North Africa signs fertiliser production agreements

04 June 2008

Morocco, Algeria and Libya have signed agreements that will substantially increase their fertiliser and ammonia production capacity.

Morocco’s Office Cherifien de Phosphate (OCP), the world’s largest phosphate exporter, has signed an agreement with the Switzerland-based Libya-Africa Investment Portfolio to jointly develop ammonia, phosphoric acid and diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser plants in Morocco and Libya.

Under the $1bn deal, the two firms will develop a 1-million-tonne-a-year (t/y) phosphoric acid plant at Jorf Lasfar in Morocco at a cost of about $350m, an 800,000-t/y ammonia plant in Libya costing $500m, and a $150m DAP facility in either Libya or Morocco.

Rabat is encouraging investment in the domestic fertiliser sector. It recently signed a similar $600m agreement with PetroVietnam Fertiliser & Chemicals Company to build a DAP plant in Morocco (MEED 19:5:08).

The government hopes to increase fertiliser output from Jorf Lasfar from 2.5 million t/y currently to 10 million t/y by 2015.

Separately, Algerian state energy company Sonatrach has signed an agreement with Spain’s Fertiberia to build an ammonia plant at Arzew.

The plant will have capacity of 1.1 million t/y, using more than 1 billion cubic metres a year of gas feedstock supplied by Sonatrach.

The two partners will form two joint venture companies - the first for the development of the plant, the second to market the ammonia internationally.

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