Morocco OCP and Ethiopia sign deal to build $3.7bn fertiliser plant

To construct a fertilizer project in Dire Dawa, the Ethiopian government signed a Joint Development Agreement with Morocco OCP Group, a Moroccan state-owned phosphate rock miner, phosphoric acid maker, and phosphate fertilizer producer.

The agreement was reached during a high-level delegation visit to Morocco led by H.E. Ato Ahmed Shide, FDRE Minister of Finance, and including representatives from the Ethiopian Chemical Industry Corporation (CIC), Ethiopian Agricultural Businesses Corporation (EABC), and Ethiopian Mineral, Petroleum, and Biofuel Corporation (EMPBC).

The visit was utilized to negotiate and obtain an agreement on a Joint Development Agreement to form an Ethiopian joint venture firm to carry out a project to build a local fertilizer factory in Ethiopia.

The agreement is based on feasibility, conceptual, environmental, and social impact assessments, as well as hydrological and geotechnical investigations.

According to the agreement, in Dire Dawa, an integrated fertilizer complex would be built utilizing local resources (Ethiopian gas and Moroccan phosphoric acid).

During the first phase, the project will invest approximately USD 2.4 billion to develop a 2.5-million-ton fertilizer production unit that will combine Urea and NPK/NPS products and have a production capacity of 3.8 million tons per year, with a total investment of up to USD 3.7 billion in the second phase.

This project is expected to make a substantial contribution to satisfying Ethiopia’s ever-increasing need for fertilizers (mainly urea and NPS+). Fertilizer imports in Ethiopia are expected to exceed USD 1 billion by 2022, and might reach USD 2 billion by 2030.

Ethiopia’s government reiterates its strong support for agriculture and continues to work diligently to develop specific solutions to the country’s agricultural and industrial issues.

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