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Israel Chemicals to Construct Three Fertilizer Factories in Ethiopia

Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL), the Israel fertilizer giant investing in the Afar Potash mine is planning to construct three factories in Ethiopia, according to The Reporter.

Amir Avramovitz, Director of corporate communications and public affairs, said the plan to construct three or more fertilizer blending plants producing world class mixed nutrient fertilizer is under discussions with the Ethiopian government.

ICL has agreed to buy the 84 percent shares of Allana Potash, owner of the Danakil Potash mine last week.

ICL believes the Ethiopian government is in complete support of developing the country’s potash resources to unearth the potential of agriculture in Ethiopia, boost productivity and advance balanced fertilization, specifically within Ethiopia’s smallholder farmers.

The company had invested approximately USD 400,000 starting from early 2014 in to farmers’ education project called “Potash for Growth” and it is closely working with the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) on the farmer’s education project, Avramovitz noted.

Before the end of the year ICL is expected to make a final project investment decision at its board of directors and first sales of Potash are predicted in the coming three years.

According to Avramovitz, both the mine and the plants will create hundreds of direct jobs including jobs in the form of contractors and suppliers. Out of the employees, 90 percent will be Ethiopian citizens and it plans to conduct a massive training and education program.

Annually, more than 1.2 million metric tons of fertilizers are imported by Ethiopia at the cost over 300 million dollars. But now Ethiopia could save substantial amount of foreign currency from the import substitute and generate hundreds of millions of dollars from Potash export if the Danakil mine project is completed.

Source: The Reporter