The Kemira Agro/Arab Potash Company (APC) announced that it has started constructing a potash-based fertilizer plant in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Aqaba at the cost of $105 million.
A spokesman for the joint venture firm, which was set up in 1998, said the installation of the equipment and machinery will start by July 2001 when the infrastructure and civil works will have been completed.
The company spokesman said the installations will be set up on 625 dunums of land, and fertilizer production is expected to begin in early 2002. The plant is expected to produce 150,000 tones of potassium nitrate fertilizers and 75,000 tones of calcium phosphate, with nearly 80 percent of the overall production to be exported to generate revenues estimated at approximately $60 million annually in the initial stage.
A capital of $75 million was invested in the project by the company, a 50-50 joint venture between the APC and Kemira Agro of Finland. Potash topped Jordan's exports during the first seven months of this year, registering an increase of 9 million Jordanian dinars over the same period of 1999, according to a Central Bank of Jordan monthly bulletin released at the end of October.
The bulletin noted that exports of potash amounted to JD79 million between January and July this year, against JD70.4 million in 1999.
Established in 1956, the APC was granted a 100-year concession by the Jordanian government in 1958 to produce potash and exploit the minerals of the Dead Sea on a commercial basis.
The government owns the majority of APC shares. Other shareholders include the Arab Mining Company, the governments of Iraq, Libya and Kuwait, and a small portion of eight per cent is individually owned. — ( Jordan Times )
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