Two early-stage fertiliser projects in Bahrain and Qatar are set to boost the GCC’s fertiliser capacity over the next five years, adding to the giant schemes already under development in Saudi Arabia, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA).

Bahrain’s Gulf Petrochemicals Industry Company (GPIC) has completed the feasibility study on its $1.7bn Sitra ammonia and urea plant expansion. The project, which is waiting for government approval, is planned to produce 800,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of ammonia and 1.2 million t/y of urea.

Meanwhile, Qatar Fertiliser Company (Qafco) is studying a potential revamp of its Qafco 1 and 2 ammonia and urea operations in Mesaieed Industrial City, which first came onstream in the 1970s.

The GCC’s share of the urea export market is expected to grow to 36 per cent by 2017, compared with 29.5 per cent in 2012, according to the GPCA.

“With the ongoing expansion drive, the Gulf industry’s global position will grow markedly over the next five years,” said Abdulwahab al-Sadoun, secretary-general of the GPCA, speaking at the GPCA Fertiliser Convention held in Dubai.

The Bahrain and Qatar schemes will complement Saudi Arabian Mining Company’s (Maaden’s) $7bn Waad al-Shamal Phosphate City project and Saudi Arabian Fertiliser Company’s (SAFCO’s) $600m urea facility, expected to start production in 2016 and 2014 respectively.