The Qatari Fertilizer Company (QAFCO) recently commissioned a number of banks to provide the company with a $400 million loan, according to London based Al-Hayat daily.
The loan, which will be repaid over an 8.5 years, will finance the fourth phase of QAFCO’s expansion project; the construction of two urea manufacturing plants with a 5,200-ton capacity.
The banks approached for the loan included the Arabian Banking Association, Barclay’s Capital Bank, HSBC Bank, Qatar National Bank and the Arabian Petroleum Investment Corporation.
According to statistics provided by the company, net profits have dropped consistently since 1995, from 555,000 Qatari riyals ($151,000), to QR 390,000 in 1997, to QR 156,298 in 1998, and down to QR 65,000 ($17,800) in 1999.
QAFCO was established in 1969 as a joint venture between the Qatari government and a number of multinational firms to utilize the country’s abundant gas resources for the production of ammonia and urea fertilizers.
Presently, the company remains the only fertilizer producer in Qatar. Seventy five percent of QAFCO is held by the Qatar General Petroleum Corporation, while the Norwegian company, Norsk Hydro, holds the remaining 25 percent. QAFCO is considered as a key component of the industrial diversification program of the Qatari government. –(MENA Report)
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