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Published On: Thu, Nov 2nd, 2017

Norwegian fertilizer maker Yara International is considering building a $2 billion plant in Mozambique

nsnbc : The Norwegian fertiliser maker Yara International is considering building a $2 billion plant in Mozambique. The Norwegian company may seek partners to share the cost, said Yara CEO Svein Tore Holsether.

Natural gas_Fertilizer production_Archives)In January 2017 Mozambique awarded Yara a project to make ammonia and urea from the country’s growing gas output, saying the company could produce up to 1.3 trillion metric tons of fertilizer annually.

There has been limited progress with the project so far in as much as there hasn’t yet been set a construction timeframe or a development program, Yara CEO Svein Thore Holsether told the Reuters news agency in an interview at a business summit in the Norwegian capital Oslo.

“The value of the project, if I use industry benchmarks, will be about $2 billion investment,” he said, adding that it was too early to say if Yara would develop the project alone. “We are working on it and time will tell what the structure will be,” Holsether said.

If developed, Yara would be able to use between 80 million and 90 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to produce ammonia and urea. In addition to making fertilizers, the site would have a power plant with capacity of 50 megawatts (MW).

Norway and Norwegian industries like Yara gained useful experience with ammonia and urea production during the Norwegian off-shore gas boom in the 1980s. Mozambique, for its part, wants to reduce fertiliser imports, which are now vital for its agricultural industry, and replace them with local products made from its natural gas resources.

Yara, which is seeking acquisitions outside Europe, has been considering assets in Africa, Holsether said without giving a timeframe for any purchase. “Africa is going to be our largest market at some point. I am just looking at the fundamentals — land availability, climate, water — tick all the boxes on that. I do believe the fundamentals are in place,” he said.

Yara International already produces fertilizers in Libya and is building a terminal in Tanzania, according to its website. The company is also assessing the viability of a potash mining facility in Ethiopia, it said.

F/AK – nsnbc 02.11.2017

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