France loaned Morocco’s Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) $310m in late-April to build a 235-kilometre phosphate slurry pipeline system. The funds was given the country’s international development agency.

The network includes the construction of a mineral duct system that will allow OCP to transport phosphate between the mines of Khouribga city to the industrial site of El-Jorf Lasfar on Morocco’s west coast.

The network will include a main pipeline as well as minor pipelines that will transport up to 38 million tonnes of phosphate per year. At present, phosphates are transported from the mines to El-Jorf Lasfar and Casablanca by rail.  

The board of directors for Agence Francaise Developpment (AFD) approved the loan in early-January this year and delivered the funds to Morocco at the end of April.

Morocco possesses proven phosphate reserves equivalent to more than half of global reserves and is the world’s third largest producer of crude phosphate. The country has also been the world’s biggest exporter of phosphate since 1997.

OCP is Morocco’s largest company and contributes significantly to the country’s per capita gross domestic product. According to AFD, the pipeline will make OCP more competitive and will reduce the company’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by 712,000 tonnes.