Saudi Ma’aden seen securing $7bn for phosphate project by yearend

15 November 2013 08:22  [Source: ICIS news]

Deal is signedDUBAI (ICIS)--Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) is close to securing commitments from lenders for its $7b phosphate project, bankers said on Friday.

The Wa’ad Al Shammal phosphate project will be built at Wa’ad Al Shammal Minerals Industrial City in northern Saudi Arabia, while the proposed processing facilities will be at Ras Al Khair Minerals Industrial City in the eastern coast. The two locations will be linked by an existing railway.

Production at proposed 16m tonne/year facility is expected to commence in late 2016.

“Ma’aden is very likely to get lenders commitment for its project before end of the year,” a Dubai-based banker said.

Local and foreign commercial banks have been approached for financing, as well as export credit agencies, including those from South Korea.

Two Saudi government funds – the Saudi Industrial Development Fund and Public Investment Fund – are also among the prospective fund providers.

Commercial banks have been asked to commit around $3.1bn, with around $1.9bn expected to come from the two Saudi state funds and the rest from export credit agencies, according to bankers.

The project is a joint venture, with Ma’aden holding a majority stake of 60%; Minnesota-based Mosaic, the world’s largest producer of phosphate fertilizers, owning a 25 % interest; and Saudi petrochemical giant SABIC holding the remaining 15%.

The phosphate project will produce fertilizer products such as diammonium phosphate (DAP) and monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and nitrogen phosphorus (NP) and potassium (NPK), as well as downstream products including purified phosphoric acid, sodium tripolyphosphate and dicalcium phosphate & monocalcium phosphate.

As one of the largest integrated phosphate fertilizer facilities in the world, the project will double Ma’aden’s cost effective phosphate production and improve company’s access to key global markets, another banker said.

By: Aamir Ashraf

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