Engro Eyes Algeria Phosphate12 Jan 2010 • by Natalie Aster
Pakistan’s Engro to invest $1,000m. in N Africa phosphate fertiliser plant in 2010
Engro Corp. Ltd – formerly Engro Chemical Pakistan Ltd –plans to invest $1,000m. in a new phosphate fertiliser plant in North Africa this year, the group revealed to IM.
“We are working on various options in key North African countries with phosphate rock deposits. Some of these options are being pursued along with other international companies and are at different stages of maturity,” said Syed Salman Bin Aslam, manager of new projects at Engro. He added that none of the projects have been finalised.
Engro hopes to start production between 2013 and 2015, targeting an output in the range of 1-2m. tpa of diammonium phosphate (DAP).
The chemical and fertiliser company revealed that it has plans in Algeria, in addition to be “working on other options in phosphate rich countries”. These are understood to include Morocco and Tunisia, which are the other main phosphate producers in the region.
Engro’s main local partner in Algeria is phosphate producer Ferphos, but the company is “similarly working with other [neighbouring] partners in other countries”.
Engro’s move is part of the demerger and transfer of the company to expand its fertiliser business into a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, named Engro Fertilizers Ltd. In recent years, Engro has expanded into food and power businesses with investments worth about $1,600m.
Pakistan has a growing need of raw materials for phosphate and potash-based fertiliser to meet the increasing demand from agriculture, which accounts for almost 25% of the country’s GDP.
“North Africa, thanks to its vast reserves of phosphate resources and its geographical location, is an attractive place for phosphate-based industry,” Aslam said. Although the company was focusing on North Africa, Aslam said “other attractive locations can also be evaluated in future”.
Moroccan phosphates producer Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) secured in January last year a strategic partnership with the Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) to reinforce its position as the world’s leading phosphate producer.
OCP plans to invest $1,200m. in a global phosphates hub, hoping to open four new mines by 2016 and upgrade processing and logistics by 2020
Source: Industrial Minerals
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