In­do­rama fer­til­izer projects look­ing to save Nige­ria $5bn in for­eign ex­change

Business a.m. - - NIGERIA FRONTIER MARKETS - Sto­ries by Ben Egu­zozie, in Port Har­court

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

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