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Morocco, Ethiopia Sign Agreement for New Fertilizer Project

Morocco, Ethiopia Sign Agreement for New Fertilizer Project

Image from Moroccoworldnews

Morocco’s OCP Group and the Ethiopian government have signed a Joint Development Agreement to develop a fertilizer plant in Ethiopia. An Ethiopian delegation led by the country’s Minister of Finance, Ato Ahmed Shide, signed the agreement in Morocco on Saturday, September 18. 

The Ethiopian delegation featured representatives of its Chemical Industry Corporation and the Ethiopian Mineral, Petroleum and Biofuel Corporation, as well as the Ethiopian Agricultural Businesses Corporation, which will be a prime beneficiary from the local production of fertilizers.

The new project will be a joint venture between the Moroccan state-owned phosphate giant OCP Group and the Ethiopian parties following several studies to determine the impact, feasibility and social impact among others. 
The new plant, located in gas-rich Dire Dawa in northern Ethiopia, will benefit from local natural resources. Local facilities produce natural gas, power plants, and possess sufficient underground water for the facility to become “the most advanced industrial project in the country,” according to the preliminary studies.

In turn, OCP Group will provide imported phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid and potash to complete the list of essential ingredients required to produce high quality fertilizers.

OCP Ethiopia’s Etsubdink Tekalign Mamo highlighted on July 22 that “At OCP, we’re focused on feeding a growing world, and in Ethiopia we’re literally starting from the ground up.” Mamo stressed the importance of the presence of locally produced natural gas, an important and expensive ingredient needed to produce nitrogen, a vital element in phosphate-based fertilizers.  

“Because we’ve partnered with the Ethiopian government, we’re able to develop fertilizer production capacity locally,” Mamo explained, adding that the agreement enables the parties involved to combine “the nitrogen from Ethiopian natural gas with Moroccan phosphate.” 

The exciting new project is set to help strengthen food security in a region regularly suffering from droughts and insect plagues, while combining two African natural resources into a product that aims to bring economic benefits to both sides of the agreement.

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