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Ma’aden advancing first project in phosphate portfolio expansion

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World Fertilizer,

Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) has completed utilities commissioning on a US$900 million ammonia plant in Ras Al-Khair industrial City. Construction completion is expected in 4Q21, with full activation in 1Q22.

The ammonia plant is the first project in the US$6.4 billion ‘Phosphate 3’ expansion to Ma’aden’s phosphate fertilizer portfolio, which encompasses the full mine-to-market development process of phosphate fertilizers.

Commenting on the announcement, Ma’aden CEO Abdulaziz Al Harbi said: “This is a tremendous milestone for our phosphate portfolio. The ammonia plant expansion will add over 1 million tonnes ammonia production to reach 3.3 million tonnes, making Ma’aden one of the largest ammonia producers east of the Suez Canal.”

The ‘Phosphate 3’ expansion will add 3 million t of phosphate fertilizer production capacity to Ma’aden's portfolio, bringing that to a total production capacity of more than 9 million t. This will make Ma’aden one of the top three global phosphate fertilizer producers and Saudi Arabia the second largest phosphate fertilizer exporter worldwide.

“We have been moving ahead with the construction during the COVID-19 pandemic and thanks to the dedication of the Ma’aden team and our partners, construction has been completed for the utility section and pre-commissioning activities started. Safety has remained a priority for us throughout the project and I am pleased to say that over 4000 employees invested 14 million+ safe man hours to deliver the construction on the Ammonia 3 project over 32 months,” Abdulaziz Al Harbi concluded.

Ma’aden’s mine-to-market phosphate business consists of three mega projects in Saudi Arabia: Wa’ad Al Shamal – the centre of the Saudi phosphate industry; Ras Al Khair, a phosphate and bauxite processing superhub; and Phosphate 3. In 2019, Ma’aden expanded the reach of its phosphate business in sub-Saharan Africa through the acquisition of fertilizer distribution company Meridian Group, enabling faster and better service for local customers in Africa.

In line with Ma’aden’s sustainability commitment, phosphate operations at Ras Al Khair Industrial City draw all of its process water from one of the world’s largest desalination plants and utilise a natural engineered wastewater treatment (NEWT) system. 60 to 80% of the treated water gets reused as process water and the rest for local landscape irrigation.

The resulting “artificial wetland” created by NEWT has proven to be a sustainable and effective natural method to treat wastewater on municipal and industrial levels, and as an added benefit, has become an important habitat for wildlife, especially shore birds.

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Fertilizer project news Ammonia news