OCP Group launches a $13 billion Green Investment Strategy
OCP Group has launched a new strategic program for 2023-2027 devoted to raising fertilizer production, investing in new green fertilizers and renewable energy.
This growth strategy is fully in line with the vision of His Majesty King Mohamed VI and comes in the wake of the working meeting chaired by the monarch on November 22 devoted to developing Morocco’s unique resources to accelerate sustainable development.
An ambitious new investment program
OCP Group's green growth program provides for a global investment of about $13 billion over the 2023-2027 period. It is based on increasing mining and fertilizer production capacities while achieving full carbon neutrality by 2040.
This investment program aims to increase production capacity from the current 12 million tons of fertilizer to 20 million tons by 2027. In particular, it provides for an extension of mining capacities via the opening of a new mine in Meskala in the Essaouira region and the installation of a new fertilizer production complex in Mzinda. The latter will process rock from the mines at Benguerir and Youssoufia as well as from the new mine of Meskala.
This program will create 25,000 direct and indirect jobs, support 600 Moroccan industrial companies and achieve a local integration rate of 70%.
100% green energy by 2027
Clean energy is at the heart of this new investment program. OCP Group will supply all its industrial facilities with green energy by 2027 using wind, solar, hydroelectric and co-generation sources. Zero-emission energy will not only strengthen OCP’s competitive advantages but will also power new seawater desalination plants to meet the Group's needs as well as supply drinking water and irrigation to areas bordering OCP sites. In this respect, the Group will have already put into service, before the end of the current year, 40 million m3 of desalinated water that will supply drinking water to the cities of Safi and El Jadida.
The investment in renewable energy will enable the Group, the world's largest importer of ammonia, to free itself from imports over the long term. Planned substantial investments in producing green hydrogen and green ammonia will enable OCP to produce wholly sustainable fertilizers and fertilization solutions adapted to the specific needs of different soils and crops.
Major ambitions in line with Morocco's energy transition strategy
OCP Group's new green investment plan will be based on several programs:
- Green Ammonia: OCP Group aims to produce 1 million tons by 2027 and 3 million tons by 2032.
- Green Energy: OCP Group intends to produce 5 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy by 2027 and no less than 13GW by 2032.
- Seawater Desalination: OCP Group should reach a capacity of 560 million m3 in 2026, of which 110 million m3 should already be achieved in 2023 due to the commissioning of several new desalination stations.
- Specialty Chemicals: the objective is to reach a volume of 20,000 tons of fluorine and 30,000 tons of intermediate products for Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries by 2027.
OCP Group's strategy will also strengthen local value chains in its industrial and mining sites. For example, on the Khouribga-Jorf-Lasfar axis, desalinated water from Jorf will be transported to Khouribga by pipeline and the energy needs of this strategic axis will be supplied through 760 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic farms. OCP Group aims to add additional capacity of 4 million tons of fertilizers on this axis in addition to the development of specialty chemicals.
On the Gantour-Meskala-Safi axis, the investment plan provides for the installation of a new chemical and mining complex in Mzinda. This will process rocks from the mines of Benguerir and Youssoufia, together with the new Meskala mine, with a total capacity of 6 million tons of rock by the end of 2027. The construction of 440 MW of solar farms on the mining grounds will power production as well as the desalination plant located in Safi. The future desalination plants should be able to produce at least 200 million m3 by 2027.
A green ammonia production complex is planned in the south of Tarfaya, with a capacity of 1 million tons per year which will be powered by a solar and wind farm with a total capacity of 3.8GW. An electrolyser production plant will support this project, ensuring local industrial integration within the new value chain. A desalination plant with a capacity of 60 million m3 will supply these industrial facilities and contribute to meeting regional water needs.
Continuing the 2012-2021 investment program
OCP Group’s new program is an extension of the Group’s previous investment plan. This saw $8 billion invested over 2012-2021, increasing the production capacity of fertilizers from 4 to 12 million tons and establishing Morocco as one of the world's leading producers and exporters of phosphate fertilizers. Turnover has risen from $2.5 billion in 2005 to $9.4 billion in 2021. More than 400 Moroccan industrial companies participated, leading to the creation of 8400 direct and indirect jobs.
The fertilizer sector is undergoing a major transformation, marked on the one hand by the challenges of sustainable agriculture and food security, and on the other by the emergence of new industrial and digital technologies. To adapt to this new reality, the group has relied on the research and development capabilities of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) to seize the opportunities offered by new industrial and digital technologies, and to develop expertise for sustainable fertilization, the valorization of phosphate ore constituents, as well as renewable energies.
To this end, several dedicated specialized research centers have been created within UM6P. These include the Green Energy Park (GEP), inaugurated by His Majesty in 2017, and specialized in renewable energies; and the Material Science, Energy and Nano-Engineering (MSN) laboratory, specialized in the elements of Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries.
Moreover, the university's innovation promotion vehicles, such as Innov'X launched earlier this year, as well as investments in digital infrastructure including a data center and a supercomputing center in Ben Guerir, will allow the OCP Group to be at the center of ongoing digital revolutions in the industrial and agricultural sectors.
Strengthened by these assets, OCP Group is now ready to embark on its new growth strategy which solidifies sustainable development into a real competitive advantage.