Yara tight-lipped over potential $2bn fertilizer plant in Algeria

26 March 2013 11:53  [Source: ICIS news]

Fertilizers are used in farmingLONDON (ICIS)--Norwegian fertilizer giant Yara was remaining tight-lipped on Tuesday over reports the company plans to team up with two producers from the Middle East and North Africa to construct a $2bn (€1.56bn) state-of-the-art nitrogen fertilizer plant in Algeria.

According to a report from state-run news agency Algeria Press Service (APS), Yara, state-owned firm Asmidal and an unnamed Qatari firm – understood to be Qafco – have signed a multi-billion dollar agreement for an ammonia, nitric acid, ammonium nitrate (AN) and nitrogen fertilizer facility.

APS claims the trio of investors will share an interest in a new ammonium factory in Hadjar Essed and a phosphoric acid plant in Oued Koubrite, close to the country’s border with Tunisia. The two projects will cost a combined $3.5bn.

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal arrived in Doha over the weekend to hold talks with his Qatari counterpart about strengthening economic cooperation and trade ties between the two gas-rich countries, APS reported.

In 2012, Algerian officials announced the government would invest $14bn in three fertilizer factories by 2020 with the help of foreign partners.

A Yara spokesman on Tuesday would only say “we don’t comment on speculation or rumours”, while a senior official at Asmidal declined to comment on the speculation but confirmed no such agreement had yet been signed. Qafco could not be reached for comment.

Oslo-headquartered Yara holds a 25% stake in Qafco.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Richard Ewing
+44 208 652 3214

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