Morocco: Fertiliser giant OCP’s new green strategy

By Bilal Mousjid
Posted on Thursday, 15 December 2022 09:58

The OCP Group intends to allocate nearly 12 billion euros over the next four years towards new green investment projects. © OCP Group

Led by Mostafa Terrab, the OCP has presented a new programme to boost production in the midst of a green energy transition.

With MAD130bn (nearly $12.7bn) in-hand, the OCP Group has announced its intent to allocate new funding to its new green projects over the next four years, with the stated purpose of increasing production and achieving carbon neutrality before 2040.

Presented on 3 December 2022, before Mohammed IV, King of Morocco, this programme is projected to create up to 25,000 direct and indirect jobs, while supporting up to 600 Moroccan industrial ventures, doing so with a local integration rate of 70%.

These objectives appeared to align with the OCP Group’s previous plan. In a statement to Jeune Afrique/The Africa Report, an OCP Group source explained its recent project results.

“During our first investment programme in 2012, we were able to mobilise $8bn between 2012 to 2021, increasing fertiliser production capacity from four to 12m tonnes,” the source said.

This would not be an isolated venture, according to the Group. “More than 400 Moroccan industrialised companies have participated totalling up to 8,400 direct and indirect jobs,” said the source.

New production capacities

By 2027, the OCP Group intends to raise its production capacity to 20m tonnes of fertiliser per year, up from its 12 million total in 2021.

Ditto for the rock, whose capacity will increase from 44m-70m tonnes, allowing the Group to achieve a 2025 growth projection of around MAD147bn ($13.8bn) against MAD84.3bn in 2021.

According to an OCP source, the programme will also provide for the expansion of mining capacities through the inauguration of a new mine in Meskala, as well as a new chemical mining complex in Mzinda, designed also to treat rocks from both neighbouring Benguerire and Youssoufia.

Reducing dependence on ammonia imports

With an annual production industry of between 1.5m-2m tonnes, the industrial giant seeks to tap into the Moroccan kingdom’s green hydrogen production potential, seeking to significantly increase ammonia production beginning in 2027.

“Investments made in the ammonia and green hydrogen sectors will allow the OCP Group to enter the green fertiliser market, with an increased adaptation to the specific needs of different soils and cultures,” said the source.

With respect to renewable energies, the OCP Group has also set provisions in place.

Aiming to transition its industrial energy production tools to more green-friendly alternatives by 2027, the Group has pledged to establish electricity production with sources exclusively deriving from, per the OCP source, “wind, solar, hydroelectric, and co-generation”.

According to the source, this green transition will not only strengthen Morocco’s competitive advantages, but also supply the company’s seawater desalinisation capacities in order to meet the region’s drinking water and irrigation needs.

Two companies — OCP Green Water and OCP Green Energy — have since been inaugurated to see these projects through.

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