Morocco’s OCP Group and the Ethiopian government have signed an agreement to develop a fertilizer plant in gas-rich Dire Dawa in northern Ethiopia, for a total investment of up to $3.7 billion dollars, as announced by the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance.
A visiting Ethiopian delegation led by the country’s Minister of Finance, Ato Ahmed Shide, signed the agreement in Morocco on Saturday, September 18.
The high-level delegation included besides the Finance Minister officials of the Ethiopian Chemical Industry Corporation (CIC), the Ethiopian Agricultural Businesses Corporation (EABC), which will be a prime beneficiary from the local production of fertilizers, and the Ethiopian Mineral, Petroleum and Biofuel Corporation (EMPBC).
The fertilizer complex will use local resources, said the ministry on its twitter account.
Local facilities produce natural gas, power, and possess sufficient underground water for the facility to become “the most advanced industrial project in the country,” according to the preliminary studies.
On its part, OCP Group will provide imported phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid and potash to complete the list of essential ingredients required to produce high quality fertilizers.
The project will require an initial investment estimated at nearly $2.4 billion in the first phase for the development of a 2.5 million ton fertilizer production unit, combining Urea and NPK/NPS products, and could reach a production capacity of 3.8 million tons per year, for a total investment of up to $3.7 billion in the second phase.
The project will contribute significantly to meeting Ethiopia’s growing demand for fertilizers, knowing that from 2022, fertilizer imports in this country will represent one billion US dollars and could potentially reach 2 billion US dollars by 2030.