As reported by Reuters, Moroccan phosphate producer OCP Group expects a planned US$1.3 billion ammonia plant in Nigeria to start producing in late 2023, according to a senior company official.
The plant will be built in southeast Nigeria where gas suppliers have been identified, Mohammed Hettiti, head of OCP Nigeria, told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Rabat, without giving details.
The factory is part of OCP’s push to step up investment in phosphates-based fertilizers in Africa. It has plans for other plants in Ethiopia and Ghana.
The factory, with annual production capacity of 750 000 t of ammonia and 1 million t of fertilizers, would export ammonia to Morocco’s plant in Jorf Lasfar, while Morocco would supply phosphoric acid to make fertilizer, he said.
OCP, which already supplies more than 90% of Nigerian fertilizer demand, signed a protocol agreement in June 2018 to build the plant with Nigeria’s Sovereign Investment Authority.
Hettiti said OCP aimed to boost fertiliser supply to Nigeria to 3 million t from 1 million t in the next five years.
The phosphate company, which is 95% state-owned, has also started building three blenders worth US$40 million to supply customised fertilisers to Nigeria. “They are expected to be operational next year,” he said.
OCP, which has 12 subsidiaries in Africa, reported a 17% rise in half-year net profit to 1.79 billion dirhams (US$185 million) from the same period last year, as higher prices and demand for phosphoric acid helped offset lower prices for fertilisers and phosphate rock.