Morocco’s OCP set to get key backer for Africa expansion plan

 Morocco’s OCP set to get key backer for Africa expansion plan

Moroccan state-owned fertilizer major OCP SA is implementing a $145.5 million expansion project in Africa and is set to rope in a key backer to finance the plan.

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, is looking to lend up to $100 million for the Casablanca-based company’s expansion project.

OCP, the world’s biggest miner and exporter of phosphate, will use the loan to expand its facilities in Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.

OCP has been looking to increase its presence in Africa and had established OCP Africa SA in 2016. The subsidiary is dedicated to growing the business in Sub-Saharan Africa with the main objectives of producing fertilizer near its main agribusiness markets, invest in logistics and distribution, and provide support and training to farmers.

IFC would be the second major financier to back OCP for expanding in Africa. In March, the African Export-Import Bank signed a seven-year $350 million loan to provide financing to OCP for its expansion plans across Africa.

OCP was established in 1920 and transformed into a corporation in 2008. It is the world’s leading producer and exporter of phosphate products. It is also the largest company in Morocco with about 21,000 employees and the largest exporter accounting for 17.3% of the country’s shipments in 2019.

The company has fertilizer processing platforms at Safi and Jorf Lasfar in Morocco.

OCP is 94.12% owned by the Moroccan state. The remaining stake is held by Infra Maroc Capital (2.98%), Prev Invest SA (1.1%), Société d’Aménagement et de Développement Vert (0.88%), SOCINVEST (0.82%) and Banque Centrale Populaire SA (0.1%).

The company reported revenue of MAD56.18 billion ($5.93 billion) and a net profit of MAD3.2 billion for the year ended December 2020.

Vivek Sinha

The Capital Quest