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Potash Market Update: Norway’s Yara Helps Produce Potash in the Arab World

The Arab Potash Company (APC) and Yara International ASA, a Norwegian chemical company, are partnering to invest $200 million to fund a new production line and help market APC’s products around the world. The deal comes as part of a plan to boost the output of APC’s Aqaba-based subsidy, Arab Fertilizers and Chemicals Industries Co. (KEMAPCO), of potassium nitrate fertilizers by 175,000 tons. This amount would raise the gross production to 350,000 tons, through building a new facility with a state-of-the-art production line.

The memorandum of understanding that both companies signed stipulates that Yara will market part of the KEMAPCO output on international markets, excluding regional and local markets, and provide KEMAPCO with technical and environment support related to potassium nitrate production. The production segment in Yara is a “world leading producer of nitrates, calcium nitrate, NPKs, global number two in ammonia and a growing portfolio of phosphates, providing the foundation for Yara’s crop nutrition and industrial solutions”.

KEMAPCO has a plant production capacity of 135,000 tons annually of water-soluble potassium nitrate crop nutrient, which will go up to 175,000 tons after the completion of an expansion project that started two years ago. The Aqaba plant covers an area of 140 dunums (the Ottoman unit of area equivalent to the English acre) adjacent to the port and employs 225 people. In 2017, the company built the first water desalination station on the Red Sea to secure the needed quantities of pure water at a capacity of 500 cubic meters per hour.

APC commented that the deal with Yara would help to boost the international market share of KEMAPCO and make it the world’s number three in manufacturing potassium nitrate fertilizer. APC is the world’s eighth largest potash producer worldwide by volume of production and the only producer of potash in the Arab World.

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