65-year-old Terrab is internationally recognised. He was endorsed by Hassan II in the early 1990s when he joined the royal cabinet. Terrab remains a great state representative and is passionate about contributing to his country’s position on the world stage.
OCP – the Moroccan fertiliser giant – that has been under his leadership since 2006, has been totally transformed ($6.1bn in turnover in 2020). It is now diversifying its activities; modernising its infrastructure and governance; and investing in research and development.
The man who has been in charge of OCP since 2006 rarely speaks to the media. However, he agreed to grant us an interview, which we have published in two parts.
In this first part, the Moroccan boss unveiled his group’s strategy for the period 2021-2030. The board of directors is expected to endorse this plan by the end of the year.
The Fez-born executive outlined OCP’s next steps. This involves a green shift, which will be implemented through innovative methods developed at Université Mohammed-VI (owned by the OCP group). These will help build a more environmentally-friendly industry, centred around decarbonisation and water preservation.
At the end of March, OCP made its first fertiliser sale (to Ethiopia) via blockchain. Will the group be using more of this technology in future?
Mostafa Terrab: Let me correct that. We have not made any sales via the technology you mention. The sales in Ethiopia are the result of a call for tenders dating from October 2020. In this pandemic period where some supply chains have been disrupted, we have been using a trusted third party platform to exchange secure documents needed for payment media and to reduce the processing time of commercial transactions.
The blockchain principle is the basis for creation of crypto-currencies, the best of which is known to be Bitcoin. Are you interested in this new kind of currency which is not managed by central banks?
As I mentioned, in agreement with our client, we have used the technology in question to secure and accelerate payment. Our export revenues are in dollars and euros only.
For several years, OCP has diversified into the sectors of data analysis, agriculture and energy. Each time, you seek to be at the cutting edge of knowledge. What is the objective of this policy? To not miss the innovation that will revolutionise the fertiliser sector?
Two things need to be distinguished. On one hand is knowledge accumulation, talent training, research and development – all of which are the UM6P’s responsibility. On the other hand is the transfer of accumulated know-how and integration of innovation at the OCP level.