Morocco’s OCP Plans to Invest $7bn in Green Ammonia Plant.

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One of the largest producers of phosphates and fertilizers in the world, Morocco’s OCP, said it will invest $7 billion (R129 billion) in an ammonia plant that would manufacture green hydrogen from renewable fuel in order to boost productivity and achieve low-carbon targets.

One of the largest ammonia importers is state-owned OCP, which spent R37 billion ($2 billion) on the raw ingredient last year as the conflict in Ukraine drove up costs everywhere.

OCP’s global relevance expanded as a result of the war’s effects on supply, and its promotion of renewable energy is a key component of a Moroccan industrial plan to decrease energy imports.

OCP said it has an agreement to purchase ammonia from North America this year to help with supply issues.

In the long run, it intends to strengthen its domestic supply chain, by instructing a plant in southern Moroccan Tarfaya.

According to an email response to questions from Reuters, the plant will start producing 200,000 tonnes of ammonia annually by 2026 and will increase that output to 1 million tonnes by 2027 and 3 million tonnes by 2032.

The company’s intention to use hydrogen created by electrolysis driven by solar and wind energy as a raw material to create ammonia is part of a $13 billion (R239 billion) strategy it revealed in December to switch to renewable energy.

Morocco has made significant investments in renewable energy, in part because of its abundance of undeveloped land, exposure to sunlight and wind, and length of coastline, but also because it lacks oil and gas and has a tense relationship with Algeria, a neighbor, and producer of hydrocarbons.

The government is pushing for increased desalination to help towns and agriculture deal with the effects of years of drought and plans to grow renewable energy to 52% of installed power capacity from 38% by 2030.

A tendering process to increase the desalination capacity at Safi and Jorf Lasfar on the Atlantic will begin early next year, according to state-owned OCP, which has stated its intention to use only desalinated water for industrial operations by 2027.

Its Tarfaya project entails a desalination plant fueled by renewable energy with a 60 million cubic meter annual capacity to service the industrial complexes.

OCP was able to produce revenues of $11.2 billion (R206 billion) last year—an increase of 40% from 2021—and a net profit of $4.9 billion (R90 billion), a 38% increase. Due to lower prices this year, profits have decreased, but OCP anticipates a recovery in the second half.

“We will ramp up our production to meet the incremental demand,” said OCP, which has the world’s biggest phosphate reserves and plans to increase fertilizer output capacity to 15 million tonnes this year and 20 million tonnes in 2027.

OCP’s investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the availability of fertilizer is essential for economic development, coincide with other Moroccan businesses’ expansion on the continent, which has supported increasing diplomatic involvement.

OCP informed Reuters that it will begin fertilizer production in Nigeria in the latter part of 2026 and that it would also begin pre-production at its Ethiopian plant the following year.

 

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