EGYPT – African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has approved a US$400 million loan to finance a phosphatic fertilizers project in Egypt, implemented by public company El Wady for Phosphate Industries and Fertilizers (WAPHCO).
WAPHCO is a joint stock company owned by 9 public companies including Al Ahly Capital Holding Company, Misr Phosphate Company, Abu Qir Fertilizers Company, and Engineering for Petroleum and Process Industries (ENPPI).
The project will be established on a 560,000-square-meter area and will include a storage area of 3 million square meters, with investments of US$1 billion and a production capacity of 1 million tons a year.
Ecofin Agency reports that all the technical, economic, and financial studies of the project are complete, adding that production is set to start after two and a half years from commencing execution, along with six more months for trial operation referring to a source close to the matter.
The grant comes at a time when the executive has hinted that the county wants to increase its fertilizer shipments to cross the US$4 billion revenue mark, a growth of 17.5% in revenues by the end of 2023.
Egypt is the second largest fertilizer exporter in Africa after Morocco. Consequently, since the start of the year, the local industry has recorded numerous investment projects from public and private operators.
In July, the Golden Triangle region, which is home to the country’s largest phosphate reserves, announced three investment projects worth a total of US$1.6 billion in the fertilizer sector.
The announcement was made by Adel Saïd, Head of the General Authority in charge of managing the economic zone on the sidelines of a mining forum held on July 18 and 19 in Cairo.
In detail, the first offer was granted to the Egyptian Financial and Industrial Company (EFIC). The conglomerate wishes to acquire an area of 42 hectares within the GTEZ, to build a phosphate fertilizer manufacturing complex for a total cost of US$600 million.
The second offer was presented by Egyptian businessman Mahmoud Muharram, who wants to establish a phosphate fertilizer and phosphoric acid production plant on an area of 21 hectares with initial investments estimated at US$150 million.
The third investment project, on the other side, concerned the construction of an US$875 million phosphoric acid production plant, the work of an Australian conglomerate bringing together Lionbridge, a company specializing in business management, and the West Tech group active in the electrical industry.
Overall, Adel Saïd confirmed that these new investment projects, if they materialize, should help increase fertilizer production in Egypt and further stimulate exports.