Moroccan phosphates seeks to add value

Published September 29th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Moroccan Phosphates Corp. (OCP) wants to optimize resources and offer world clients a finished product, the state-owned company's president says. 

"Morocco's phosphates resources, which account for two thirds of the world's reserves, have to contribute more to the country's economic growth," Mohammed Berrada said Monday. 


Phosphates are Morocco's major mineral resource, with large deposits in Khouribga, Youssoufia (central Morocco) and Boukraa in the south. Morocco is also the world's second-largest exporter of phosphoric acid and phosphates-derived fertilizers.OCP, Morocco's largest industrial firm, employs 28,000 workers, including 800 engineers. 


The group operates mining sites in Khouribga and Youssoufia, south east of Rabat, and two chemical processing zones in Safi and Jorf Lasfar. 

India is the largest recipient of Moroccan phosphates, fertilizers and phosphoric acid. 


A joint venture binding India's K.K. Birla group and OCP is considered as a model of south-south cooperation.Under the accord, the two countries set up a $230 million joint venture for phosphoric acid production. The venture - India's largest investment in a foreign country, will produce 1 million tons of sulfuric acid and 330,000 tons of phosphoric acid annually. 


The production unit is being built in Jorf Lasfar, an industrial zone 220 kilometers south of the capital Rabat.The OCP chief stressed that the corporation wants to help reduce Morocco's 20 percent jobless rate. 


"We need to generate jobs and encourage the Moroccan producing firms," Berrada said, adding that OCP is an engine of growth in the country, with nearly all its output being exported. 


He added that the company has devised an aggressive strategy to strike partnership deals with international firms. Projects with Europe (EMAPHOS) and India (IMACID) are part of this drive, Berrada said, adding that the Jorf Lasfar port, which is the largest phosphates facility in the world, will be extended as a real industrial pole. 


Morocco on Monday launched several projects in Jorf Lasfar, including a gas storage terminal and a power plant. – (Albawaba-MEBG) 




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