Morocco’s Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP), the world’s largest phosphate exporter, has signed an engineering joint venture with the US’ Jacobs Engineering.

Jacobs says the joint venture covers project management and engineering services for OCP’s $5bn investment programme, including infrastructure elements of the Jorf Lasfar phosphate hub development.

Jacobs says the joint venture will also provide services to OCP and third parties in their phosphate engineering business activities worldwide. The team will also target the growing West African infrastructure market.

In May 2008, the state-run PetroVietnam Fertiliser & Chemicals Company announced it was planning to invest up to $600m in a new diamonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser plant with OCP (MEED 19:5:08).

The two firms said they were looking to invest in an ammonia plant in Vietnam or another country to ensure gas feedstock supply for the fertiliser facility.

While Morocco has some of the world’s largest phosphate reserves, it has little of its own natural gas to create the ammonia required to react with phosphoric acid to make DAP. It therefore tends to export most of its phosphates rather than produce fertiliser itself.