MOROCCO –OCP Group, Morocco’s largest phosphate manufacturer has partnered with Germany’s Budenheim and Belgium’s Prayon to launch the construction of a new production plant for purified phosphoric acid.

A report by Morocco World News revealed that the three partners are launching the new project through their subsidiary Euro Maroc Phosphore (EMAPHOS).

The move by the three industrial companies would help them consolidate their global leadership in the production of purified phosphoric acid.

OCP Group said the doubling of capacity will “also make part of the production available to the OCP for recovery in the future in the form of niche products based on purified acid.”

This according to OCP will boost the group’s status among global producers of specialty phosphate products.

OCP explained that the new plant will capitalize on the “expertise and know-how developed over more than two decades by the technical staff of EMAPHOS.”

The companies completed the basic engineering studies in March this year and is currently under a detailed studies phase.

OCP revealed that construction is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021 with production being anticipated for as early as the 4th quarter of 2022.

On commissioning, the plant is expected to double the annual production capacity of EMAPHOS from 140,000 total phosphorus (TP) 205 per year to 280,000 TP 205 per year.

According to Budenheim, the joint venture in Morocco is of “fundamental importance” for the German company.

“Emaphos is a joint venture with Moroccan and Belgian partners, located in Casablanca, a seaport on the Atlantic Ocean,” the German company said.

Last month, a report by Africainc indicated that Morocco’s phosphate fertilizer could soon be locked out of the US market if the United States Commerce Department imposes anti-subsidy penalties on Moroccan products.

This is after the US Commerce Department decided on July this year, to investigate whether producers of phosphate fertilizers in Morocco and Russia are receiving unfair subsidies.

If the US Commerce Department finds that subsidies on phosphate fertilizer imports from Morocco and Russia are harming or threatening American companies’ standing in the US market, it will impose import duties to offset such subsidies.

OCP’s response to investigations by the US commerce department was that the Moroccan group “operates in full compliance with all relevant laws and treaty obligations in relation to all sales of its products in the US market.”

A source from Morocco’s OCP told Reuters that, “In the unfortunate event of the imposition of a countervailing duty, OCP would be able to redirect its exports towards other markets.”

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