ZChP's Senegal acquisition may offer cadmium removal savings

19 September 2013 17:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Zaklady Chemiczne Police's (ZChP's) acquisition of a phosphate rock mining company in Senegal is partly designed to hedge against the risk of the EU tightening restrictions on cadmium in fertilizers, a source at the Polish producer said on Thursday.

“With the vertical integration achieved in having our own phosphate rock mines in Senegal and the planned addition of a phosphoric acid plant in the country, we can better address any greater future costs we may face in cadmium removal,” the source said. 

In late August ZChP announced the acquisition of 55% of Senegal's African Investment Group (AIG), a move that it said could also lead to the creation of a fertilizer production and distribution centre in the northwest African country. Like other phosphorus fertilizer producers, ZChP has an eye on the European Commission's (EC's) ongoing consultation on a draft proposal on cadmium, a heavy metal, in fertilizers.

In a summary describing the consultation, the EC stated: “The draft proposal foresees the stepwise introduction of upper limits for cadmium in phosphate fertilizers over a transitory period of several years. This will allow the suppliers of phosphate the necessary time to adapt and ensure continuity of supply to the EU farmer. The result will be that the accumulation of cadmium in agricultural soils will be stopped.”

The Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry (PIPC) has warned that any severe restrictions introduced in the EU on the permitted levels of cadmium in fertilizers could cause substantial financial damage to phosphorus fertilizer producers in Poland.

Rocks mined to produce phosphate for fertilizers contain varying amounts of cadmium.

ZChP is a subsidiary of the largest Polish chemical group Grupa Azoty.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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