Tensions in the region pose a risk to the national fertilizer producer, especially since 2019. The main sources of ammonia supply in Morocco are, according to foreign trade data, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and to a lesser extent, Algeria and the United Nations.
In 2020, 1.6 million tonnes of imports came from Russia (809,000 tonnes) and 3.34 billion dirhams (MMDH) from Trinidad and Tobago (829,000 tonnes). 2021 saw a similar trend. By the end of September 2021, only one million tons had been distributed between these two supplier countries.
The blocks were preserved for the next few months
How does the OCP team manage this crisis situation? Has the team succeeded in protecting the essential ammonia requirements in its production process? “We are living in a unique moment with significant short- and long-term uncertainties, especially with regard to ammonia distribution. Thanks to our strong network of suppliers around the world, we have been able to gradually work to build alternative supply and succeed in changing the amount needed over the next few months.
“Beyond a strong and diversified supply chain, we have significant storage capacity and a dedicated NH3 offloading dock for large ammonia vessels, which helps manage barriers to expected delivery and increase flexibility,” our source continues.
Add: “The flexibility of OCP’s supply chain allows it to restructure its output dynamically. For example, increasing the levels of low N (ammonium nitrate) and TSP (superphosphate) products. ⁇
In addition, the OCP group told us that “it has a long-term ammonia supply agreement with US manufacturers, which will take effect next year.”
Ammonia plant in Nigeria: Production will start by 2025
OCP also has plans for an ammonia plant in Nigeria. According to the committee, it is in the technical research phase for this country. Discussions on finances are expected to begin soon. “We expect production to begin by 2025.”
In addition, the Solar and New Energy Research Institute (IRESEN), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and the OCP team have signed a structural cooperation agreement to establish the Green H2A Technology Base. One of the first projects of the Green H2A operating system was to become an industrial pioneer in producing 4 tons of green ammonia per day.
“The pilot plant is expected to start in 2024. Feasibility studies for a large-scale industrial plant will continue soon,” the OCP team told us.
1.2 million tons of additional fertilizer in 2022
Despite the raw materials crisis, the OCP Group wants to increase its productivity to meet growing demand. It aims to increase fertilizer production to 1.2 million tonnes (mn t) in 2022, from 10.76 mn t in 2021 to 11.9 mn t in 2022.
From the fourth quarter of 2022 and until 2023, OCP expects to increase its annual installed fertilizer capacity to 3 Mt DAP. “This capacity increase will enable the team to increase the production of tailor-made fertilizers to meet the needs of customers in key geographical areas, especially in Africa.”