Morocco’s OCP Group, one of the world’s largest producers of phosphate-based fertilizers expects a fertilizer plant in Ghana and an ammonia plant in Nigeria to be operational by 2024.
According to the company’s chief growth officer, Soufiyane El Kassi, he said there will be an increase in their global output capacity by 2 million tonnes a year. This investment is anchored on the expansion strategy of the group into the Sub-Saharan African region in recent years.
Also, in a bid to drive the use of phosphates-based fertilizer plant in Africa, OCP Group also announced plans to start operating a 2.5-million tonnes a year fertilizer plant in Ethiopia by 2023 or 2024. More so, phosphoric acid will be supplied from Morocco, and its output would be for both the domestic and export markets.
Stepping up investments in phosphate-based fertilizers in Africa is paramount to OCP. Hence, the $1.3 billion Nigerian plant is expected to export ammonia to the OCP Morocco plant in Jorf Lasfar when operation begins. The Morocco firm would supply phosphoric acid to make the fertilizer. Like many other Moroccan firms, including banks, insurers, and real estate companies, OCP has been expanding its investments in Sub-Saharan Africa in recent years, boosting the kingdom’s economic clout.
The group also have started building multi-million dollar blending plants in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Rwanda. This is to customize fertilizers to the requirements of different soils.
OCP Group, And Nigeria’s Protocol Agreement
Apparently, OCP already supplies more than 90% of Nigerian fertilizer demand. The Group signed a protocol agreement in June 2018 to build the plant with Nigeria’s Sovereign Investment Authority. Boosting fertilizer supply to Nigeria from one million tonnes a year to three million tonnes a year in the next 5 years is one of the Group’s major objectives.
This will be a huge boost to Nigeria’s plan to become self-sufficient in fertilizer production. Nigeria relies heavily on imported fertilizers to meet 80% of its national demand, and it is expected to be transformed from a net importer of fertilizer to a major producer and exporter.
This will also help boost Nigeria’s efforts to attain self-sufficiency in food production in the country.
In 2019, OCP Group supplied 58% of the total fertilizers sold on the African continent with 1.8 million tonnes, just as its exports hit 9 million tonnes. However, low international prices caused a 3% drop in revenue to $5.5 billion in 2019 for the group.