India's Tata Chemicals to invest US$ 38 million in Morocco JV
India's Tata Chemicals Limited has approved the entry of the Company, as an equal partner into Indo Maroc Phosphore S.A. (IMACID), Morocco, which is engaged in the production of phosphoric acid. The Indian side will buy shares from the two existing joint venture (JV) partners, for a total cost of US$ 38 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory and other approvals.
Tata Chemicals will nominate its representatives on the Board of IMACID as non-executive Directors after the agreements are signed in the next few weeks.
IMACID was promoted in 1997 as a JV between Office Chérifien des Phosphates, Morocco, (OCP) a state-owned company incorporated in the Kingdom of Morocco and Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd. IMACID commenced production in 1999. IMACID produced 373,895 tons of phosphoric acid in 2004 with a turnover of US$ 144 million.
India imports 50 per cent of the world's production of phosphoric acid, required for the manufacture of diammonium phosphate (DAP), a higher analysis fertiliser used extensively in the country. Morocco is not only the largest exporter of phosphatic rock in the world but also of phosphoric acid, accounting for over 40 per cent of the world's trade in acid.
The Managing Director of Tata Chemicals, Mr. Prasad Menon said that the Company's entry into IMACID with one-third shareholding is both timely and strategic. It assures the Company supply of phosphoric acid, builds a bond with a company that is a leading player in phosphatic fertilisers and places a footprint in new geographies outside India. The investment in IMACID, in fact, cements a longstanding relationship that OCP has had with Hind Lever Chemical Ltd., a company that was merged with Tata Chemicals in 2004.