‘A deal is expected to be signed in the early months of 2008,’ says a senior industry source.

State energy company Sonatrach has already signed agreements to develop grassroots ammonia/urea facilities with Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries and Oman’s Bahwan Group (MEED 26:6:07). In the first of a two-phase programme, Spain’s Fertiberia is investing $167 million to upgrade the country’s facilities, operated by state-owned Fertial. The second phase involves the addition of a new ammonia line.