Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)
Nigeria and Morocco have agreed to develop $1.4 billion fertilizer plant. The plant is expected to start business in 2025.
The US$1.4billion will be invested in building the fertilizer plant and its supporting infrastructure.
Under the agreement, the fertilizer plant that will be located in Akwa Ibom state will produce Ammonia and Di-ammonium phosphate under Nigeria’s Gas Industrialization Strategy.
The agreements will develop a Multipurpose Industrial Platform project in Nigeria that will address both countries quest for industrialization, food security and continental cooperation.
The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) signed the agreement with OCP of Morocco, Akwa Ibom State, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria Limited (GACN), Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB),the Fertilizer Producers & Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) and Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN).
According to a statement from the NSIA, “the Multipurpose Industrial Platform Project is a backward integration initiative, which builds on the successes of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) and other sovereign bilateral initiatives between Nigeria and Morocco”.
“It is structured to commercialize Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources and satisfy Morocco’s demand for cost-competitive Ammonia”.
The agreement effectively changes the structure the PFI with NSIA assuming a more upstream role.
The US$1.4billion transaction has the capacity to further enhance Nigeria’s industrial base while bolstering the agriculture sector.
The agreements on the second phase of the PFI will restructure the PFI programme. “Under the revised structure, NSIA’s role moves upstream thereby limiting its involvement to bulk importation of raw materials on behalf of the fertilizer blenders, with bank guarantees provided by the blenders”.
“This approach will make the programme more sustainable, strengthen the productive capacity of the blending plants and eliminate financial risk to the NSIA”.
On the MPI project, three agreement were signed. The first is for land acquisition, the second for equity investment in the joint venture company to operate the MPI and the last for gas supply to the project.
The first phase of the MPI Project will produce 1.5 million tonnes per annum of Ammonia in two phases. Up to 70% of the Ammonia produced will be allocated for export to Morocco and the balance will be routed to the production of 1 million tonnes per annum of Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP) and NPK fertilizers to feed domestic demand.
In siting the plant in Akwa Ibom State, “factors such as land availability and accessibility; gas adequacy; sufficiency of marine draft; and other environmental and social considerations informed the decision to site the plant in Akwa Ibom”.
At completion, the integrated Ammonia and fertilizer plant will house – within its battery limits – the process plants for Ammonia and fertilizer production, administrative buildings, fertilizer bagging units, water purification units, storage for raw materials and finished goods, onsite power plant and other ancillary facilities.
The plant will have a dedicated jetty to facilitate seamless importation of raw materials from Morocco and other suppliers and export of excess Ammonia and fertilizer to Morocco and potentially other regional markets.