RABAT- One of the world’s largest fertilizer companies, Morocco’s OCP, aims to increase production by more than 10% this year to meet higher demand despite the loss of Russian ammonia from its supply chain. supply, a senior company official told Reuters.
The state-controlled company aims to increase production to 11.9 million tonnes in 2022 from 10.8 million tonnes last year, then plans to add another 3 million tonnes of annual production capacity in 2023 , said Nada Elmajdoub, head of performance management at OCP.
The company sees increased demand for its products in 2022 from India, the Americas and Africa, she said.
However, OCP’s planned expansion comes amid uncertainty in the fertilizer market after Russian soil nutrient exports halted due to sanctions and the war in Ukraine.
OCP imports some 1.8 million tonnes of ammonia, an essential soil nutrient, each year from suppliers such as Russia and Ukraine.
Elmajdoub said that OCP has managed to replace the volumes needed for the next few months from other suppliers around the world and that it has been able to redirect its production to use other low-nitrogen raw materials.
“On ammonia supply in particular, through our strong network of suppliers around the world, we have been working on building an alternative supply,” she said.
The company has enough storage capacity and import facilities for large vessels to help it manage supply constraints flexibly, she added.
Longer term, it aims to start importing ammonia from US producers next year under a long-term supply agreement and plans to start production of ammonia at a plant in Nigeria in 2025, built as part of an investment push into African countries, she said.
“OCP’s product line is primarily phosphate-based. But we will continue to deploy our supply to offer compound fertilizers,” she said of efforts to tackle a possible global disruption of the nutrient supply from nitrogen and potash.
(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi, editing by Angus McDowall and Elaine Hardcastle)