Morocco’s OCP, a producer of phosphates and phosphate based products, has plans to invest $7 billion in a green ammonia plant in Tarfaya, Southern Morocco using green hydrogen, produced from renewable fuel.
State-owned OCP is the world’s biggest phosphates and fertiliser company that aims to increase output and meet low carbon goals. It is also one of the biggest importers of ammonia and spent $2 billion on the raw material last year.
Due to the Ukraine-Russia war, OCP’s move towards renewables is speeding up and as a part of a Moroccan industrial strategy, it is taking steps to reduce energy imports. The firm is reported to have spent $2 billion last year due to global price increases resulting from the conflict in Ukraine.
The firm informed that to mitigate supply problems, OCP has struck a deal to buy ammonia from North America this year. As a long term strategy,it plans to reinforce its domestic supply chain with this plant in Tarfaya.
The plant is expected to produce 200,000 tonnes of ammonia by 2026, annually, increasing to 1 million tonnes by 2027 and 3 million tonnes by 2032, the firm informed. In December, the firm had announced a $13 billion strategy to shift to renewable energy and the present plan is reported to be a part of the this strategy use hydrogen produced from solar-and-wind-powered electrolysis as a raw material to make ammonia.
Morocco’s geographical conditions have also enabled the country to invest heavily in renewables. Besides, the lack of oil or gas and a difficult relationship with neighbouring hydrocarbons producer Algeria is also one of the factors for the investments in the renewable sources.
The government wants to raise renewable energy to 52% of installed power capacity from 38% by 2030. The Tarfaya project involves a renewable-energy powered desalination plant with capacity of 60 million cubic meters a year to supply the industrial facilities.