IFA '12: OCI Sorfert Algeria ammonia line starts production

22 May 2012 12:03  [Source: ICIS news]

DOHA, Qatar (ICIS)--Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) has launched operations at one of Algerian subsidiary Sorfert’s two new ammonia plants, paving the way for production of up to1.2m tonnes/year of urea, an OCI executive said late on Monday.

The new, approximately 800,000 tonne/year ammonia line was inaugurated last week, with urea expected to flow by the end of June, he added on the sidelines of the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) annual conference in Qatar.

Sorfert’s second new ammonia plant – which will produce up to 800,000 tonnes/year for export – is likely to come online late in the third quarter this year or early in quarter four, he said. Total investment in the two plants is confirmed at $2bn.

“Production began last week, later than originally planned but we are on course to start producing urea within the next month,” he said.

Progress is also being made with the planned demerger of the company’s construction activities from its fertilizer business, though the current political uncertainty in Egypt means no firm timeline has yet been decided.

“We have everything in place and are now waiting for the Egyptian authorities to approve it [the demerger],” he continued. “Under our proposal, each shareholder will receive two shares – one in each company – for their existing OCI share.”

($1 = €0.78)

By: Richard Ewing
+44 208 652 3214

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