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Morocco and Ethiopia sign Large Fertiliser Plant Deal


Morocco’s Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP), the world’s largest phosphate exporter, signed a deal with Ethiopia on Saturday to build a $3.7 billion plant to produce fertilisers.

The North African country’s firms, including banks and insurers, have invested heavily in Sub-Saharan Africa in the past few years. Last month, OCP signed an agreement with Rwanda to build a blending unit.

The agreement signed with state-run Ethiopian firm Chemical Industries Corporation (CIC) will enable the construction of a new plant in the town of Dire Dawa in eastern Ethiopia.

The project is expected to produce 2.5 million tonnes of fertiliser in its first phase by 2022, and a second phase would see a further $1.3 billion invested to increase production to 3.8 million tonnes three years later.

“Its funding will first be from equity and the second part through debt,” the firm’s representative in Ethiopia Faycal Benamer told Reuters.

Faycal did not give a date when the plant construction will start, and said they were about to complete its designs.

Ethiopia at present imports around 900,000 tonnes of fertiliser each year. OCP will ship its own phosphoric acid to the plant, while potash will be transported from large reserves in the Horn of Africa country’s northeast, he said.