Bunge Maroc Phosphore (BMP) Fertiliser Complex, Morocco

Bunge Maroc Phosphore (BMP) opened a new fertiliser production facility in the port city of Jorf Lasfar in Morocco, in December 2011. The plant sits on an existing industrial complex site, situated at about 190km south of Rabat, in the southwest of El Jadida. It was officially inaugurated by King Mohammed VI.

The new complex produces phosphate-based raw materials for fertilisers and other intermediate products using lower-grade phosphate rock. The estimated investment in the new plant was MAD2.7bn ($318m).

BMP is a 50-50 joint venture between Bunge Fertilizantes and the state-run Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP), formed in May 2007.

BMP is involved in the production, marketing and commercialisation of nitrogen fertilisers, phosphate, phosphoric acid and other derivative chemicals. It began operations in March 2009.

OCP owns a large resource base of phosphate rock in Morocco and produces nearly 25 million tons a year. The company accounts for 30% of the world's phosphate exports. The Morocco project is part of OCP's strategy to diversify its business to phosphate fertilisers across the globe.

OCP has partnered with Toros Tarim, a subsidiary of the Turkish group Tekfen, to set-up two diammonium phosphates fertiliser plants and a 240-km phosphate pipeline under the Black Sea Fertilizer Trade (BSFT) JV company by 2013. Bunge is a leading producer of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium fertilisers distributed in North and South America.

Bunge Maroc Phosphore's Jorf Lasfar chemical complex

"BMP is a 50-50 joint venture between Bunge Fertilizantes and the state-run Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP), formed in 2007."

The BMP complex has acidulation plants and mono ammonium phosphate (MAP) / diammonium phosphate (DAP) / triple super phosphate fertiliser (TSP) production facilities. The facilities were built in two phases.

The acid production facilities, commissioned in March 2009, formed phase one of the project. This phase included construction of a 1,125,000t/y sulphuric acid plant and a 375,000t/y phosphoric acid plant (P205). The site also includes sulphur and sulphuric acid storage facilities, an energy co-generation unit and phosphate rock milling facility. The site is easily accessible from the harbour, which eases the shipping of chemicals and phosphate rock.

The latest fertiliser project is phase two of the chemical complex. It involved construction of a about 610,000t/y (340,000t of MAP/DAP and 270,000t of TSP) of phosphate fertilisers plant, plus another 375,000t/y of phosphoric acid (P2O5) unit.

The project added ten storage tanks - each with a capacity of 5,500m³, a terminal station and a pipeline terminal station among other utilities. It also involves other associated works, such as improvements and environmental protection of the Jorf Lasfar site, safety, training and improving social and human conditions of the staff. The P2O5 acid production capacity at the site is also planned to be increased to 430,000t/y by 2013.

Contractors / processing technology suppliers to the Moroccan complex

The DAP plant utilises pipe reactor technology and the TSP plant is equipped with a granulation process, both licensed by the Spanish company Incro. In 2008, Uhde India was sub-contracted by Incro to provide engineering services for the mono ammonium phosphate (MAP), diammonium phosphate (DAP) and triple super phosphate (TSP) / mono ammonium phosphate (MAP) processing plants.

Scope of work included provision of technical procurement services, off-sites, inspection, utilities and supervision services for the construction and commissioning of the plants. It was completed in July 2011.

A 30t/h phosphate grinding capacity unit for the fertiliser plant was supplied by Fives FCB. Scope of work included erection and supervision of a TSVTM BF 2 400 classifier, a ball mill and all the electrical and mechanical equipment. ML2R consultancy was the technical consultant for the project. Comspain was contracted to supply its double-line granulation plant for the complex. About 1.5km of a long belt conveyor transport system for the complex and the storage facilities with 500t/h flow capacity were provided by PHB Weserhütte.

Future developments at Jorf Lasfar port

Several large-scale infrastructure development projects are in progress at Jorf Lasfar including construction of utilities, phosphates storage and distribution terminal station, improvements to the port infrastructure, sea water desalination and wastewater treatment plants, plus four new fertiliser and acid facilities. The total investment is estimated to be MAD40bn ($4.7bn).

Marketing commentary for fertiliser production and BMP

Commissioning of the two fertiliser granulation units increased the overall capacity of the OCP to four million tons per annum.

"The plant sits on an existing industrial complex site, situated at about 190km south of Rabat, in the southwest of El Jadida."

The project is expected to increase the efficiency and reliability of Bunge to supply fertilisers in Morocco. Bunge's existing freight logistics network ships the fertilisers to countries including Argentina, Brazil and other parts of Latin America. The new BMP complex will account for 70% of the total Bunge Fertilizantes exports.

Argentina and Brazil are the largest agricultural producers in the world. Argentina imports all of the fertiliser it consumes. Brazil imports about 50% of its fertiliser requirement from other countries. The demand for phosphate fertilisers is growing rapidly in these countries due to increase in agricultural production.