EGYPT – President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has inaugurated a US$800million Nitrogen Fertilizer Complex in the industrial zone of Ain Sokhna, owned by El Nasr Company for Intermediate Chemicals.
Speaking at the ceremony, President El-Sisi said the facility will strengthen the country’s move to achieve food security by expanding its access to the farm input and reducing import bills.
The new infrastructure, whose construction work lasted 4 years, was implemented by ThyssenKrupp AG, a German industrial engineering and steel production multinational conglomerate, in partnership with Egypt’s Petrojet.
Egypt is the second largest fertilizer exporter after Morocco. The country has several competitive advantages, such as the abundance of natural gas and significant phosphate resources.
In attendance was Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Al-Sayed El-Quseir, Minister of Defense and Military Production, Mohamed Zaki, Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Tarek El-Molla, as well as several ministers and senior statesmen.
The mega-complex project includes six ‘mega factories’ with a total production capacity of up to 1.7 million tons/year of phosphate, potassium, and nitrogen fertilizers, to serve Egypt’s agricultural sector. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, or NPK, are the “Big 3” primary nutrients in commercial fertilizers.
The complex is envisioned to supply 400,000 tonnes of ammonia, 300,000 tonnes of liquid urea, 300,000 tonnes of granulated urea, 200,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, and 300,000 tonnes of calcium ammonium
According to the dignitaries, production from the factories will mainly be devoted to meeting demand in the domestic market while surpluses will be shipped to nearly 56 countries.
During the ceremony, El-Quseir revealed that total finance provided to Egyptian farmers during the previous three years amounted to more than EGP 75 billion (US$2.44B).
He added that the major move shows the dire need of doubling efforts to achieve food security for people, adding the Egyptian state has adopted a specific strategy for attaining sustainable agricultural development.
This comes barely a week after the country gave notice that it will withdraw from the Multinational Grains Trade Convention (GTC) in protest over its inability to control the grain market.
According to the officials, As Egypt exits the international body, it is turning its eyes inwards and is currently on a campaign to raise local production to reduce overreliance on wheat imports.
Recently, Reda Mohamed, the Director of the Field Crops Research Institute and Head of the National Campaign to Preserve wheat revealed that the country is set to produce 12M tonnes of wheat in 2023, with a target of meeting 70% of local demand by 2030
El-Quseir, during his speech, confirmed that the ministry will spare no effort to provide small farmers with subsidized fertilizers to mitigate the impact of the successive global crises and high prices.