Ethiopia has signed an agreement with Morocco’s Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP), the world’s largest phosphate exporter, to implement a fertilizer project in the eastern city of Dire Dawa.
The deal was inked during a visit by a high-level delegation to Morocco. The delegation was led by Finance Minister Ahmed Shide, the ministry said in a statement. Ethiopia was represented by officials from the Ethiopian Chemical Industries Corporation, the Ethiopian Agribusiness Corporation and the Ethiopian Minerals, Petroleum and Biofuels Corporation.
According to the agreement, an integrated fertilizer complex will be established in Dire Dawa using local resources (Ethiopian gas and Moroccan phosphoric acid).
The project will have an initial estimated investment of $2.4 billion during the first phase to develop a 2.5-million-ton fertilizer production unit, combining Urea and NPK/NPS products. It could reach a production capacity of 3.8 million tons per year, for a total investment of up to $3.7 billion during the second phase.
It is expected to contribute significantly in meeting Ethiopia’s continuously growing demand for fertilizers. As of 2022, fertilizer imports in the country will represent one billion dollars and could potentially amount to $2 billion in 2030.