MOROCCO: OCP to solarize its phosphate production with the support of the IFC

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MOROCCO: OCP to solarise its phosphate production with the support of the IFC© OCP Group

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is providing a €100 million loan to the OCP Group (formerly Office chérifien des phosphates). The financing is intended to support the construction of four solar photovoltaic plants to power the group's operations in Morocco.

OCP Group (formerly Office Chérifien des Phosphates) is banking on solar power to reduce its production costs and the carbon footprint of its operations in Morocco. On the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Washington, D.C., the phosphate fertilizer producer signed a loan agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Under the agreement, the World Bank Group’s private sector financing arm will finance 100 million euros for the construction of four solar photovoltaic power plants to supply OCP Group facilities in Morocco. The facilities, which will have a combined capacity of 202 MWp, will be built near the mining towns of Benguerir in the Rehamna region and Khouribga, 120 km southeast of the economic capital Casablanca.

Development focused on renewable energy

“Obtaining this loan is a testament to the partnership we are building with the IFC and the alignment of our institutions as we simultaneously tackle the global challenges of food security and climate change,” explains Mostafa Terrab, OCP Group’s chairman and CEO. The Casablanca-based group is building these solar photovoltaic plants as part of its approach to cover all of its electricity needs through wind, solar and cogeneration (recovery of thermal energy released during the production of sulfuric acid) by 2027.

Read also- MOROCCO: OCP unveils its €11.6bn “Green Investment Programme” over 5 years

And as part of this strategy, the group has launched a new company in 2022 to accompany it in its energy transition. OCP Green Energy, as it is called, will ensure the construction of the four solar power plants financed with a loan from the IFC. This project is also part of the $13 billion Green Investment Program to decarbonize phosphate production by 2030.

Greening phosphate production

According to OCP Group, this renewable energy strategy is expected to avoid emissions of 285,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2) per year. And the group, which is 95% owned by the Moroccan government, has the means to achieve its ambitions. As one of the world’s leading exporters of raw phosphate, phosphoric acid and phosphate fertilizers, the OCP Group expects to generate sales of 114.57 billion Moroccan dirhams (10.25 billion euros) in 2022, an increase of 36% compared to 2021.

For the record, Morocco is the world’s second largest producer of phosphates with a result of 40 million tons in 2022. The North African kingdom ranks behind China, which recorded a production of 85 million tons in the same year, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Jean Marie Takouleu

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