerable to security breaches, computer viruses, lost or misplaced data, programming errors, human errors, acts of vandalism, or other events. Any disruption of these systems or security breach or event resulting in the misappropriation, loss or other unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, whether by us directly or our third-party service providers, could damage our reputation, expose us to the risks of litigation and liability, disrupt our business, or otherwise affect our results of operations.
Risks Related to Our Plant Operations
Failure by CVR Energy’s Coffeyville refinery to continue to supply us with pet coke could negatively impact our results of operations.
Unlike our competitors, whose primary costs are related to the purchase of natural gas and whose costs are therefore largely variable, our Coffeyville Facility uses a pet coke gasification process to produce nitrogen fertilizer. Our profitability is directly affected by the price and availability of pet coke obtained from CVR Energy’s Coffeyville refinery pursuant to a long-term agreement. Our Coffeyville Facility has obtained the majority of its pet coke from CVR Energy’s Coffeyville refinery over the past five years, although this percentage has decreased to 33% in 2020. However, should CVR Energy’s Coffeyville refinery
fail to perform in accordance with the existing agreement or to the extent pet coke from CVR Energy’s Coffeyville refinery is insufficient, we would need to purchase pet coke from third parties on the open market, which could negatively impact our results of operations to the extent third-party pet coke is unavailable or available only at higher prices. Currently, we purchase 100% of the pet coke CVR Energy’s Coffeyville refinery produces. However, we are still required to procure additional pet coke from third parties to maintain our production rates. We are currently party to pet coke supply agreements with multiple third-party refineries to provide a significant amount of pet coke at fixed prices. The terms of these agreements currently end in December 2021.
The market for natural gas has been volatile, and fluctuations in natural gas prices could affect our competitive position.
Low natural gas prices benefit our competitors that rely on natural gas as their primary feedstock and disproportionately impact our operations at our Coffeyville Fertilizer Facility by making us less competitive with natural gas-based nitrogen fertilizer manufacturers. Continued low natural gas prices could result in nitrogen fertilizer pricing drops and impair the ability of the Coffeyville Facility to compete with other nitrogen fertilizer producers who use natural gas as their primary feedstock, which, therefore, would have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions.
The East Dubuque Facility uses natural gas as its primary feedstock, and as such, the profitability of operating the East Dubuque Facility is significantly dependent on the cost of natural gas. An increase in natural gas prices could make it less competitive with producers who do not use natural gas as their primary feedstock. In addition, an increase in natural gas prices in the U.S. relative to prices of natural gas paid by foreign nitrogen fertilizer producers may negatively affect our competitive position in the corn belt, and such changes could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We expect to purchase a portion of our natural gas for use in the East Dubuque Facility on the spot market. As a result, we remain susceptible to fluctuations in the price of natural gas in general and in local markets in particular. We may use fixed supply, fixed price forward purchase contracts to lock in pricing for a portion of its natural gas requirements, but we may not be able to enter into such agreements on acceptable terms or at all. Without forward purchase contracts for the supply of natural gas, we would need to purchase natural gas on the spot market, which would impair its ability to hedge exposure to risk from fluctuations in natural gas prices. If we enter into forward purchase contracts for natural gas, and natural gas prices decrease, then its cost of sales could be higher than it would have been in the absence of the forward purchase contracts.
Any interruption in the supply of natural gas to our East Dubuque Facility could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our East Dubuque Facility depends on the availability of natural gas. We have two agreements for pipeline transportation of natural gas with expiration dates in 2021 and 2022. We typically purchase natural gas from third parties on a spot basis and, from time to time, may enter into fixed-price forward purchase contracts. Upon expiration of the agreements, we may be unable to extend the service under the terms of the existing agreements or renew the agreements on satisfactory terms, or at all, necessitating construction of a new connection that could be costly and disruptive. Any disruption in the supply of natural gas to our East Dubuque Facility could restrict our ability to continue to make products at the facility and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
If licensed technology were no longer available, our business may be adversely affected.
We have licensed, and may in the future license, a combination of patent, trade secret, and other intellectual property rights of third parties for use in our plant operations. If our use of technology on which our operations rely were to be terminated or face infringement claims, licenses to alternative technology may not be available, or may only be available on terms that are not commercially reasonable or acceptable, or in the case of infringement, may result in substantial costs, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Compliance with and changes in environmental laws and regulations, including those related to climate change, could require us to make substantial capital expenditures and adversely affect our performance.
Our operations are subject to extensive federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment, including those governing the emission or discharge of pollutants into the environment, product use and specifications and the generation, treatment, storage, transportation, disposal and remediation of solid and hazardous wastes. Violations of applicable environmental laws and regulations, or of the conditions of permits issued thereunder, can result in
substantial penalties, injunctive orders compelling installation of additional controls, civil and criminal sanctions, operating restrictions, injunctive relief, permit revocations and/or facility shutdowns, which may have a material adverse effect on our ability to operate our facilities and accordingly our financial performance.
In addition, new environmental laws and regulations, new interpretations of existing laws and regulations, or increased governmental enforcement of laws and regulations could require us to make additional unforeseen expenditures. It is unclear the impact of the new federal administration will have on the laws and regulations applicable to us, however, measures to address climate change and reduce GHG emissions (including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides) are in various phases of discussion or implementation and could affect our operations by requiring increased operating and capital costs and/or increasing taxes on GHG emissions. If we are unable to maintain sales of our products at a price that reflects such increased costs or have to increase the prices of our products because of such increased costs, there could be a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
End user demand for our products may also be adversely impacted by climate change legislation and other changes to or new interpretations of environmental laws, due to increased costs or application restrictions. From time to time, various state legislatures have proposed bans or other limitations on fertilizer products. Decreased demand for our products may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our operations are dependent on third-party suppliers, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Operations of our Coffeyville Facility depend in large part on the performance of third-party suppliers, including the adjacent third-party air separation plant and a third-party electric service provider under a contract through June 30, 2029. Our East Dubuque Facility operations also depend in large part on the performance of third-party suppliers, including for the purchase of electricity, which we purchase under a utility service agreement that terminates on June 1, 2022 and will continue year-to-year thereafter unless either party provides 12-month advance written notice of termination. Should these, or any of our other third-party suppliers fail to perform in accordance with existing contractual arrangements, or should we lose the service of any third-party suppliers, our operations (or a portion thereof) could be forced to halt. Alternative sources of supply could be difficult to obtain. Any shutdown of our operations (or a portion thereof), even for a limited period, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions.
We rely on third-party providers of transportation services and equipment, which subjects us to risks and uncertainties beyond our control and that may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and ability to make distributions.
Our business also relies on third-party railroad, trucking, and barge companies to ship finished products to customers. These transportation services are subject to various hazards, including extreme weather conditions, work stoppages, delays, spills, derailments and other accidents, and other operating hazards. Further, the limited number of towing companies and barges available for ammonia transport may also impact the availability of transportation for our products. These transportation operations, equipment and services are also subject to environmental, safety and other regulatory oversight. Due to concerns related to terrorism or accidents, local, state and federal governments could implement new regulations affecting the transportation of our finished products. In addition, new regulations could be implemented affecting the equipment used to ship our finished products. Any delay in our ability to ship our finished products as a result of these transportation companies’ failure to operate properly, the implementation of new and more stringent regulatory requirements affecting transportation operations or equipment, or significant increases in the cost of these services or equipment could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions.
Any liability for accidents involving ammonia or other products we produce or transport that cause severe damage to property or injury to the environment and human health could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions.
Our business manufactures, processes, stores, handles, distributes and transports ammonia, which can be very volatile and extremely hazardous. Major accidents or releases involving ammonia could cause severe damage or injury to property, the environment and human health, as well as a possible disruption of supplies and markets. Such an event could result in civil lawsuits, fines, penalties and regulatory enforcement proceedings, all of which could lead to significant liabilities. Any damage or injury to persons, equipment, or property or other disruption of our ability to produce or distribute products could result in a significant decrease in operating revenues and significant additional costs to replace or repair and insure our assets, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions. Our
facilities periodically experience minor releases of ammonia related to leaks from our facilities’ equipment. Similar events may occur in the future.
In addition, we may incur significant losses or increased costs relating to the operation of railcars used for the purpose of carrying various products, including ammonia. Due to the dangerous and potentially hazardous nature of the cargo, in particular ammonia, a railcar accident may result in fires, explosions, and releases of material which could lead to sudden, severe damage or injury to property, the environment, and human health. In the event of contamination, under environmental law, we may be held responsible even if we are not at fault, and we complied with the laws and regulations in effect at the time of the accident. Litigation arising from accidents involving ammonia and other products we produce or transport may result in us being named as a defendant in lawsuits asserting claims for substantial damages, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions.
We could incur significant costs in cleaning up contamination.
We handle hazardous substances which may result in spills, discharges or other releases of hazardous substances into the environment. Past or future spills related to or migrating from any of our current or former operations and solid or hazardous waste disposal, may give rise to liability (including for personal injury, property damage, penalties, strict liability, and potential cleanup responsibility) to governmental entities or private parties under federal, state or local environmental laws, as well as under common law. For example, we could be held strictly liable under CERCLA, and similar state statutes, for past or future spills without regard to fault or whether our actions were in compliance with the law at the time of the spills, including in connection with contamination associated with our current and former facilities, and facilities to which we transported or arranged for the transportation of wastes or byproducts containing hazardous substances for treatment, storage, or disposal. Such liability could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows and may not be covered by insurance.
We have assumed the previous owner’s responsibilities under certain administrative orders under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) related to contamination that migrated from CVR Energy’s Coffeyville refinery onto the nitrogen fertilizer plant property while the previous owner owned and operated the properties. We continue to work with the applicable governmental authorities to implement remediation of these sites on a timely basis.
We may be unable to obtain or renew permits or approvals necessary for our operations, which could inhibit our ability to do business.
Our business holds numerous environmental and other governmental permits and approvals authorizing operations at our facilities and future expansion of our operations is predicated upon the ability to secure approvals therefore. A decision by a government agency to deny or delay issuing a new or renewed material permit or approval, or to revoke or substantially modify an existing permit or approval, could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue operations and on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
New regulations concerning the transportation, storage and handling of hazardous chemicals, risks of terrorism, and the security of chemical manufacturing facilities could result in higher operating and/or capital costs.
Targets such as chemical manufacturing facilities may be at greater risk of future terrorist attacks than other targets in the U.S. As a result, the chemical industry has initiatives relating to the security of chemical industry facilities and the transportation of hazardous chemicals in the U.S., and the costs of compliance therewith may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.
Our facilities face significant risks due to physical damage hazards, environmental liability risk exposure, and unplanned or emergency partial or total plant shutdowns which could cause property damage and a material decline in production which are not fully insured.
If any of our plants, logistics assets, or key suppliers sustain a catastrophic loss and operations are shutdown or significantly impaired, it would have a material adverse impact on our operations, financial condition and cash flows. Operations at our plant could be curtailed, limited or completely shut down for an extended period of time as the result of one or more unforeseen events and circumstances, which may not be within our control, including: major unplanned maintenance requirements; catastrophic events caused by mechanical breakdown, electrical injury, pressure vessel rupture, explosion, contamination, fire, or natural disasters, including floods, windstorms, and other similar events; labor supply shortages or labor difficulties that result in a work stoppage or slowdown; cessation or suspension of a plant or specific operations dictated by
environmental authorities; acts of terrorism or other deliberate malicious acts; and an event or incident involving a large clean-up, decontamination, or the imposition of laws and ordinances regulating the cost and schedule of demolition or reconstruction, which can cause significant delays in restoring property to its pre-event condition.
We are insured under casualty, environmental, property and business interruption insurance policies. The property and business interruption policies insure our real and personal property. These policies are subject to limits, sub-limits, retention (financial and time-based), and deductibles. There is potential for a common occurrence to impact both our Coffeyville Facility and CVR Energy’s Coffeyville refinery in which case the insurance limits and applicable sub-limits would apply to all damages combined. The application of these and other policy conditions could materially impact insurance recoveries and potentially cause us to assume losses which could impair earnings.
There is finite capacity in the commercial insurance industry engaged in underwriting energy industry risk, and there are risks associated with the commercial insurance industry reducing capacity, changing the scope of insurance coverage offered, and substantially increasing premiums, deductibles, or retainers, and/or waiting periods, resulting from highly adverse loss experience or other financial circumstances. Factors that impact insurance cost and availability include, but are not limited to: losses in our industry and other industries, natural disasters, specific losses incurred by us, and low or inadequate investment returns earned by the insurance industry. If the supply of commercial insurance is curtailed due to highly adverse financial results, we may not be able to continue our present limits of insurance coverage or obtain sufficient insurance capacity to adequately insure our risks for property damage or business interruption.
We are subject to strict laws and regulations regarding employee and process safety, and failure to comply with these laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and profitability.
We are subject to the requirements of OSHA and comparable state statutes that regulate the protection of the health and safety of workers, the proper design, operation, and maintenance of our equipment, and require us to provide information about hazardous materials used in our operations. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in significant fines or compliance costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
A significant portion of our workforce is unionized, and we are subject to the risk of labor disputes and adverse employee relations, which may disrupt our business and increase our costs.
As of December 31, 2020, approximately 33% of our employees were represented by labor unions under collective bargaining agreements. We may not be able to renegotiate our collective bargaining agreements when they expire on satisfactory terms or at all. A failure to do so may increase our costs. In addition, our existing labor agreements may not prevent a strike or work stoppage at any of our facilities in the future, and any work stoppage could negatively affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Risks Related to Our Capital Structure
Instability and volatility in the capital, credit, and commodity markets in the global economy could negatively impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be negatively impacted by difficult conditions and volatility in the capital, credit, and commodities markets and in the global economy. For example: there can be no assurance that funds under our credit facilities will be available or sufficient, and in such a case, we may not be able to successfully obtain additional financing on favorable terms, or at all; market volatility could exert downward pressure on our common units, which may make it more difficult for us to raise additional capital and thereby limit our ability to grow, which could in turn cause our unit price to drop; or customers experiencing financial difficulties may fail to meet their financial obligations when due because of bankruptcy, lack of liquidity, operational failure or other reasons could result in decreased sales and earnings for us.
Our level of indebtedness may affect our ability to operate our business and may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We have incurred significant indebtedness, and we may be able to incur significant additional indebtedness in the future. If new indebtedness is added to our current indebtedness, the risks described below could increase. Our level of indebtedness could have important consequences, such as: (i) limiting our ability to obtain additional financing to fund our working capital needs, capital expenditures, debt service requirements, acquisitions, or other purposes; (ii) requiring us to utilize a significant portion of our cash flows to service our indebtedness, thereby reducing available cash and our ability to make distributions on
our common units; (iii) limiting our ability to use operating cash flow in other areas of the business because we must dedicate a substantial portion of additional funds to service debt; (iv) limiting our ability to compete with other companies who are not as highly leveraged, as we may be less capable of responding to adverse economic and industry conditions; (v) limiting our ability to make certain payments on debt that is subordinated or secured on a junior basis; (vi) restricting the way in which we conduct business because of financial and operating covenants, including regarding the ability of subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other distributions; (vii) limiting our ability to enter into certain transactions with our affiliates; (viii) limiting our ability to designate our subsidiaries as unrestricted subsidiaries; (ix) exposing us to potential events of default (if not cured or waived) under financial and operating covenants contained in our or our respective subsidiaries’ debt instruments; and (x) limiting our ability to react to changing market conditions.
Further, we are and will be subject to covenants contained in agreements governing present and future indebtedness. These covenants include, and will likely include, restrictions on certain payments (including restrictions on distributions to our unitholders), the granting of liens, the incurrence of additional indebtedness, asset sales, transactions with affiliates, and mergers and consolidations. Any failure to comply with these covenants could result in a default under our current credit agreements or debt instruments or future credit agreements.
We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our debt obligations that may not be successful.
Our ability to satisfy debt obligations will depend upon, among other things our future financial and operating performance, which will be affected by prevailing economic conditions and financial, business, regulatory, and other factors, many of which are beyond our control; and our future ability to obtain other financing. We cannot offer any assurance that our business will generate sufficient cash flow from operations or that we will be able to draw funds under our ABL Credit Facility or from other sources of financing, in an amount sufficient to fund our respective liquidity needs. If cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to service our indebtedness, we could face substantial liquidity problems and may be forced to reduce or delay capital expenditures, sell assets, seek additional capital, restructure or refinance indebtedness, or seek bankruptcy protection. These alternative measures may not be successful and may not permit us to meet scheduled debt service and other obligations. Our ability to restructure or refinance debt will depend on the condition of the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. Any refinancing of debt could be at higher interest rates and may require us to comply with more onerous covenants, which could further restrict business operations, and the terms of existing or future debt agreements may restrict us from adopting some of these alternatives.
Further, our ABL Credit Facility bears interest at variable rates and other debt we incur could likewise be variable-rate debt. If market interest rates increase, variable-rate debt will create higher debt service requirements, which could adversely affect our ability to fund our liquidity needs, capital investments, and distributions to our unitholders. We may enter into agreements limiting our exposure to higher interest rates, but any such agreements may not offer complete protection from this risk.
Mr. Carl C. Icahn exerts significant influence over the Partnership through his controlling ownership of CVR Energy, and his interests may conflict with the interests of the Partnership and our unitholders.
Mr. Carl C. Icahn indirectly controls approximately 71% of the voting power of CVR Energy’s common stock and, by virtue of such ownership, is able to control the Partnership through CVR Energy’s ownership of our general partner and its sole member, including: the election and appointment of directors; business strategy and policies; mergers or other business combinations; acquisition or disposition of assets; future issuances of common stock, common units, or other securities; incurrence of debt or obtaining other sources of financing; and the payment of distributions on our common units. The existence of a controlling stockholder may have the effect of making it difficult for, or may discourage or delay, a third-party from seeking to acquire a majority of our common units, which may adversely affect the market price of such common units.
Further, Mr. Icahn’s interests may not always be consistent with the Partnership’s interests or with the interests of our common unitholders. Mr. Icahn and entities controlled by him may also pursue acquisitions or business opportunities in industries in which we compete, and there is no requirement that any additional business opportunities be presented to us. We also have and may in the future enter into transactions to purchase goods or services with affiliates of Mr. Icahn. To the extent that conflicts of interest may arise between us and Mr. Icahn and his affiliates, those conflicts may be resolved in a manner adverse to us and our common unitholders.
Risks Related to Our Limited Partnership Structure
We may not have sufficient “available cash” to pay any quarterly distribution on common units or the Board may elect to distribute less than all of our available cash.
The current policy of the board of directors of our general partner (“Board”) is to distribute an amount equal to the available cash generated by our business each quarter to our common unitholders. As a result of its cash distribution policy, we will likely need to rely primarily upon external financing sources, including commercial bank borrowings and the issuance of debt and equity securities, to fund acquisitions and expansion capital expenditures, and our growth, if any, may not be as robust as that of businesses that reinvest available cash to expand ongoing operations. We may not have sufficient available cash each quarter to enable the payment of distributions to common unitholders. Furthermore, the partnership agreement does not require us to pay distributions on a quarterly basis or otherwise. As such, the Board may modify or revoke its cash distribution policy at any time at its discretion, including in such a manner that would result in an elimination of cash distributions regardless of the amount of available cash our business generates.
To the extent we issue additional units in connection with any acquisitions or expansion capital expenditures or as in-kind distributions, current unitholders would experience dilution and the payment of distributions on those additional units may decrease the amount we distribute in respect of its outstanding units. Under our partnership agreement, we are authorized to issue an unlimited number of additional interests without a vote of the common unitholders. The issuance by us of additional common units or other equity interests of equal or senior rank would reduce the proportionate ownership interest of common unitholders immediately prior to the issuance. As a result of the issuance of common units, the following may occur: the amount of cash distributions on each common unit may decrease; the ratio of our taxable income to distributions may increase; the relative voting strength of each previously outstanding common unit will be diminished; and the market price of the common units may decline. In addition, our partnership agreement does not prohibit the issuance by our subsidiaries of equity interests, which may effectively rank senior to the common units. The incurrence of additional commercial borrowings or other debt to finance its growth strategy would result in increased interest expense, which, in turn, would reduce the available cash we have to distribute to unitholders.
Our partnership agreement has limited our general partner’s liability, replaces default fiduciary duties, and restricts the remedies available to common unitholders for actions that, without these limitations and reductions, might otherwise constitute breaches of fiduciary duty.
As permitted under Delaware law, our partnership agreement, which applies to and binds common unitholders, limits the liability and replaces the fiduciary duties of our general partner, while also restricting the remedies available to our common unitholders for actions that, without these limitations and reductions, might constitute breaches of fiduciary duty. The partnership agreement contains provisions that replace the standards to which our general partner would otherwise be held by state fiduciary duty law. For example: (i) the partnership agreement permits our general partner to make a number of decisions in its individual capacity, as opposed to its capacity as general partner, which entitles our general partner to consider only the interests and factors that it desires and means that it has no duty or obligation to give any consideration to any interest of, or factors affecting, any limited partner; (ii) the partnership agreement provides that our general partner will not have any liability to unitholders for decisions made in its capacity as general partner so long as it acted in good faith, meaning it believed the decision was in our best interest; (iii) the partnership agreement provides that our general partner and the officers and directors of its general partner will not be liable for monetary damages to common unitholders, including us, for any acts or omissions unless there has been a final and non-appealable judgment entered by a court of competent jurisdiction determining that the general partner or its officers or directors acted in bad faith or engaged in fraud or willful misconduct, or in the case of a criminal matter, acted with knowledge that the conduct was criminal; (iv) the partnership agreement generally provides that affiliated transactions and resolutions of conflicts of interest not approved by the conflicts committee of the board of directors of its general partner and not involving a vote of unitholders must be on terms no less favorable to us than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties or be “fair and reasonable” to us, as determined by its general partner in good faith, and that, in determining whether a transaction or resolution is “fair and reasonable,” the general partner may consider the totality of the relationships between the parties involved, including other transactions that may be particularly advantageous or beneficial to affiliated parties, including us; and (v) the partnership agreement provides that in resolving conflicts of interest, it will be presumed that in making its decision, the general partner or its conflicts committee acted in good faith, and in any proceeding brought by or on behalf of any holder of common units, the person bringing or prosecuting such proceeding will have the burden of overcoming such presumption.
Our general partner, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of CVR Energy, has fiduciary duties to CVR Energy and its stockholders, and the interests of CVR Energy and its stockholders may differ significantly from, or conflict with, the interests of our public common unitholders.
Our general partner is responsible for managing us. Although our general partner has fiduciary duties to manage us in a manner that is in our best interests, the fiduciary duties are specifically limited by the express terms of our partnership agreement, and the directors and officers of our general partner also have fiduciary duties to manage our general partner in a manner beneficial to CVR Energy and its stockholders. The interests of CVR Energy and its stockholders may conflict with, the interests of our public common unitholders. In resolving these conflicts, our general partner may favor its own interests, the interests of CVR Services, its sole member, or the interests of CVR Energy and holders of CVR Energy’s common stock, including its majority stockholder, an affiliate of Icahn Enterprises L.P., over our interests and those of our common unitholders..
The potential conflicts of interest include, among others, the following: (i) neither our partnership agreement nor any other agreement requires the owners of our general partner, including CVR Energy, to pursue a business strategy that favors us and the affiliates of our general partner, including CVR Energy, have fiduciary duties to make decisions in their own best interests and in the best interest of holders of CVR Energy’s common stock, which may be contrary to our interests (ii) our general partner is allowed to take into account the interests of parties other than us or our common unitholders, such as its owners or CVR Energy, in resolving conflicts of interest, which has the effect of limiting its fiduciary duty to our common unitholders; (iii) our general partner has limited its liability and reduced its fiduciary duties under our partnership agreement and has also restricted the remedies available to our common unitholders for actions that, without the limitations, might constitute breaches of fiduciary duty; (iv) the Board determines the amount and timing of asset purchases and sales, capital expenditures, borrowings, repayment of indebtedness, and issuances of additional partnership interests, each of which can affect the amount of cash that is available for distribution to our common unitholders; (v) our partnership agreement does not restrict our general partner from causing us to pay it or its affiliates for any services rendered to us or entering into additional contractual arrangements with any of these entities on our behalf and there is no limitation on the amounts that can be paid; (vi) our general partner controls the enforcement of obligations owed to us by it and its affiliates, and decides whether to retain separate counsel or others to perform services for us; (vii) our general partner determines which costs incurred by it and its affiliates are reimbursable by us; and (viii) certain of the executive officers of our general partner also serve as executive officers of CVR Energy, including our executive chairman, who will face conflicts of interest when making decisions which may benefit either us or CVR Energy. Additionally, the compensation of such executive officers is set by CVR Energy, and we have no control over the amount paid to such officers.
CVR Energy has the power to elect all of the members of the Board. Our general partner has control over all decisions related to our operations. Our public common unitholders do not have an ability to influence any operating decisions and will not be able to prevent us from entering into any transactions. Certain subsidiaries of CVR Energy perform certain corporate services for us, including finance, accounting, legal, information technology, auditing, and cash management activities, and we could be impacted by any failure of those entities to adequately perform these services.
If at any time our general partner and its affiliates own more than 80% of the common units, our general partner will have the right, which it may assign to any of its affiliates or to us, but not the obligation, to acquire all, but not less than all, of the common units held by public common unitholders at a price not less than their then-current market price, as calculated pursuant to the terms of our partnership agreement. As a result, each holder of our common units may be required to sell such holder’s common units at an undesirable time or price and may not receive any return on investment, and may also incur a tax liability upon a sale of its common units. Our general partner is not obligated to obtain a fairness opinion regarding the value of the common units to be repurchased by it upon exercise of the call right. There is no restriction in our partnership agreement that prevents our general partner from issuing additional common units and then exercising its call right. Our general partner may use its own discretion, free of fiduciary duty restrictions, in determining whether to exercise this right..
Our general partner may transfer its general partner interest in us to a third-party, including in a merger or in a sale of all or substantially all of its assets without the consent of our common unitholders. The new equity owner of our general partner would then be in a position to replace the board of directors and the officers of our general partner with its own choices and to influence their decisions. If control of our general partner were transferred to an unrelated third-party, the new owner would have no interest in CVR Energy and CVR Energy could, upon 90 days’ notice, terminate the services agreement pursuant to which it provides us with the services of its senior management team.
As a publicly traded partnership we qualify for certain exemptions from many of the NYSE’s corporate governance requirements.
As a publicly traded partnership, we qualify for certain exemptions from the NYSE’s corporate governance requirements, which include the requirements that (i) a majority of the Board consist of independent directors and (ii) the Board have a nominating/corporate governance committee and compensation committee that are composed entirely of independent directors. Our general partner’s board of directors has not and does not currently intend to establish a nominating/corporate governance committee and we could avail ourselves of the additional exemptions available to publicly traded partnerships at any time in the future. Accordingly, common unitholders do not have the same protections afforded to equity holders of companies that are subject to all of the corporate governance requirements of the NYSE.
Our public common unitholders have limited voting rights and are not entitled to elect our general partner or our general partner’s directors and do not have sufficient voting power to remove our general partner without CVR Energy’s consent.
Unlike the holders of common stock in a corporation, our common unitholders have only limited voting rights on matters affecting our business and, therefore, limited ability to influence management’s decisions. Our common unit holders do not choose the Members of the Board do not elect directors or participate in other matters routinely conducted at annual meetings of stockholders, and have no practical ability to remove our general partner without the consent of CVR Energy. As a result of these limitations, the price at which the common units will trade could be diminished. Our partnership agreement restricts common unitholders’ voting rights by providing that any units held by a person that owns 20% or more of any class of units then outstanding, other than our general partner, its affiliates, their transferees, and persons who acquired such units with the prior approval of the Board, may not vote on any matter. Our partnership agreement also contains provisions limiting the ability of common unitholders to call meetings or to acquire information about our operations, and to influence the manner or direction of management.
Common unitholders may have liability to repay distributions.
In the event that: (i) we make distributions to our common unitholders when our nonrecourse liabilities exceed the sum of (a) the fair market value of our assets not subject to recourse liability and (b) the excess of the fair market value of our assets subject to recourse liability over such liability, or a distribution causes such a result, and (ii) a common unitholder knows at the time of the distribution of such circumstances, such common unitholder will be liable for a period of three years from the time of the impermissible distribution to repay the distribution under Section 17-607 of the Delaware Act. Likewise, upon the winding up of the partnership, in the event that (i) we do not distribute assets in the following order: (a) to creditors in satisfaction of their liabilities; (b) to partners and former partners in satisfaction of liabilities for distributions owed under our partnership agreement; (c) to partners for the return of their contribution; and finally (d) to the partners in the proportions in which the partners share in distributions; and (ii) a common unitholder knows at the time of such circumstances, then such common unitholder will be liable for a period of three years from the impermissible distribution to repay the distribution under Section 17-807 of the Delaware Act.
Tax Risks Related to Common Unitholders
If the IRS were to treat us as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes or we become subject to entity-level taxation for state tax purposes, our cash available for distribution to our common unitholders would be substantially reduced, likely causing a substantial reduction in the value of our common units.
The anticipated after-tax economic benefit of an investment in our common units depends largely on our being treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Despite the fact that we are organized as a limited partnership under Delaware law, we would be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes unless we satisfy a “qualifying income” requirement. Based upon our current operations, we believe we satisfy the qualifying income requirement. Although we have received favorable private letter rulings from the IRS with respect to certain of our operations, no ruling has been or will be requested regarding our treatment as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Failing to meet the qualifying income requirement or a change in current law (which could be retroactive) could cause us to be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes or otherwise subject us to taxation at the corporate tax rate and distributions to our common unitholders would generally be taxed again as corporate distributions, and no income, gains, losses, or deductions would flow through to our common unitholders. Because a tax would be imposed upon us as a corporation, our cash available for distribution to our common unitholders would be substantially reduced and result in a material reduction in the anticipated cash flow and after-tax return to our common unitholders, likely causing a substantial reduction in the value of our common units. At the state level, several states have been evaluating ways to subject partnerships to entity-level taxation through the imposition of
state income, franchise, or other forms of taxation. We currently own assets and conduct business in several states, many of which impose a margin or franchise tax. In the future, we may expand our operations. Imposition of a similar tax on us in other jurisdictions that we may expand to could substantially reduce our cash available for distribution to our common unitholders.
If the IRS makes audit adjustments to our income tax returns for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, it may assess and collect any taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) resulting from such audit adjustments directly from us, in which case our cash available for distribution to our common unitholders might be substantially reduced and our current and former common unitholders may be required to indemnify us for any taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) resulting from such audit adjustments that were paid on such common unitholders’ behalf.
For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, the IRS (and some states) may assess and collect from us taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) resulting from audit adjustments to our income tax returns. Our general partner may elect to either pay the taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) directly to the IRS or, if we are eligible, issue a revised information statement to each common unitholder and former common unitholder with respect to an audited and adjusted return. There can be no assurance that such an election to allocate the audit adjustment and tax payment obligation to our current and former common unitholders will be practical, permissible, or effective in all circumstances. As a result, our current common unitholders may bear some or all of the tax liability resulting from such audit adjustment, even if they did not own common units in us during the tax year under audit. If, as a result of any such audit adjustment, we are required to make payments of taxes, penalties, and interest, our cash available for distribution to our common unitholders might be substantially reduced and our current and former unitholders may be required to indemnify us for any taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) resulting from such audit adjustments that were paid on such unitholders behalf.
Our unitholders are required to pay income taxes on their share of our taxable income even if they do not receive any cash distributions from us.
A unitholder’s allocable share of our taxable income will be taxable to it, which may require the unitholder to pay federal income taxes and, in some cases, state and local income taxes, even if the unitholder receives no cash distributions or cash distributions from us that are less than the actual tax liability that results from that income. For example, if we sell assets and use the proceeds to repay existing debt or fund capital expenditures, you may be allocated taxable income and gain resulting from the sale, and our cash available for distribution would not increase. Similarly, taking advantage of opportunities to reduce our existing debt, such as debt exchanges, debt repurchases, or modifications of our existing debt could result in “cancellation of indebtedness income” being allocated to our common unitholders as taxable income without any increase in our cash available for distribution.
Common unitholders may be subject to limitation on their ability to deduct interest expense incurred by us.
In general, we are entitled to a deduction for interest paid or accrued on indebtedness properly allocable to our trade or business during our taxable year. However, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, our deduction for “business interest” is limited to the sum of our business interest income and 30% of our “adjusted taxable income.” For the purposes of this limitation, our adjusted taxable income is computed without regard to any business interest expense or business interest income, and in the case of taxable years beginning before January 1, 2022, any deduction allowable for depreciation, amortization, or depletion.
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relieve and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act was signed into law. The CARES Act, among other things, increased the limitation on the deductibility of business interest to 50% of adjusted taxable income for partnerships in taxable year December 31, 2020. The CARES Act also allows taxpayers to elect to compute the limitation on business interest expense for taxable year December 31, 2020 by using its adjusted taxable income from taxable year December 31, 2019.
Non-U.S. common unitholders will be subject to U.S. taxes and withholding with respect to their income and gain from owning our common units.
Non-U.S. common unitholders are generally taxed and subject to income tax filing requirements by the United States on income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business (“effectively connected income”). Income allocated to our common unitholders and any gain from the sale of our common units will generally be considered to be “effectively connected” with a U.S. trade or business. As a result, distributions to a Non-U.S. common unitholder will be subject to withholding at the highest applicable effective tax rate, and a Non-U.S. common unitholder who sells or otherwise disposes of a common unit will also be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the gain realized from the sale or disposition of that common unit.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act imposes a withholding obligation of 10% of the amount realized upon a Non-U.S. common witholder’s sale or exchange of an interest in a partnership that is engaged in a U.S. trade or business, effective January 1, 2022 per final Regulations. Non-U.S. common unitholders should consult a tax advisor before investing in our common units.
Tax-exempt entities face unique tax issues from owning our common units that may result in adverse tax consequences.
Investment in our common units by tax-exempt entities, such as employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts, raises unique issues. For example, virtually all of our income allocated to organizations that are exempt from U.S. federal income tax will be unrelated business taxable income and will be taxable. Further, with respect to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, a tax-exempt entity with more than one unrelated trade or business (including by attribution from investment in a partnership such as ours that is engaged in one or more unrelated trade or business) is required to compute the unrelated business taxable income of such tax-exempt entity separately with respect to each such trade or business (including for purposes of determining any net operating loss deduction). As a result, for years beginning after December 31, 2017, it may not be possible for tax-exempt entities to utilize losses from an investment in our partnership to offset unrelated business taxable income from another unrelated trade or business and vice versa.
The IRS may challenge our treatment of each purchaser of our common units as having the same tax benefits without regard to the common units actually purchased, which could adversely affect the value of our common units.
Because we cannot match transferors and transferees of common units, we have adopted certain methods for allocating depreciation and amortization deductions that may not conform to all aspects of existing Treasury Regulations. A successful IRS challenge to the use of these methods could adversely affect the amount of tax benefits available to our common unitholders. It also could affect the timing of these tax benefits or the amount of gain from any sale of common units and could have a negative impact on the value of our common units or result in audit adjustments to a common unitholder’s tax returns.
Our proration methods may be challenged by the IRS, which could change the allocation of items of income, gain, loss, and deduction among our common unitholders.
We generally (i) prorate our items of income, gain, loss, and deduction between transferors and transferees of our common units; and (ii) allocate certain deductions for depreciation of capital additions, gain or loss realized on a sale or other disposition of our assets, and, in the discretion of the general partner, any other extraordinary item of income, gain, loss, or deduction, each month based upon the ownership of our units on the first day of each month (the “Allocation Date”), instead of on the basis of the date a particular common unit is transferred. Treasury Regulations allow a similar monthly simplifying convention, but such regulations do not specifically authorize all aspects of our proration method. If the IRS were to challenge our proration method, we may be required to change the allocation of items of income, gain, loss, and deduction among our common unitholders.
IRS challenge of certain valuation methodologies we have adopted to determine a unitholder’s allocations of income, gain, loss, and deduction, could adversely affect the value of our common units.
In determining the items of income, gain, loss, and deduction allocable to our unitholders, we must routinely determine the fair market value of our assets and allocate any unrealized gain or loss attributable to our assets to the capital accounts of our unitholders. The IRS may challenge our valuation methods and allocations. A successful IRS challenge to these methods or allocations could adversely affect the amount of taxable income or loss being allocated to our unitholders, the amount of taxable gain from our unitholders’ sale of common units, and the value of the common units or result in audit adjustments to our unitholders’ tax returns without the benefit of additional deductions.
Our common unitholders will likely be subject to state and local taxes, as well as income tax return filing requirements, in jurisdictions where they do not live as a result of investing in our common units.
In addition to U.S. federal income taxes, our common unitholders may be subject to other taxes, including foreign, state, and local taxes, unincorporated business taxes, and estate, inheritance, or intangible taxes that are imposed by the various jurisdictions in which we conduct business or own property now or in the future, even if they do not live in any of those jurisdictions, will likely be required to file foreign, state, and local income tax returns and pay state and local income taxes in some or all of these various jurisdictions, and may be subject to penalties for failure to comply with those requirements.
General Risks Related to the Partnership
The acquisition and expansion strategy of our business involves significant risks that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
From time to time, we may consider pursuing acquisitions and expansion projects (“Expansion Projects”) to continue to grow and increase profitability. However, we may not be able to consummate such Expansion Projects due to intense competition for suitable acquisition targets; the potential unavailability of financial resources necessary; difficulties in identifying suitable Expansion Projects or in completing them on sufficiently favorable terms; and the failure to obtain requisite regulatory approvals. In addition, any Expansion Projects may entail significant transaction costs and risks associated with entry into new markets and lines of business, including but not limited to, new regulatory obligations and risks.
In the case of an acquisition, integration of acquired entities can involve significant difficulties, such as: disruption of the ongoing operations; failure to achieve cost savings or other financial or operating objectives contributing to the accretive nature of an acquisition; strain on operational and managerial controls, procedures and management; difficulties in the integration and retention of customers or personnel; assumption of unknown material liabilities or regulatory non-compliance issues; amortization of acquired assets, which would reduce future reported earnings; and possible adverse short-term effects on our cash flows or operating results.
When considering potential Expansion Projects, will also consider impact on our tax treatment as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. If we are unable to conclude that the activities of the Expansion Project would not affect our treatment as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, we may elect to seek a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). Seeking such a ruling could be costly or, in the case of competitive acquisitions, place the business in a competitive disadvantage compared to other potential acquirers who do not seek such a ruling. If we are unable to conclude that an activity would not affect our treatment as a partnership for federal income tax purposes and are unable or unwilling to obtain an IRS ruling, we may choose to acquire such business or develop such expansion project in a corporate subsidiary, which would subject the income related to such activity to entity-level taxation, which would reduce the amount of cash available for distribution to our common unitholders and could likely cause a substantial reduction in the value of our common units.
Internally generated cash flows and other sources of liquidity may not be adequate for our capital needs.
Our business is capital intensive and working capital needs may vary significantly over relatively short periods of time. For instance, nitrogen fertilizer demand volatility can significantly impact working capital on a week-to-week and month-to-month basis. If we cannot generate adequate cash flow or otherwise secure sufficient liquidity to meet our working capital needs or support our short-term and long-term capital requirements, we may be unable to meet our debt obligations, pursue our business strategies, or comply with certain environmental standards, which would have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Refer to Item 1, “Facilities” for more information on our core business properties. CVR Energy also leases property for our executive and marketing offices in Sugar Land, Texas and Kansas City, Kansas, respectively.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
In the ordinary course of business, we may become party to lawsuits, administrative proceedings, and governmental investigations, including environmental, regulatory, and other matters. Large, and sometimes unspecified, damages or penalties may be sought from us in some matters and certain matters may require years to resolve. Although we cannot provide assurance, we believe that an adverse resolution of the matters described below would not have a material impact on our liquidity, consolidated financial position, or consolidated results of operations. Refer to Note 2 (“Summary of Significant Accounting Policies”), Loss Contingencies, in Part II, Item 8 for further discussion on current litigation matters.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Item 5. Market For Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Unitholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The performance graph below compares the cumulative total return of the Partnership’s common units to (a) the cumulative total return of the S&P 500 Composite Index and (b) a composite peer group (“Peer Group”) consisting of The Mosaic Company, CF Industries Holdings, Inc., Intrepid Potash, Inc., and Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. The graph assumes that the value of the investment in common units and each index was $100 on December 31, 2015 and that all distributions were reinvested. Investment is weighted on the basis of market capitalization.
The unit price performance shown on the graph is not necessarily indicative of future price performance. Information used in the graph was obtained from Yahoo! Finance (finance.yahoo.com). The performance graph above is furnished and not filed for purposes of the Securities Act and the Exchange Act. The performance graph is not soliciting material subject to Regulation 14A.
CVR Partners’ common units are listed under the symbol “UAN” on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”). The Partnership has 32 holders of record of the outstanding units as of December 31, 2020.
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer
Repurchases of the Partnership’s common units during the three months ended December 31, 2020 were as follows:
|Period||Total Number of Units Purchased||Average Price paid per Unit||Total Number of Units Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs||Approximate Dollar Value of Units that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs (1)|
October 1 to October 31, 2020
|— ||$||— ||— ||$||7,723,222 |
November 1 to November 30, 2020 (2)
|60,000 ||8.32 ||60,000 ||7,223,883 |
December 1 to December 31, 2020
|333,777 ||12.88 ||333,777 ||2,924,400 |
|Total||393,777 ||393,777 |
(1)On May 6, 2020, the Board, on behalf of the Partnership, authorized the Partnership to repurchase up to $10 million of the Partnership’s common units. Repurchases may be made through open market transactions, block trades, privately negotiated transactions, or otherwise in accordance with applicable securities laws. Through December 31, 2020, the Partnership has repurchased $7.1 million of its common units under this authorization and $2.9 million of authority may yet be used to purchase common units.
(2)On November 23, 2020, a 10-to-1 reverse common unit split occurred. From November 1, 2020 through November 23, 2020, the Partnership repurchased 416,000 common units. The units summarized above reflect common unit repurchases on a split-adjusted basis. No changes to the unit repurchase authorization occurred during the period as a result of the reverse split.
Equity Compensation Plan
The CVR Partners Long-Term Incentive Plan (“LTIP”) provides for the grant of options, unit appreciation rights, distribution equivalent rights, restricted units, phantom units and other unit-based awards, each in respect of common units. Individuals who are eligible to receive awards under the CVR Partners LTIP include employees, officers, consultants and directors of CVR Partners and the general partner and their respective subsidiaries and parents. A maximum of 500,000 common units are issuable under the CVR Partners LTIP.
The table below contains information about securities authorized for issuance under the CVR Partners LTIP as of December 31, 2020.
|Plan Category||Number of Securities to be Issued Upon Exercise of Outstanding Options, Warrants, and Rights||Weighted-Average Exercise Price of Outstanding Options, Warrants and Rights||Number of Securities Remaining Available for Future Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans || |
|Equity compensation plans approved by security holders:|| || || || |
|CVR Partners, LP Long-Term Incentive Plan||— ||— ||482,022 ||(1)|
|Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders:|| || |
|None||— ||— ||— || |
|Total||— ||— ||482,022 || |
(1)Represents units that remain available for future issuance pursuant to the CVR Partners LTIP in connection with awards of options, unit appreciation rights, distribution equivalent rights, restricted units, and phantom units.
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition, results of operations and cash flow should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes and with the statistical information and financial data included elsewhere in this Report. References to CVR Partners, the Partnership, “we”, “us”, and “our” may refer to consolidated subsidiaries of CVR Partners or one or both of the facilities, as the context may require.
This discussion and analysis covers the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 and discusses year-to-year comparisons between such periods. The discussions of the year ended December 31, 2018 and year-to-year comparisons between the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 that are not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K can be found in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 of the Partnership’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 filed on February 20, 2020, and such discussions are incorporated by reference into this Report.
Reflected in this discussion and analysis is how management views the Partnership’s current financial condition and results of operations along with key external variables and management actions that may impact the Partnership. Understanding significant external variables, such as market conditions, weather, and seasonal trends, among others, and management actions taken to manage the Partnership, address external variables, among others, which will increase users’ understanding of the Partnership, its financial condition and results of operations. This discussion may contain forward looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates and beliefs. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to those discussed below and elsewhere in this Report.
Strategy and Goals
Mission and Core Values
Our Mission is to be a top tier North American nitrogen-based fertilizer company as measured by safe and reliable operations, superior performance and profitable growth. The foundation of how we operate is built on five core Values:
•Safety - We always put safety first. The protection of our employees, contractors and communities is paramount. We have an unwavering commitment to safety above all else. If it’s not safe, then we don’t do it.
•Environment - We care for our environment. Complying with all regulations and minimizing any environmental impact from our operations is essential. We understand our obligation to the environment and that it’s our duty to protect it.
•Integrity - We require high business ethics. We comply with the law and practice sound corporate governance. We only conduct business one way—the right way with integrity.
•Corporate Citizenship - We are proud members of the communities where we operate. We are good neighbors and know that it’s a privilege we can’t take for granted. We seek to make a positive economic and social impact through our financial donations and the contributions of time, knowledge and talent of our employees to the places where we live and work.
•Continuous Improvement - We believe in both individual and team success. We foster accountability under a performance-driven culture that supports creative thinking, teamwork, diversity and personal development so that employees can realize their maximum potential. We use defined work practices for consistency, efficiency and to create value across the organization.
Our core Values are driven by our people, inform the way we do business each and every day and enhance our ability to accomplish our mission and related strategic objectives.
We have outlined the following strategic objectives to drive the accomplishment of our mission:
Safety - We aim to achieve continuous improvement in all environmental, health, and safety areas through ensuring our people’s commitment to environmental, health and safety comes first, the refinement of existing policies, continuous training, and enhanced monitoring procedures.
Reliability - Our goal is to achieve industry-leading utilization rates at both of our Facilities through safe and reliable operations. We are focusing on improvements in day-to-day plant operations, identifying alternative sources for plant inputs to reduce lost time due to third-party operational constraints, and optimizing our commercial and marketing functions to maintain plant operations at their highest level.
Market Capture - We continuously evaluate opportunities to improve the facilities’ realized pricing at the gate and reduce variable costs incurred in production to maximize our capture of market opportunities.
Financial Discipline - We strive to be efficient as possible by maintaining low operating costs and disciplined deployment of capital.
We successfully executed a number of achievements in support of our strategic objectives shown below through the date of this filing despite the challenges experienced by the industry during 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:
|Safety||Reliability||Market Capture||Financial Discipline|
|Operated all facilities and corporate offices safely and reliably and maintained financial discipline amid COVID-19 pandemic.||ü||ü||ü|
Maintained high asset reliability and a combined utilization rate of 98% at both facilities through the fourth quarter of 2020.
|Achieved record shipments of ammonia from the East Dubuque Facility during April 2020.||ü||ü|
|Reduced lost profit opportunities by approximately $13.7 million compared to 2019.||ü||ü||ü|
Generated first carbon offset credits related to N2O abatement and continued sequestration of CO2 for enhanced crude oil recovery at the Coffeyville Facility.
Reduced operating and SG&A expenses by over 12% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
|Reduced capital spending by $9 million compared to initial spending plans.||ü|
Amended and extended the ABL Credit Agreement during the third quarter of 2020.
|Completed Messer contract renewal with favorable conditions including new backup oxygen tank.||ü|
Repurchased $7.1 million of CVR Partners common units during 2020.
Industry Factors and Market Conditions
Within the nitrogen fertilizer business, earnings and cash flows from operations are primarily affected by the relationship between nitrogen fertilizer product prices, utilization, and operating costs and expenses, including pet coke and natural gas feedstock costs.
The price at which nitrogen fertilizer products are ultimately sold depends on numerous factors, including the global supply and demand for nitrogen fertilizer products which, in turn, depends on, among other factors, world grain demand and production levels, changes in world population, the cost and availability of fertilizer transportation infrastructure, weather conditions, the availability of imports, and the extent of government intervention in agriculture markets.
Nitrogen fertilizer prices are also affected by local factors, including local market conditions and the operating levels of competing facilities. An expansion or upgrade of competitors’ facilities, new facility development, political and economic developments, and other factors are likely to continue to play an important role in nitrogen fertilizer industry economics. These factors can impact, among other things, the level of inventories in the market, resulting in price volatility and a reduction in product margins. Moreover, the industry typically experiences seasonal fluctuations in demand for nitrogen fertilizer products.
General Business Environment
In March 2020, the World Health Organization categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic, and the President of the United States declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic and actions taken by governments and others in response thereto has and continues to negatively impact the worldwide economy, financial markets, and the agricultural industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant business and operational disruptions, including business closures in the restaurant and food supply industries, among others, liquidity strains, demand destruction, as well as supply chain challenges, travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders, and limitations on the availability of the workforce, including farmers in the agricultural industry. As a result, the global demand for liquid transportation fuels, including ethanol (the production of which is a significant driver of demand for fertilizer), has declined, causing many refineries and plants to reduce production or idle, evidenced by a decline in the fourth quarter 2020 average ethanol production of 10% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Given recent market conditions, the processing of sweet crude oil, including at the crude oil refinery owned and operated by Coffeyville Resources Refining & Marketing, LLC (“CRRM”), an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of CVR Energy, has increased compared to 2019 resulting in lower sour crude oil being processed and pet coke being produced. As a result, increased costs may continue to be incurred by the Partnership in future periods to source feedstocks, such as pet coke. Concerns over the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic and business prospects across the world have contributed to increased market and grain price volatility, and uncertainty in food supply demands, and have diminished expectations for the global economy. These factors may precipitate a prolonged economic slowdown and recession, which may lead to some decline in demand for the Partnership’s products in the first quarter of 2021 and beyond.
The Partnership believes the general business environment in which it operates will continue to remain volatile during 2021, driven by uncertainty around the availability and prices of its feedstocks and the demand for its products. As a result, the Partnership anticipates its future operating results and current and long-term financial condition may be negatively impacted. Due to the rapidly evolving situation, the uncertainty of its duration, and the timing of recovery, the Partnership is not able at this time to predict the extent to which these events may have a material, or any, effect on its financial or operational results in future periods.
Goodwill and Long-Lived Assets
As of December 31, 2019, the Partnership had a goodwill balance of $41.0 million associated with our Coffeyville Facility reporting unit for which the estimated fair value had been in excess of carrying value based on our 2018 and 2019 assessments. As a result of lower expectations for market conditions in the fertilizer industry, the market performance of the Partnership’s common units, a qualitative analysis, and additional risks associated with the business, the Partnership concluded a triggering event had occurred that required an interim quantitative impairment assessment of goodwill for this reporting unit during the second quarter of 2020. The results of the impairment test indicated that the carrying amount of the Coffeyville Facility reporting unit exceeded the estimated fair value of the reporting unit, and a full impairment of the asset was required. Significant assumptions inherent in the valuation methodologies for goodwill include, but are not limited to, prospective financial information, growth rates, discount rates, inflationary factors, and cost of capital. To evaluate the sensitivity of the fair value calculations for the reporting unit, the Partnership applied a hypothetical 1% favorable change in the weighted average cost of capital, and separately, increased the revenue projections by 10%, holding gross margins steady. The results of these sensitivity analyses confirmed the need to record a non-cash impairment charge of $41.0 million during 2020. There is no goodwill remaining as of December 31, 2020.
With the adverse economic impacts discussed above and the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a heightened risk that amounts recognized, including other long-lived assets, may not be recoverable. While our assessment in 2020 did not identify the existence of an impairment indicator for our long-lived asset groups, we continue to monitor the
current environment, including the duration and breadth of the impacts that the pandemic will have on demand for our fertilizer products, to assess whether qualitative factors indicate a quantitative assessment is required. If a quantitative test is performed, the extent to which the recoverability of our long-lived assets could be impaired is unknown. Such impairment could have a significant adverse impact on our results of operations; however, an impairment would have no impact on our financial condition or liquidity.
While there is risk of shorter-term volatility given the inherent nature of the commodity cycle and the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Partnership believes the long-term fundamentals for the U.S. nitrogen fertilizer industry remain intact. The Partnership views the anticipated combination of (i) increasing global population, (ii) decreasing arable land per capita, (iii) continued evolution to more protein-based diets in developing countries, (iv) sustained use of corn as feedstock for the domestic production of ethanol, and (v) positioning at the lower end of the global cost curve should provide a solid foundation for nitrogen fertilizer producers in the U.S. over the longer term.
While weather conditions in 2020 exhibited normal patterns, weather significantly impacted the timing of the planting season for corn and soybeans in 2019. Due to excessive wet conditions, crops were planted later than normal in the spring which led to a late harvest of these crops in the fall of 2019. As a result, the ammonia application season in the fall of 2019 was shortened. This created a surplus of ammonia inventory in the market during the winter of 2019 leading into 2020. UAN continues to be impacted by the imposition of import duties on UAN product by the European Union (the “EU”). This has resulted in shifts in UAN trade flows for product that had previously been shipped to the EU. In 2020, natural gas prices across the world declined significantly as compared to 2019; however, since the summer of 2020, forward market prices indicate significantly higher prices for 2021 versus historically low prices in 2020. Natural gas is the primary feedstock for production of nitrogen fertilizers. As a result of these factors, in the fourth quarter of 2020, the Partnership has started to see an uptrend in pricing related to these products, with the expectation that product prices will continue to see an uptrend into the first quarter of 2021.
Corn and soybean are two major crops planted by farmers in North America. Corn crops result in the depletion of the amount of nitrogen and ammonia within the soil in which it is grown, which in turn, results in the need for these nutrients to be replenished after each growing cycle. Unlike corn, soybeans are able to obtain their own nitrogen through a process known as “N fixation.” As such, upon harvesting of soybeans, the soil retains a certain amount of nitrogen which results in lower demand for nitrogen fertilizer for the following corn planting cycle. Due to these factors, nitrogen fertilizer consumers generally operate a balanced corn-soybean rotational planting cycle as evident through the chart presented below for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
The relationship between the total acres planted for both corn and soybean has a direct impact on the overall demand for nitrogen products. As the number of corn acres increases, the market and demand for nitrogen also increases. Correspondingly, as the number of soybean acres increases, the market and demand for nitrogen decreases. Additionally, an estimated 8 billion pounds of soybean oil is expected to go towards producing cleaner biodiesel in 2020 and 2021. Multiple refiners have announced biodiesel expansion projects for 2021 and beyond, which will only increase the demand and capacity for soybeans. Due to the uncertainty of how these factors will truly affect the soybean market, it is not yet known how the nitrogen business will be impacted.
Ethanol is blended with gasoline to meet renewable fuel standard requirements and for its octane value. Ethanol production has historically consumed approximately 35% of the U.S. corn crop, so demand for corn generally rises and falls with ethanol demand. There has been a decline in ethanol demand in 2020 due to decreased demand for transportation fuels as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the lower ethanol demand did not alter the spring 2020 planting decisions by farmers as evidenced in the charts below.
(1)Information used within this chart was obtained from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”).
(2)Information used within this chart was obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”), National Agricultural Statistics Services.
The 2020 USDA reports on corn and soybean acres planted indicated farmers planted approximately 91.0 million acres of corn, representing an increase of 1.4% in corn acres planted as compared to 89.7 million corn acres in 2019. Planted soybean acres are estimated to be 83.1 million acres, representing a 9.2% increase in soybean acres planted as compared to 76.1 million soybean acres in 2019. Since the summer of 2020, adverse weather conditions in parts of the Midwest caused the USDA to lower estimated crop yields, particularly for corn. Further, higher demand for soybeans and corn and lower grain inventories have led to a rally in crop prices for 2020 and 2021 and significantly improved farmer economics. As a result, we experienced strong demand for ammonia for fall application and fertilizer crop inputs for the spring of 2021. Prices for natural gas, the primary input for nitrogen fertilizer production, rose in the fourth quarter of 2020 in the U.S. and rose even more significantly in international markets. The increase in natural gas prices in the U.S. has been more than offset by higher product pricing, and the competitiveness of U.S. nitrogen producers has improved considerably.
The tables below show relevant market indicators by month through December 31, 2020:
(1)Information used within these charts was obtained from various third-party sources including Green Markets (a Bloomberg Company), Pace Petroleum Coke Quarterly, and the EIA, amongst others.
Results of Operations
The following should be read in conjunction with the information outlined within the previous sections of this Part II, Item 7, the financial statements, and related notes thereto in Part II, Item 8 of this Report.
The charts presented below summarize our ammonia utilization rates on a consolidated basis and at each of our Facilities. Utilization is an important measure used by management to assess operational output at each of the Partnership’s facilities. Utilization is calculated as actual tons produced divided by capacity adjusted for planned maintenance and turnarounds.
The presentation of our utilization is on a two-year rolling average which takes into account the impact of our planned and unplanned outages on any specific period. We believe the two-year rolling average is a more useful presentation of the long-term utilization performance of our Facilities.
Utilization is presented solely on ammonia production rather than each nitrogen product as it provides a comparative baseline against industry peers and eliminates the disparity of facility configurations for upgrade of ammonia into other nitrogen products. With efforts primarily focused on ammonia upgrade capabilities, we believe this measure provides a meaningful view of how well we operate.
On a consolidated basis, utilization increased 2% to 95% for the two years ended December 31, 2020 compared to the two years ended December 31, 2019. This increase was primarily a result of ammonia storage capacity constraints at the East Dubuque Facility in the first quarter of 2019 due to inclement weather impacting customers’ ability to apply ammonia and the turnaround at the East Dubuque Facility in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Sales and Pricing per Ton - Two of our key operating metrics are total sales for ammonia and UAN along with the product pricing per ton realized at the gate. Total sales for ammonia and UAN were favorable due to strong demand during the spring application coupled with heavy fill orders from the summer through year end caused by higher crop prices increasing farmer demand. Additionally, higher total utilization for 2020 increased the total products available for sale for ammonia and UAN. This increase in production is coupled with an increased draw of ammonia and UAN inventory for 2020. Product pricing at gate represents net sales less freight revenue divided by product sales volume in tons and is shown in order to provide a pricing measure comparable across the fertilizer industry.
Production Volumes - Gross tons produced for ammonia represent the total ammonia produced, including ammonia produced, that was upgraded into other fertilizer products. Net tons available for sale represent the ammonia available for sale that was not upgraded into other fertilizer products. The table below presents these metrics for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018.
|Year Ended December 31,|
|(in thousands of tons)||2020||2019||2018|
|Ammonia (gross produced)||852 ||766 ||794 |
|Ammonia (net available for sale)||303 ||223 ||246 |
|UAN||1,303 ||1,255 ||1,276 |
Feedstock - Our Coffeyville Facility utilizes a pet coke gasification process to produce nitrogen fertilizer. Our East Dubuque Facility uses natural gas in its production of ammonia. The table below presents these feedstocks for both facilities for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018.
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Pet coke used in production (thousand tons)||523 ||535 ||463 |
|Pet coke (dollars per ton)||$||35.25 ||$||37.47 ||$||28.41 |
|Natural gas used in production (thousands of MMBtu) (1)||8,611 ||6,856 ||7,933 |
|Natural gas used in production (dollars per MMBtu) (1)||$||2.31 ||$||2.88 ||$||3.28 |
|Natural gas in cost of materials and other (thousands of MMBtu) (1)||9,349 ||6,961 ||7,122 |
|Natural gas in cost of materials and other (dollars per MMBtu) (1)||$||2.35 ||$||3.08 ||$||3.15 |
(1)The feedstock natural gas shown above does not include natural gas used for fuel. The cost of natural gas used for fuel is included in Direct operating expenses (exclusive of depreciation and amortization).
Overview - For the year ended December 31, 2020, the Partnership’s operating loss and net loss were $34.9 million and $98.2 million, respectively, a $62.3 million decrease in operating income and a $63.2 million increase in net loss, respectively, compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 driven primarily by lower net sales and the recognition of a non-cash impairment charge of $41.0 million driven primarily by the lower pricing environment observed in 2020. These impacts were offset by higher sales volumes and reductions to operating expense.
(1)See “Non-GAAP Reconciliations” section below for reconciliations of the non-GAAP measures shown above.
Net Sales - Net sales decreased by $54.2 million to $350.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. This decrease was primarily due to unfavorable pricing conditions which contributed $99.0 million in lower revenues offset with increased sales volumes contributing $45.8 million as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. For the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, net sales included $33.3 million and $33.4 million in freight revenue, respectively, and $10.1 million and $7.6 million in other revenue, respectively.
The following table demonstrates the impact of changes in sales volumes and pricing for the primary components of net sales, excluding urea products, freight, and other revenue, for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019.
The decrease in UAN and ammonia sales pricing for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 was primarily attributable to competitive pricing pressures seen throughout the domestic and international markets. For UAN, a softening natural gas market, which is the typical feedstock for nitrogen plants, shifting trade flows in UAN due to the imposition of import duties on UAN in the EU contributed to lower prices. Additionally, lower corn prices due to decreased demand for corn for ethanol blending further contributed to lower UAN prices. For ammonia, lower natural gas and corn prices and reduced demand for industrial uses of ammonia contributed to lower prices. The increase in UAN and ammonia sales volumes for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 was primarily attributable to strong demand during the 2020 spring application period coupled with heavy fill orders beginning in the summer
of 2020 through year end. Additionally, higher crop prices in the second half of 2020 led to greater farmer demand, which was also aided by favorable weather conditions for application.
(1)Exclusive of depreciation and amortization expense.
Cost of Materials and Other - Cost of materials and other for the year ended December 31, 2020 was $91.1 million, compared to $94.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The $3.0 million decrease was comprised primarily of a $1.6 million decrease in pet coke costs at our Coffeyville Facility due to lower purchases of pet coke from the Coffeyville Refinery, a decrease in freight expenses and distribution costs of $1.4 million due to higher 2019 freight charges on sales agreements, a decrease in other feedstocks purchases of $1.2 million due to lower purchases of hydrogen and nitrogen, and a decrease related to a draw in our ammonia and UAN inventories contributing $0.6 million driven by higher crop prices leading to greater farmer demand coupled with favorable weather for application through year end, offset by an increase in purchases of third-party ammonia at the Coffeyville Facility contributing $1.8 million.
Direct Operating Expenses (exclusive of depreciation and amortization) - For the year ended December 31, 2020, direct operating expenses (exclusive of depreciation and amortization) were $157.9 million as compared to $173.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The $15.7 million decrease was primarily due to decreased turnaround costs of $9.1 million relating to the 2019 turnaround for our East Dubuque Facility and a decrease in $1.3 million of repairs and maintenance cost for brick replacement at our Coffeyville Facility with no similar activity in 2020. Utility costs decreased by $3.0 million due to the lower cost of natural gas resulting from favorable market conditions and lower electricity costs at our Coffeyville Facility due to rate reductions achieved in 2020. Other reductions to operating expense in 2020 reflect the impact of cost reduction efforts put in place to address the general business environment.
Depreciation and Amortization Expense - Depreciation and amortization expense decreased $3.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, as a result of accelerated depreciation of certain assets that
were removed following the 2019 turnaround at the East Dubuque Facility, coupled with additions to property, plant, and equipment during the current year.
Selling, General, and Administrative Expenses, and Other - Selling, general and administrative expenses and other decreased approximately $10.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. The decrease was primarily related to a reduced amount of asset write offs in 2020 compared to 2019 contributing $2.8 million, coupled with decreased personnel costs and management fees of $7.2 million driven by lower allocated expense from CVR Energy, including stock-based compensation expense as a result of lower market prices for CVR Energy share and Partnership units during 2020.
Our management uses certain non-GAAP performance measures, and reconciliations to those measures, to evaluate current and past performance and prospects for the future to supplement our GAAP financial information presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures are important factors in assessing our operating results and profitability and include the performance and liquidity measures defined below.
Effective January 1, 2020, the Partnership no longer presents the non-GAAP performance measure of Adjusted EBITDA, as management no longer relies on this financial measure when evaluating the Partnership’s performance and does not believe it enhances the users understanding of its financial statements in a useful manner.
The following are non-GAAP measures we present for the year ended December 31, 2020:
EBITDA - Net income (loss) before (i) interest expense, net, (ii) income tax expense (benefit) and (iii) depreciation and amortization expense.
Reconciliation of Net Cash Provided By Operating Activities to EBITDA - Net cash provided by operating activities reduced by (i) interest expense, net, (ii) income tax expense (benefit), (iii) change in working capital, and (iv) other non-cash adjustments.
Available Cash for Distribution - EBITDA for the quarter excluding non-cash income or expense items (if any), for which adjustment is deemed necessary or appropriate by the board of directors (the “Board”) of our general partner in its sole discretion, less (i) reserves for maintenance capital expenditures, debt service and other contractual obligations, and (ii) reserves for future operating or capital needs (if any), in each case, that the Board deems necessary or appropriate in its sole discretion. Available cash for distribution may be increased by the release of previously established cash reserves, if any, and other excess cash, at the discretion of the Board.
We present these measures because we believe they may help investors, analysts, lenders, and ratings agencies analyze our results of operations and liquidity in conjunction with our U.S. GAAP results, including, but not limited to, our operating performance as compared to other publicly traded companies in the fertilizer industry, without regard to historical cost basis or financing methods, and our ability to incur and service debt and fund capital expenditures. Non-GAAP measures have important limitations as analytical tools, because they exclude some, but not all, items that affect net earnings and operating income. These measures should not be considered substitutes for their most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measures. Refer to the “Non-GAAP Reconciliations” included herein for reconciliation of these amounts. Due to rounding, numbers presented within this section may not add or equal to numbers or totals presented elsewhere within this document.
Factors Affecting Comparability of Our Financial Results
Our historical results of operations for the periods presented may not be comparable with prior periods or to our results of operations in the future for the reasons discussed below.
Major Scheduled Turnaround Activities
Overall, our results are negatively impacted by lost production during downtime that results in lost sales and certain reduced variable expenses included in Cost of materials and other and Direct operating expenses (exclusive of depreciation and amortization). The year ended December 31, 2020 had no planned turnarounds. The effects of the planned, full facility
turnarounds completed during the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, exclusive of the impacts due to lost production during the turnaround downtime, are shown below:
|Facility||Related Period||Turnaround Downtime|
Estimated Lost Production
(in tons of Ammonia)
|East Dubuque||2019 - 3rd/4th Quarter||32 days||9,842 ||33,706 |
|Coffeyville||2018 - 2nd Quarter||15 days||6,399 ||21,450 |
As of December 31, 2019, the Partnership had a goodwill balance of $41.0 million associated with our Coffeyville Facility reporting unit for which the estimated fair value had been in excess of carrying value based on our 2018 and 2019 assessments. As a result of lower expectations for market conditions in the fertilizer industry, the market performance of the Partnership’s common units, a qualitative analysis, and additional risks associated with the business, the Partnership concluded a triggering event had occurred that required an interim quantitative impairment assessment of goodwill for this reporting unit as of June 30, 2020. Significant assumptions inherent in the valuation methodologies for goodwill include, but are not limited to, prospective financial information, growth rates, discount rates, inflationary factors, and cost of capital. The results of the impairment test indicated that the carrying amount of the Coffeyville Facility reporting unit exceeded the estimated fair value of the reporting unit, and a full impairment of the asset was required. No such charge was recognized during 2019.
During the fourth quarter of 2018, the Partnership recognized a $6.1 million business interruption insurance recovery associated with an outage at the Coffeyville Facility during 2017. The recovery is recorded in Other income, net. No such income was recognized in 2020 or 2019.
Reconciliation of Net Loss to EBITDA
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Interest expense, net||63,428 ||62,636 ||62,588 |
|Income tax expense (benefit) ||30 ||(18)||(46)|
|Depreciation and amortization||76,077 ||79,839 ||71,575 |
|EBITDA||$||41,354 ||$||107,488 ||$||84,090 |
Reconciliation of Net Cash Provided By Operating Activities to EBITDA
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Net cash provided by operating activities||$||19,740 ||$||39,157 ||$||32,234 |
|Goodwill impairment||(40,969)||— ||— |
|Interest expense, net||63,428 ||62,636 ||62,588 |
|Income tax expense (benefit)||30 ||(18)||(46)|
|Change in assets and liabilities||5,755 ||16,216 ||(2,256)|
|EBITDA||$||41,354 ||$||107,488 ||$||84,090 |
Reconciliation of EBITDA to Available Cash for Distribution
| ||Year Ended December 31,|
|EBITDA||$||41,354 ||$||107,488 ||$||84,090 |
|Goodwill impairment||40,969 ||— ||— |
Current reserves for amounts related to:
|Maintenance capital expenditures||(11,649)||(18,247)||(14,870)|
|Common units repurchased||(7,076)||— ||— |
|Other (reserves for) / releases of amounts reserved for:|
|Future turnarounds||(4,500)||— ||— |
|Repayment of current portion of long-term debt||(2,240)||— ||— |
|Recapture of prior negative available cash||(5,917)||— ||— |
|Future operating needs||(5,308)||(28,000)||— |
|Major scheduled expenditures||2,567 ||— ||— |
|Previously established cash reserves||— ||25,433 ||— |
|Available cash for distribution (1) (2)||$||(11,795)||$||26,677 ||$||9,848 |
|Common units outstanding ||11,195 ||11,328 ||11,328 |
(1)Amount represents the cumulative available cash based on full year results. However, available cash for distribution is calculated quarterly, with distributions (if any) being paid in the period following declaration.
(2)The Partnership paid no cash distributions for the fourth quarter of 2019 or the first three quarters of 2020. No distributions were declared for the fourth quarter of 2020.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Our principal source of liquidity has historically been and continues to be cash from operations, which can include cash advances from customers resulting from prepay contracts. Our principal uses of cash are for working capital, capital expenditures, funding our debt service obligations, and paying distributions to our unitholders, as further discussed below.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a significant and swift reduction in U.S. economic activity. These effects have caused significant volatility and disruption of the financial markets, and we have observed adverse impacts to our business and financial performance, of which the nature and extent of such impacts remains uncertain. This period of extreme economic disruption, including business closures in the restaurant and food supply industries, idling of ethanol facilities, and limitations on the availability of the workforce, including farmers in the agricultural industry, may continue to have an impact on our business, results of operations, and access to sources of liquidity. In view of the uncertainty of the depth and extent of the contraction in the U.S. economy and potential impact on the demand for our fertilizer products, we took proactive actions in 2020 to address the impacts we may experience in our results of operations, liquidity, and financial condition, including the following:
•The deferment of the Coffeyville Facility turnaround from the fall of 2020 to the summer of 2021, enabled by certain maintenance we proactively performed during the first quarter of 2020, and the East Dubuque Facility turnaround from 2021 to 2022;
•A reduction in the amount of maintenance capital expenditures in 2020 to only include those projects which are a priority to support continuing safe and reliable operations, or which we consider are critical to support future activities; and
•The amendment of the ABL Credit Agreement extending its term to September 30, 2022, optimizing the borrowing capacity and fee structure, and revising certain provisions to provide an improved credit facility for the Partnership.
When paired with the actions outlined above and prudently managing our operating costs and capital expenditures in 2021, we believe that our cash from operations and existing cash and cash equivalents, along with borrowings, as necessary, under the ABL Credit Agreement, formerly the AB Credit Facility, will be sufficient to satisfy anticipated cash requirements associated with our existing operations for at least the next 12 months. However, our future capital expenditures and other cash requirements could be higher than we currently expect as a result of various factors. Additionally, our ability to generate sufficient cash from our operating activities and secure additional financing depends on our future performance, which is subject to general economic, political, financial, competitive, and other factors, some of which may be beyond our control.
Depending on the needs of our business, contractual limitations, and market conditions, we may from time to time seek to issue equity securities, incur additional debt, issue debt securities, or otherwise refinance our existing debt. There can be no assurance that we will seek to do any of the foregoing or that we will be able to do any of the foregoing on terms acceptable to us or at all.
We do not have any “off-balance sheet arrangements” as such term is defined within the rules and regulations of the SEC.
Cash and Other Liquidity
As of December 31, 2020, we had cash and cash equivalents of $30.6 million, including $7.6 million of customer advances. Combined with $20.1 million available under our ABL Credit Agreement, we had total liquidity of $50.7 million as of December 31, 2020. As of December 31, 2019, we had $37.0 million in cash and cash equivalents, including $9.1 million of customer advances.
|9.25% Senior Notes, due June 2023||$||645,000 ||$||645,000 |
|6.50% Senior Notes, due April 2021, net of current portion (1)||— ||2,240 |
|Unamortized discount and debt issuance costs||(11,058)||(14,834)|
|Total long-term debt||633,942 ||632,406 |
|Current portion of long-term debt (1)||2,240 ||— |
|Total long-term debt, including current portion||$||636,182 ||$||632,406 |
(1)The 6.50% Notes, due April 2021, mature within 12 months, and, therefore, the outstanding balance of $2.2 million has been classified as short-term debt as of December 31, 2020.
The Partnership and its subsidiaries were in compliance with all applicable covenants under their respective debt instruments as of December 31, 2020. Refer to Note 5 (“Long-Term Debt”) in Part II, Item 8 for further information.
We divide capital spending needs into two categories: maintenance and growth. Maintenance capital spending includes non-discretionary maintenance projects and projects required to comply with environmental, health, and safety regulations. Growth capital projects generally involve an expansion of existing capacity and/or a reduction in direct operating expenses. We undertake growth capital spending based on the expected return on incremental capital employed.
Our total capital expenditures for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, along with our estimated expenditures for 2021 are as follows:
|Year Ended December 31,||Estimated|
|Maintenance capital||$||11,651 ||$||18,247 ||$18,000 - 20,000|
|Growth capital||4,780 ||2,027 ||5,000 - 6,000|
|Total capital expenditures||$||16,431 ||$||20,274 ||$23,000 - 26,000|
In light of the changing environment and proactive maintenance performed during several outages at the third-party owned and operated air separation unit at our Coffeyville Facility during the first quarter of 2020, we moved our turnaround from the previously planned timeframe of the fall of 2020 to the fall of 2021, with an estimated cost of $7 to $9 million. We will continue to monitor market conditions and make adjustments, if needed, to our current capital spending or turnaround plans. Our estimated capital expenditures are subject to change due to unanticipated changes in the cost, scope, and completion time for capital projects. For example, we may experience unexpected changes in labor or equipment costs necessary to comply with government regulations or to complete projects that sustain or improve the profitability of the nitrogen fertilizer facilities. We may also accelerate or defer some capital expenditures from time to time.
Distributions to Unitholders
The current policy of the Board is to distribute all Available Cash the Partnership generated on a quarterly basis. Available Cash for each quarter will be determined by the Board following the end of such quarter. Available Cash for each quarter is calculated as EBITDA for the quarter excluding non-cash income or expense items (if any), for which adjustment is deemed necessary or appropriate by the Board in its sole discretion, less (i) reserves for maintenance capital expenditures, debt service and other contractual obligations, and (ii) reserves for future operating or capital needs (if any), in each case, that the Board deems necessary or appropriate in its sole discretion. Available cash for distribution may be increased by the release of previously established cash reserves, if any, and other excess cash, at the discretion of the Board.
The Partnership did not pay distributions for the year ended December 31, 2020 or December 31, 2018. During the year ended December 31, 2019, the Partnership paid distributions totaling $4.00 per common unit on a split-adjusted basis, or $45.3 million. Of these distributions, CVR Energy received $15.6 million.
On May 6, 2020, the Board, on behalf of the Partnership, authorized a unit repurchase program (the “Unit Repurchase Program”). The Unit Repurchase Program enables the Partnership to repurchase up to $10 million of the Partnership’s common units. Repurchases under the Unit Repurchase Program may be made from time-to-time through open market transactions, block trades, privately negotiated transactions, or otherwise in accordance with applicable securities laws. The timing, price, and amount of repurchases (if any) will be made at the discretion of management of our general partner and are subject to market conditions, as well as corporate, regulatory, and other considerations.
On November 2, 2020, the Partnership announced that the Board had approved a 1-for-10 reverse split of the Partnership’s common units that was completed on November 23, 2020, pursuant to which each ten common units of the Partnership were converted into one common unit of the Partnership (the “Reverse Unit Split”). In accordance with the Partnership’s Agreement of Limited Partnership, as amended (the “Partnership Agreement”), following the Reverse Unit Split, any fractional units of record holders were rounded up or down, as applicable, to the nearest whole common unit, with any fraction equal to or above 0.5 common units rounding up to the next higher common unit. Following the Reverse Unit Split, the number of common units outstanding decreased from approximately 111 million common units to approximately 11 million common units, with proportionate adjustments to the common units under the Partnership’s long-term incentive plan and outstanding awards thereunder. See Note 1 (“Organization and Nature of Business”) in Part II, Item 8 for a discussion regarding the delisting of the NYSE.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, on a split-adjusted basis, the Partnership repurchased 623,177 common units on the open market in accordance with a unit repurchase agreement under Rules 10b5-1 and 10b-18 of the Exchange Act at a cost of $7.1 million, inclusive of transaction costs, or an average price of $11.35 per common unit. At December 31, 2020, the Partnership had $2.9 million in authority remaining under the Unit Repurchase Program. On February 22, 2021, the Board authorized an additional $10 million for the Unit Repurchase Program. This Unit Repurchase Program does not obligate the Partnership to acquire any common units and may be cancelled, terminated, extended or increased by the Board at any time.
The following table sets forth our cash flows for the periods indicated below:
| ||Year Ended December 31,|
|Net cash provided by (used in):|| || || |
|Operating activities||$||19,740 ||$||39,157 ||$||32,234 |
|Financing activities||(7,625)||(45,410)||— |
|Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents||$||(6,435)||$||(24,782)||$||12,603 |
The change in net cash flows from operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 is primarily due to unfavorable changes in operating results, excluding non-cash items, of $29.9 million, partially offset by favorable changes in working capital of $10.7 million, and unfavorable changes in non-current assets and liabilities of $0.2 million.
The change in net cash used in investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 was primarily attributed to the increase in capital expenditures of $0.2 million, related to growth spending on the Coffeyville Facility’s urea capacity upgrade project in the current period and maintenance spending on the East Dubuque Facility’s reactor conversion revamp in the prior period, partially offset by a decrease in cash outflows of $0.3 million from the purchase of land during the year ended December 31, 2019 with no corresponding amounts paid in 2020, and a decrease in cash inflows of $0.1 million from proceeds on the sale of assets.
The change in net cash used in financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 was the result of cash distributions paid to unitholders of $45.3 million during 2019 compared to cash used for repurchase of common units of $7.1 million and payment of deferred financing costs of $0.4 million related to the ABL Credit Agreement amendment entered into during 2020.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Refer to Note 2 (“Summary of Significant Accounting Policies”) in Part II, Item 8 for a discussion of recent accounting pronouncements applicable to the Partnership.
Critical Accounting Estimates
We prepare our consolidated financial statements in accordance with GAAP requiring management to make judgments, assumptions, and estimates based on the best available information at the time. Accounting estimates are considered to be critical if (1) the nature of the estimates and assumptions is material due to the levels of subjectivity and judgment necessary to account for highly uncertain matters or the susceptibility of such matters to change; and (2) the impact of the estimates and assumptions on financial condition or operating performance is material. Actual results could differ from the estimates and assumptions used.
The cost of our fertilizer product inventories is determined under the first-in, first-out (FIFO) method. Our FIFO inventories are carried at the lower of cost or net realizable value. We compare the estimated realizable value of inventories to their cost by product at each of our facilities. Depending on inventory levels, the per-ton realizable value of our fertilizer products is estimated using pricing on in-transit orders, pricing for open, fixed-price orders that have not shipped, and, if
volumes remain unaccounted for, current management pricing estimates for fertilizer products. Management’s estimate for current pricing reflects up-to-date pricing in each facility’s market as of the end of each reporting period. Reductions to selling prices for unreimbursed freight costs are included to arrive at net realizable value, as applicable. During the year ended December 31, 2020, we recognized a loss on inventory to reflect net realizable value of $0.7 million. For the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, there was no adjustment. Due to the amount and variability in volume of fertilizer product inventories maintained, changes in production costs, and the volatility of market pricing for fertilizer products, losses recognized to reflect fertilizer product inventories at the lower of cost or net realizable value could have a material impact on the Partnership’s results of operations.
Impairment of Long-lived Assets and Goodwill
Long-lived assets used in operations are assessed for impairment whenever changes in facts and circumstances indicate a possible significant deterioration in future expected cash flows. If the sum of the undiscounted expected future cash flows of an asset group is less than the carrying value, including applicable liabilities, the carrying value is written down to its estimated fair value. Individual assets are grouped for impairment purposes based on a judgmental assessment of the lowest level for which there are identifiable cash flows that are largely independent of the cash flows of other assets (for example, at a fertilizer facility level).
The Partnership tests goodwill for impairment annually on November 1 of each year, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate the asset might be impaired. One of our reporting units, the Coffeyville Facility, had a goodwill balance of $41.0 million at December 31, 2019. During the second quarter of 2020, following completion of the spring planting season, the market pricing for ammonia and UAN, which are the facility’s two primary products, experienced significant pricing declines driven by updated market expectations around supply and demand fundamentals which were expected to continue into the second half of 2020. Additionally, significant uncertainty remained as to the nature and extent of impacts to be seen on the overall demand for corn and soybean given reduced ethanol production and broader economic conditions which had negatively impacted demand. Therefore, in connection with the preparation of the financial statements for the three months ended June 30, 2020, given the pricing declines experienced in the second quarter of 2020, further muting of our near-term economic recovery assumptions, including management’s revised forecasts for product pricing in 2020 and beyond, and market price performance of our common units, we concluded an impairment indicator was present and a triggering event under Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 350, Intangibles-Goodwill and Other, had occurred as of June 30, 2020 and an interim quantitative impairment assessment was performed. Significant assumptions inherent in the valuation methodologies for goodwill included, but are not limited to, prospective financial information, growth rates, discount rates, inflationary factors, and cost of capital. Based on the interim quantitative analysis, it was determined that the estimated fair value of the Coffeyville Facility reporting unit did not exceed its carrying value. As a result, we recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $41.0 million during 2020. There is no goodwill remaining as of December 31, 2020.
We performed our annual impairment reviews of goodwill for 2019 and 2018, on November 1 of each such year and concluded no impairments. For the period ended December 31, 2019, we performed a qualitative assessment and concluded there were no events or circumstances which would trigger the performance of a quantitative analysis after reviewing all factors impacting the Coffeyville Facility reporting unit, including improved market conditions and financial results in 2019 as compared to the financial forecasts from those used in the fair value analysis at December 31, 2018, where the estimated fair value of the Coffeyville Facility reporting unit exceeded its carrying value by approximately 36% based upon the results of our quantitative goodwill impairment test.
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Commodity Price Risk
We are exposed to significant market risk due to potential changes in prices for fertilizer products and natural gas. Natural gas is the primary raw material used in the production of various nitrogen-based products manufactured at our East Dubuque Facility. We have commitments to purchase natural gas for use in our East Dubuque Facility at the spot market and through short-term, fixed supply, fixed price, and index price purchase contracts.
In the normal course of business, we produce nitrogen-based fertilizer products throughout the year to supply the needs of our customers during the high-delivery-volume spring and fall seasons. The value of fertilizer product inventory is subject to
market risk due to fluctuations in the relevant commodity prices. Prices of nitrogen fertilizer products can be volatile. We believe that market prices of nitrogen products are affected by changes in grain prices and demand, natural gas prices, and other factors. In the opinion of our management, there is no derivative financial instrument that correlates effectively with, and has a trading volume sufficient to hedge, our firm commitments and forecasted commodity sales transactions.
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
The Board of Directors of CVR GP, LLC
The Unitholders of CVR Partners, LP
The General Partner of CVR Partners, LP:
Opinion on the financial statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of CVR Partners, LP (a Delaware limited partnership) and subsidiaries (the “Partnership”) as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, the related consolidated statements of operations, partners’ capital, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2020, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Partnership as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2020, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”), the Partnership’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in the 2013 Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”), and our report dated February 23, 2021 expressed an unqualified opinion.
Basis for opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Partnership’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Partnership’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Partnership in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Critical audit matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.
Goodwill Impairment Assessment
As described in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, annually or as facts or circumstances may dictate, management performs a valuation of the Coffeyville Facility reporting unit to determine if a goodwill impairment exists. During the second quarter of 2020 following the completion of the spring planting season and observation of certain market and other conditions described in Note 2, the Partnership concluded a triggering event occurred and performed an interim quantitative impairment assessment. The identification of a triggering event and the determination of the fair value of the reporting unit required management to make significant estimates and develop assumptions related to cash flow forecasts using estimates of future nitrogen fertilizer product pricing, volumes to be sold, costs to be incurred for key process inputs and other operating expenses
as well as estimating appropriate discount rates and growth rates for future periods. Changes in these assumptions could have had a significant impact on the identification of a triggering event as well as the reporting unit’s estimated fair value. As a result of the quantitative impairment assessment, a full goodwill impairment of $41.0 million was recorded during the year ended December 31, 2020.
We identified the goodwill impairment assessment of the Coffeyville Facility reporting unit as a critical audit matter. The principal consideration for our determination that the goodwill impairment assessment is a critical audit matter was the degree of complexity and subjectivity inherent in determining management’s estimates.
Our audit procedures related to the Coffeyville Facility reporting unit’s goodwill impairment assessment included the following, among others:
•We tested the design and operating effectiveness of management’s processes and controls over the identification of a triggering event and the fair value assessment of the Coffeyville reporting unit.
•We evaluated the reasonableness of a triggering event by considering the current market conditions following the completion of the spring planting season as well as the economic uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
•We evaluated the reasonableness of future nitrogen fertilizer pricing assumptions by comparing the prices used by management to current industry and economic trends considering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as comparing those prices to the historical performance of the Coffeyville reporting unit, performed sensitivity analyses to evaluate the change in the fair value estimates that would result from changes in those price assumptions, and recalculated management’s estimates.
•We compared forecasted sales volumes and expenses to historical operating results.
•We utilized valuation professionals with specialized skills and knowledge to assist in evaluating the Coffeyville Facility’s discounted cash flow model and guideline public company methods and certain significant assumptions, including the discount rate, terminal growth rate, and cost of capital.
•We evaluated whether the assumptions used were consistent with evidence obtained in other areas of the audit.
/s/ GRANT THORNTON LLP
We have served as the Partnership’s auditor since 2013.
February 23, 2021
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
The Board of Directors of CVR GP, LLC
The Unitholders of CVR Partners, LP
The General Partner of CVR Partners, LP:
Opinion on internal control over financial reporting
We have audited the internal control over financial reporting of CVR Partners, LP (a Delaware limited partnership) and subsidiaries (the “Partnership”) as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in the 2013 Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”). In our opinion, the Partnership maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in the 2013 Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by COSO.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”), the consolidated financial statements of the Partnership as of and for the year ended December 31, 2020, and our report dated February 23, 2021 expressed an unqualified opinion on those financial statements.
Basis for opinion
The Partnership’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Partnership’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Partnership in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Definition and limitations of internal control over financial reporting
A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
/s/ GRANT THORNTON LLP
February 23, 2021
CVR Partners, LP and Subsidiaries
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
| ||December 31,|
|Current assets:|| || |
Cash and cash equivalents
|$||30,559 ||$||36,994 |
|36,896 ||34,264 |
|42,349 ||48,296 |
Prepaid expenses and other current assets
|8,410 ||5,406 |
Total current assets
|118,214 ||124,960 |
|Property, plant, and equipment, net||897,847 ||951,959 |
|Goodwill||— ||40,969 |
Other long-term assets
|16,819 ||20,067 |
|$||1,032,880 ||$||1,137,955 |
|LIABILITIES AND PARTNERS’ CAPITAL|
|Current liabilities:|| || |
Current portion of long-term debt
|$||2,240 ||$||— |
|19,544 ||21,069 |
Accounts payable to affiliates
|5,217 ||2,578 |
|30,631 ||27,841 |
Other current liabilities
|18,709 ||24,043 |
Total current liabilities
|76,341 ||75,531 |
|Long-term liabilities:|| || |
Long-term debt, net of current portion
|633,942 ||632,406 |
Other long-term liabilities
|8,356 ||10,474 |
Total long-term liabilities
|642,298 ||642,880 |
Commitments and contingencies (See Note 8)
|Partners’ capital:|| || |
Common unitholders, 10,705,710 and 11,328,297 units issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively
|314,240 ||419,543 |
General partner interest
|1 ||1 |
Total partners’ capital
|314,241 ||419,544 |
|Total liabilities and partners’ capital||$||1,032,880 ||$||1,137,955 |
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
CVR Partners, LP and Subsidiaries
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
| ||Year Ended December 31,|
|(in thousands, except per unit data)||2020||2019||2018|
|Net sales||$||349,953 ||$||404,177 ||$||351,082 |
|Operating costs and expenses:|| || || |
Cost of materials and other
|91,117 ||94,103 ||88,461 |
Direct operating expenses (exclusive of depreciation and amortization)
|157,916 ||173,629 ||159,319 |
Depreciation and amortization
|76,077 ||79,839 ||71,575 |
|Cost of sales||325,110 ||347,571 ||319,355 |
Selling, general and administrative expenses
|18,174 ||25,829 ||25,023 |
Loss on asset disposals
|582 ||3,397 ||390 |
|Goodwill impairment||40,969 ||— ||— |
|Operating (loss) income||(34,882)||27,380 ||6,314 |
|Other (expense) income:|| || || |
Interest expense, net
Other income, net
|159 ||269 ||6,201 |
|Loss before income taxes||(98,151)||(34,987)||(50,073)|
|Income tax expense (benefit)||30 ||(18)||(46)|
| || |
Net loss per common unit - basic and diluted
Distributions declared per common unit
|— ||4.00 ||— |
Weighted-average common units outstanding:
| || || |
|Basic and Diluted||11,195 ||11,328 ||11,328 |
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
CVR Partners, LP and Subsidiaries
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF PARTNERS’ CAPITAL
|(in thousands, except unit data)||Common Units|
Total Partners’ Capital
|Balance at December 31, 2017||11,328,297 ||$||549,852 ||$||1 ||$||549,853 |
|— ||(50,027)||— ||(50,027)|
|Balance at December 31, 2018||11,328,297 ||499,825 ||1 ||499,826 |
Cash distributions to common unitholders – Affiliates
|— ||(15,568)||— ||(15,568)|
Cash distributions to common unitholders – Non-affiliates
|— ||(29,745)||— ||(29,745)|
|— ||(34,969)||— ||(34,969)|
|Balance at December 31, 2019||11,328,297 ||419,543 ||1 ||419,544 |
|— ||(98,181)||— ||(98,181)|
Repurchase of common units
Fractional unit impact of reverse unit split
|590 ||— ||— ||— |
|Other||— ||(46)||— ||(46)|
|Balance at December 31, 2020||10,705,710 ||$||314,240 ||$||1 ||$||314,241 |
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
CVR Partners, LP and Subsidiaries
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
| ||Year Ended December 31,|
|Cash flows from operating activities:|| || || |
|Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash provided by operating activities:|| || || |
|Depreciation and amortization||76,077 ||79,839 ||71,575 |
|Amortization of deferred financing costs and original issue discount||4,049 ||3,666 ||3,333 |
|Goodwill impairment||40,969 ||— ||— |
|Loss on asset disposals||582 ||3,397 ||390 |
|Share-based compensation||1,035 ||3,445 ||3,017 |
|Other adjustments||964 ||(5)||1,690 |
|Changes in assets and liabilities:|
|Accounts receivable||2,892 ||936 ||(6,698)|
|Inventories||538 ||9,914 ||(8,670)|
|Prepaid expenses and other current assets||(4,514)||1,582 ||(1,196)|
|Accounts payable||(1,635)||(8,077)||5,215 |
|Deferred revenue||(1,612)||(14,575)||10,828 |
|Accrued expenses and other current liabilities||(1,726)||(6,542)||1,367 |
|Other long-term assets and liabilities||302 ||546 ||1,410 |
|Net cash provided by operating activities||19,740 ||39,157 ||32,234 |
|Cash flows from investing activities:|| || || |
|Proceeds from the sale of assets||48 ||127 ||175 |
|Net cash used in investing activities||(18,550)||(18,529)||(19,631)|
|Cash flows from financing activities:|
|Repurchase of common units||(7,076)||— ||— |
Cash distributions to common unitholders – Affiliates
|— ||(15,568)||— |
|Cash distribution to common unitholders – Non-affiliates||— ||(29,745)||— |
|Payment of deferred financing costs||(448)||— ||— |
|Other financing activities||(101)||(97)||— |
|Net cash used in financing activities||(7,625)||(45,410)||— |
|Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents||(6,435)||(24,782)||12,603 |
|Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period||36,994 ||61,776 ||49,173 |
|Cash and cash equivalents, end of period||$||30,559 ||$||36,994 ||$||61,776 |
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
CVR Partners, LP and Subsidiaries
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(1) Organization and Nature of Business
CVR Partners, LP (“CVR Partners” or the “Partnership”) is a Delaware limited partnership formed by CVR Energy, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, but excluding the Partnership and its subsidiaries, “CVR Energy”) to own, operate and grow its nitrogen fertilizer business. The Partnership produces nitrogen fertilizer products at two manufacturing facilities, which are located in Coffeyville, Kansas (the “Coffeyville Facility”) and East Dubuque, Illinois (the “East Dubuque Facility”). Both facilities manufacture ammonia and are able to further upgrade to other nitrogen fertilizer products, principally urea ammonium nitrate (“UAN”). Nitrogen fertilizer is used by farmers to improve the yield and quality of their crops, primarily corn and wheat. The Partnership’s products are sold on a wholesale basis in the United States of America. As used in these financial statements, references to CVR Partners, the Partnership, “we”, “us”, and “our” may refer to consolidated subsidiaries of CVR Partners or one or both of the facilities, as the context may require.
NYSE Listing Requirements and Reverse Unit Split
The Partnership’s common units are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “UAN.” On April 20, 2020, the average closing price of the Partnership’s common units over a 30 consecutive trading-day period fell below $1.00 per common unit, resulting in noncompliance with the continued listing standards in Section 802.01C of the NYSE Listed Company Manual. The Partnership received written notification of this noncompliance from the NYSE on April 22, 2020, and had until January 1, 2021 to regain compliance or be subject to the NYSE’s suspension and delisting procedures.
On November 2, 2020, the Partnership announced that the board of directors of its general partner (the “Board”) had approved a 1-for-10 reverse split of the Partnership’s common units that was completed on November 23, 2020, pursuant to which each ten common units of the Partnership were converted into one common unit of the Partnership (the “Reverse Unit Split”). In accordance with the Partnership’s Agreement of Limited Partnership, as amended (the “Partnership Agreement”), following the Reverse Unit Split, any fractional units of record holders were rounded up or down, as applicable, to the nearest whole common unit, with any fraction equal to or above 0.5 common units rounding up to the next higher common unit. Following the Reverse Unit Split, the number of common units outstanding decreased from approximately 111 million common units to approximately 11 million common units, with proportionate adjustments to the common units under the Partnership’s long-term incentive plan and outstanding awards thereunder.
The Partnership’s common units began trading on a split-adjusted basis when markets opened on November 24, 2020, under the symbol “UAN” and a new CUSIP number. As of November 30, 2020, the Reverse Unit Split enabled the Partnership to regain compliance with NYSE listing requirements ahead of the January 1, 2021 deadline. All references to common units and per unit amounts in the consolidated financial statements and notes related thereto have been retrospectively adjusted to reflect the effect of the Reverse Unit Split for all periods presented.
As of December 31, 2020, public common unit holders held approximately 64% of the Partnership’s outstanding limited partner interests; CVR Services, LLC (“CVR Services”) (formerly Coffeyville Resources, LLC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CVR Energy, held approximately 36% of the Partnership’s outstanding limited partner interests; and CVR GP, LLC (“CVR GP” or the “general partner”), a wholly owned subsidiary of CVR Energy, held 100% of the Partnership’s general partner interest. As of December 31, 2020, Icahn Enterprises L.P. (“IEP”) and its affiliates owned approximately 71% of the common stock of CVR Energy.
Unit Repurchase Program
On May 6, 2020, the Board, on behalf of the Partnership, authorized a unit repurchase program (the “Unit Repurchase Program”). The Unit Repurchase Program enables the Partnership to repurchase up to $10 million of the Partnership’s common units. Repurchases under the Unit Repurchase Program may be made from time-to-time through open market transactions, block trades, privately negotiated transactions, or otherwise in accordance with applicable securities laws. The timing, price, and amount of repurchases (if any) will be made at the discretion of management of our general partner and are subject to market conditions, as well as corporate, regulatory, and other considerations. During the year ended December 31, 2020, adjusted to reflect the impact of the Reverse Unit Split, the Partnership repurchased 623,177 common units on the open market
CVR Partners, LP and Subsidiaries
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS — (Continued)
in accordance with a repurchase agreement under Rules 10b5-1 and 10b-18 of the Exchange Act at a cost of $7.1 million, inclusive of transaction costs, or an average price of $11.35 per common unit. At December 31, 2020, the Partnership had $2.9 million in authority remaining under the Unit Repurchase Program. On February 22, 2021, the Board authorized an additional $10 million for the Unit Repurchase Program. This Unit Repurchase Program does not obligate the Partnership to acquire any common units and may be cancelled or terminated by the Board at any time.
Management and Operations
The Partnership, including CVR GP, is led by the Board, and its committees and managed by the general partner’s executive officers, CVR Services (as sole member of the general partner), and certain officers of CVR Energy and its subsidiaries, pursuant to the Partnership Agreement, as well as a number of agreements between the Partnership, CVR GP, CVR Energy, and certain of their respective subsidiaries, including a service agreement. See Note 9 (“Related Party Transactions”) for further discussion. Common unitholders have limited voting rights on matters affecting the Partnership and have no right to elect the general partner’s directors or officers, whether on an annual or continuing basis or otherwise.
The Partnership evaluated subsequent events, if any, that would require an adjustment to the Partnership’s consolidated financial statements or require disclosure in the notes to the consolidated financial statements through the date of issuance of these consolidated financial statements. Where applicable, the notes to these consolidated financial statements have been updated to discuss all significant subsequent events which have occurred.
(2) Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Principles of Consolidation
The accompanying consolidated financial statements, prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), include the accounts of CVR Partners and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. All intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated.
Certain reclassifications have been made within the consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 to conform with current presentation. Catalyst inventory with a value of $5.6 million as of December 31, 2019 was reclassified in the first quarter of 2020 to Other long-term assets to conform to current presentation.
Use of Estimates
The consolidated financial statements are prepared in conformity with GAAP, which requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts and disclosure of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Estimates are reviewed on an ongoing basis, based on currently available information. Changes in facts and circumstances may result in revised estimates and actual results could differ from those estimates.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include cash on hand and on deposit, investments in highly liquid money market accounts, and debt instruments with original maturities of three months or less.
Accounts Receivable, net
Accounts receivable, net primarily consist of customer accounts receivable recorded at the invoiced amounts and generally do not bear interest. Also included within Accounts Receivable are unbilled fixed price contracts which is discussed further within Note 6 (“Revenue”).
CVR Partners, LP and Subsidiaries
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS — (Continued)
Allowances for doubtful accounts are generally recorded when it becomes probable the receivable will not be collected and is booked to bad debt expense. The largest concentration of credit for any one customer was approximately 20% and 18% of the net accounts receivable balance at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Bad debt expense was $0.1 million and $0.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. A recovery was recognized during the year ended 2018 of $1.1 million related to bad debt expense previously written off.
Inventories consist of fertilizer products which are valued at the lower of FIFO cost, or net realizable value. Inventories also include raw materials (primarily gauze, natural gas, and pet coke) and parts and supplies that are valued at the lower of moving-average cost, which approximates FIFO, or net realizable value. The cost of inventories includes inbound freight costs.
Inventories consisted of the following:
| ||December 31,|
|Finished goods||$||9,815 ||$||17,612 |
|Raw materials||152 ||243 |
|Parts, supplies and other||32,382 ||30,441 |
| Total Inventories||$||42,349 ||$||48,296 |
At December 31, 2020 and 2019, inventories included depreciation of approximately $2.0 million and $4.5 million, respectively.
Property, Plant and Equipment, net
Additions to property, plant and equipment, including capitalized interest and certain costs allocable to construction and property purchases, are recorded at cost. Expenditures for improvements that increase economic benefit or returns and/or extend useful life are capitalized. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the various classes of depreciable assets. The lives used in computing depreciation for significant asset classes are as follows:
Range of Useful
Lives, in Years
|Land and improvements|
10 to 30
|Buildings and improvements|
3 to 30
5 to 30
|Machinery and equipment|
2 to 30
3 to 10
Property, plant and equipment, net consisted of the following:
|Machinery and equipment||$||1,388,735 ||$||1,378,651 |
|Buildings and improvements||17,598 ||17,221 |
|Automotive equipment||16,608 ||16,691 |
|Land and improvements||14,132 ||14,075 |
|Construction in progress||12,098 ||5,198 |
|Other||1,721 ||1,752 |
|1,450,892 ||1,433,588 |
|Less: Accumulated depreciation||553,045 ||481,629 |
| Total Property, plant and equipment, net||$||897,847 ||$||951,959 |