Indorama fertilizer projects looking to save Nigeria $5bn in foreign exchange
NIGERIA WOULD SOON BE retaining some $5 billion in foreign exchange in-country with the exportation of two million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) of Urea fertilizer by Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited’s (IEFCL) from its Train 2 fertilizer plant, coming on stream in about two years in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Currently, the company’s Train 1 plant, a 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) facility, inaugurated in 2016 is reportedly to have achieved 100 per cent capacity utilization month-to-date (mtd). Train 2, which is under construction, is a replica of Train 1.
Last year, just about one year into operation with Train 1, the company said on its website, that it exported approximately 600,000 MMT of fertilizer, and would be hitting 2 million MTPA, thereby making Nigeria a major supplier of urea fertilizer to Southern America, especially Brazil.
Manish Mundra, Indorama’s managing director said the company has achieved 500,000 MT domestic supplies of fertilizer with Train 1, making them readily available to farmers across Nigeria’s 36 states. The nation’s farmers are estimated at 53,000.
Nigeria’s fertilizer consumption has moved up from 250 kilo tonne per acre (KTA) to 750 KTA in the first year of operation of IEFCL Train 1, as the company said it made fertilizers readily available to farmers across the country.
Since, 2016, the fertilizer company has been supplying urea to 13 blending plants spread across Nigeria under the Federal Government’s Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI). The blending plants use the urea to produce NPK fertilizers.
Mundra said Indorama has succeeded in bringing down the cost of fertilizers to about N5,500 per bag, as the domestic market is now awash with fertilizers. Till date, the company, which also owns a petrochemical plant, has since 2006 invested a total of $3.2 billion in Nigeria.
“It’s a success story,” said Mundra on its company’s drive thus far in fertilizer business; adding: “Indorama’s Train 2 would be a replica of Train 1. Technically IEFCL Train 1 is a proven plant of technologies. The company will stick to KBR Technologies, the world-renowned fertilizer technology firm based in USA.”
Indorama is reported to have global footprint in 77 sites across 29 countries, being the largest producer of polyester and PET in the world.
While 2021 may seem like some years away, business analysts have estimated that by the end of 2019 Nigeria’s national fertilizer production would accumulate to about 4.9 million metric tonnes (MMT). This estimate accommodates the incoming Dangote Fertilizer Company’s three million tonnes per annum (mtpa) plant, the existing 1.5 mtpa from Indorama and Notore’s 0.5 mtpa. With this, Nigeria would be exporting over 3 million MT to West Africa, Europe and Asia by then.
Over the years (before the three private sector investments), demand for fertilizer, a key farm input in Nigeria had often far outstripped supplies, leading to national fertilizer racketeering by officials of both the federal government and the states. Members of different government taskforces on fertilizer distribution had always ended up in huge fraud and scandals.
Indorama is reported to have global footprint in 77 sites across 29 countries, being the largest producer of polyester and PET in the world