OCP and Fortescue Explore Green Projects in Morocco
04.11.2024 By Tank Terminals - NEWS

April 11, 2024 [Argus]- Moroccan fertilizer giant OCP Group and Australian iron ore and renewable energy firm Fortescue Energy have announced a joint venture in Morocco to produce green hydrogen, ammonia and fertilizers for domestic and export markets.

 

The partnership will look into developing a production facility, alongside a research and development (R&D) hub, to advance the renewable energy industry in Morocco.

The partners have proposed plans for four projects in Morocco. The production facility will involve large-scale integrated green ammonia and green fertilizer production capacity, including renewables, energy generation, electrolysis, ammonification and fertilizer production.

The venture will also look at developing the manufacturing of green technology and equipment. The third element is an R&D and technology hub, located near Marrakech, to bolster research in renewable energy, green hydrogen and minerals processing. OCP and Fortescue also outlined collaboration of corporate venture capital funds to drive investment in key technology advancements.

Further details about potential production volumes, timelines and financial investment have not been disclosed. The venture is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Morocco is hoping to be a major participant in the global energy transition because of vast wind and solar resources, two large coastlines, and its proximity to Europe and the Americas. Its lack of gas resources results in significant annual ammonia import requirements for fertilizer production. The region has previously touted longer term plans to reinforce its domestic supply chain by building ammonia plants in Morocco and reducing its reliance on imports.

OCP is one of the biggest global importers of ammonia used as a raw material for phosphates and NPK production, consuming around 10pc of global merchant trade. Moroccan ammonia imports are set to reach nearly 2mn t this year into Jorf Lasfar. OCP buys predominantly from the Americas and the Middle East, having previously been dependent on Russian ammonia.

OCP’s plan to use green hydrogen produced from solar and wind power as a raw material to make ammonia is part of a $13bn green investment strategy the company announced last year to transition to 100pc renewable energy by 2027.

Nearly 100 domestic and international companies have expressed interest in setting up renewable hydrogen projects in Morocco, according to the government. Most projects are still in the early stages and will take years to start production.

 

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