Egypt’s MOPCO ferts plant waits to restart, gets court clearance

21 March 2012 14:05  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Egypt’s MOPCO nitrogen fertilizer facility at Damietta is waiting to resume production after an Egyptian court ruled in its favour on Tuesday, however, the group will be unable to restart the plant until its reaches a settlement with local residents, market sources said.

MOPCO shut the 660,000 tonne/year granular urea plant on 13 November 2011 because of protests by locals which said the plant was an environmental hazard and was harming their health and damaging the marine ecosystem.

The Administrative Justice Court in Mansoura gave a clearance to the plant, ordering for operations to resume immediately on Tuesday. The court overruled two government decisions to halt company operations and expansions, and also rejected a civil society lawsuit.

The court based its decision on a report submitted by a government-appointed committee. The report, which was prepared after inspecting the plant, said the plant was harmless to the environment. It recommended allowing the company to resume operations and build new facilities.

MOPCO is in the process of ensuring locals about the environmental safety of the plant. It may offer guarantees that there will be no negative environmental impact from expansion work being carried out at the site, sources added.

The plant is likely to resume production in two to four weeks, or possibly longer, market sources said. No confirmation was obtained.

Canadian fertilizer major Agrium holds a 26% stake in MOPCO.

By: Deepika Thapliyal
+44 208 652 3214

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