Brazil: EBX group plans nitrogen joint venture with Orascom

Brazil’s EBX group, controlled by billionaire industrial magnate Eike Batista, is planning to build a US$3 billion fertilizer plant in Brazil together with Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries (OCI).

The facility would have capacity to produce up to 3 million tonnes per year of nitrogen fertilizers. The complex completion is expected in 2016.

The project will be sited near the Port of Acu that is being developed by logistics group LLX, which is also a part of the EBX conglomerate. The investment is estimated in US$ 40 billion. At its completion, Acu Superport is expected to be connected to major railway and road infrastructure allowing access to regions across the country that are responsible for north of 75% of gross domestic product. The Superport also allows seamless access to the three major agricultural producing regions comprising 87% of total Brazilian agricultural output.

Rio de Janeiro-based EBX said the project would help Brazil, an increasingly important producer and exporter of agricultural commodities, to decrease its reliance on imported fertilizer.

The group said natural gas to be used for the fertilizer production could be supplied by OGX, an oil and gas firm also controlled by Batista, who is Brazil’s richest man.

OCI is one of Egypt’s largest corporations with projects and investments across Europe, North America, the Middle East and North Africa. The company directly employs more than 84,000 people and generated US$ 4.9 billion in revenues and US$ 1.1 billion in EBITDA in 2010.

Brazil is an agricultural superpower, with abundant land, water and labor, and it accounts for approximately 7 percent of world fertilizer consumption.

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