State-owned Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP)has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pakistan’s Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasimto create a 50:50 joint venture for the development of a 375,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) phosphoric acid plant in the kingdom.

Tenders for the plant’s construction will be issued once Fauji completes a four-month feasibility study on the estimated $200 million facility. The plant, which will take 18 months to build, will be supplied with phosphate rock from OCP’s Khourbiga mine, with its output exported to feed Fauji’s 450,000-t/y diammonium phosphate (DAP) plant in Pakistan.

OCP is involved in four other joint ventures with foreign firms: Prayon, a 50:50 joint venture with Societe Regionale d’Investissement de Wallonie (SRIW),which operates two facilities in Belgium; Imacid, a 50:50 joint venture with India’s Chambal Fertiliser, which produces 330,000 t/y of phosphoric acid at Jorf Lasfar; Emaphos, a joint venture between OCP, Prayon and Germany’s Chemische Fabrik Budenheim (CFB), which produces 120,000 t/y of phosphoric acid at Jorf Lasfar; and Zuari Maroc Phosphate, a 50:50 joint venture with Chambal Fertiliser, which holds a 74 per cent stake in India’s Paradeep Phosphate (PPL), which produces 1 million t/y of fertiliser.

In June 2003, OCP announced that it was to build an $85 million fertiliser plant at the firm’s Jorf Lasfar industrial complex, with the aim of increasing its DAP production capacity to 3 million t/y by 2005 (MEED 12:6:03).