The local Maaden Phosphate Company is shutting down its diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser plant in Ras al-Khair for about three weeks to carry out essential maintenance work.

The company, a 70:30 joint venture of the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) and the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) assured investors on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) that the shutdown would have no impact on any of its offtake agreements with customers.

The $5bn complex started production of DAP in February 2012 and is being ramped up to eventually hit the plant’s 3-million-tonne-a-year (t/y) capacity.

The offtake from the plant will be sold on the international market, with 400,000 t/y of surplus ammonia being sold domestically or internationally. The complex also has the capability to produce monammonium phosphate if market requirements demand it.

The plant uses phosphate mined at Al-Jalamid in the kingdom and transported by rail to Ras al-Khair. Maaden retains a 70 per cent stake in the plant, with Sabic owning the remaining 30 per cent.