ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe Phosphate Industries (ZimPhos), a division of Chemplex Corporation Limited, intends to invest US$2.2 million towards the establishment of a granulation plant to ramp up basal fertilizer production.

Mr Philip Nyakudziwanza, ZimPhos general manager revealed this during an interview with The Herald. He added that the long-term drive is to ensure that we satisfy local basal fertilizer requirements by 2025.

“By 2025 we should have enough capacity to satisfy at least the current demand, after that there are plans to further look into diversifying our operations and look into high analysis fertilizers into our mix of products.”

Scheduled for the first quarter of 2024, the plant will be in addition to the US$1,1 million fertilizer blending plant the company has already built at ZimPhos commissioned by President Mnangagwa in September last year.

The investments are meant to improve the availability of basal fertilizers in support of the Government’s agriculture programs.

The intended fertilizer granulation plant is used for mixing and blending various raw materials to create a uniform mixture. This ensures that each granule contains the necessary nutrients in the correct proportions.

The company envisions the two plants will have the capacity to produce and meet about 50 percent of the required national basal fertilizer demand of 400 000 tonnes per annum, which would save the country significant foreign currency by reducing imports.

According to the company source, the planned granulation plant will have the capacity to produce 120,000 tonnes of fertilizer per annum, which will be a plus to the company’s value-addition drive.

The establishment of the granulation and blending plants is inspired by the country’s quest to value-add more local natural produce, in this case, the abundant phosphate.

Phosphate concentrate produced in Dorowa is presently being converted into single super phosphate (SSP) at ZimPhos and then sold to other producers since the company does not have the capacity to convert SSP to granular compound fertilizers.

According to ZimPhos, the blending operations require at least US$15 million to produce 25,000 tonnes of D blend.

In terms of SSP, Zimphos said it intended to produce between 20,000 and 28,000 tonnes this year, which translates to about 62,000 tonnes of compound D fertilizer after processing.

The new plants are a testimony to the clarion call for accelerating innovation, research, and development under the leadership of the Second Republic‘s Five-Year Fertilizer Import Substitution Roadmap 2021-2025.