Tunisia's Port of Gabes reopens after two-week blockade

12 April 2013 16:44  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The Port of Gabes reopened on Friday following the lifting of a 12-day blockade by Tunisian fishermen that halted fertilizer loading operations and prevented any large vessels from arriving or departing the major port.

The reopening came just in time for state-owned phosphate producer Groupe Chimique Tunisien (GCT) which has not loaded any cargoes since 1 April and was likely to have run out of ammonia this weekend had talks between marine union chiefs and regional authorities failed.

GCT is now preparing to load 6,000 tonnes of diammonium phosphate (DAP) and 6,000 tonnes of monoammonium phosphate (MAP) for Turkish customer Gubretas.

The fertilizer manufacturer will also be able to refill its storage tanks after liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) tanker the Gas Snapper arrived at the port on Friday with 23,400 tonnes of Black Sea ammonia from contract supplier Nitrochem. Ammonia is a key feedstock for DAP and MAP production, as well as ammonium nitrate (AN).

GCT's MAP, DAP and AN lines have been running at high rates recently after production earlier in the year was hit by social unrest.

Additional reporting by Richard Ewing

By: Sylvia Traganida

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