Morocco: OCP to Double Phosphate Production by 2020

The world’s largest exporter of phosphate and derivatives, the OCP Group, expects to double its production capacities, from 28 million tonnes to 55 million, tripling the production of fertilizers, from 36 to 100 million tonnes, a plan launched in 2010 that should be completed by 2020.
The program, which will require an overall investment more than 10.3 billion euros, consists of various projects along the value chain and should be 65 percent completed by 2015. The doubling of phosphate mining concerns the Khouribga site in particular, where the Lahrach Merah cleaning facility was inaugurated, which cost some 225 million euros, with an annual capacity of 7.2 million tonnes .
Other sites are already open in the region and along the axis towards the industrial complex of Jorf Lasfar, such as the El Halassa mine, with an annual capacity of 6.7 million tonnes.
The work, with a budget of about 486 million euros, should allow the start of exploitation of the site – which will feature a washing plant, the largest in the world according to the group, which can treat 12 million tonnes a year – from 2013. It is expected to generate 880 jobs. OCP maintains that the technology used for extracting and innovations stemming from research and development of the group, will improve returns: the rate of recovery will be pushed to 7.5 tonnes per sqm, against the current 4.3.
The mines will be connected directly to a conveyor belt, the first 120 km of 235 km of which has already been built, which will take the phosphate to the complex of Jorf Lasfar, where four new factories will be built that will produce a total of 3.7 million tonnes of phosphoric acid and fertilizers.
With this transport system, which will be operational from 2013, OCP expects to reduce the group’s overall CO2 by a third to 90 million tonnes.
OCP it the largest global phosphoric acid maker and accounts for some 35% of the world phosrock exports and 13% of the DAP/MAP exports. It has some 18,000 employees and account for about a quarter of the gross domestic product of Morocco. OCP and Saudi Arabia’s Ma’aden are expected to capture most of the growth in global demand for phosphate imports over the medium term.
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