Qafco set to scale up urea output to 5.6mn tonnes with new plant
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Qatar Fertiliser Company’s latest expansion - Qafco-6 - will start production this summer, company vice chairman and CEO Khalifa Abdulla al-Sowaidi has said.
“Qafco-6 is under commissioning…hopefully we will start production gradually this summer,” al-Sowaidi told Gulf Times yesterday.
He said the formal inauguration of the world-scale plant at Mesaieed would be done at a high-profile event on December 11 this year.
With Qafco-6, the company’s annual urea output would scale up to 5.6mn tonnes per year from the current 4.3mn tpy.
Qafco also produces about 3.8mn tpy of ammonia, al-Sowaidi said.
He said boosting fertiliser production is key to ensuring the much-needed food security in the world. “If we don’t boost fertiliser production, the prices will go up,” the Qafco chief said.
Asked whether the global economic slowdown or the disturbances that have been witnessed in some Middle Eastern countries adversely impacted Qafco, al-Sowaidi said, “So far no…we hope we will not get affected at all.”
He said Qafco has a well-diversified market across the globe. India, US, Thailand, Australia and South America are its major markets for both urea and ammonia.
The company currently is the No 1 urea supplier to Australia and South Africa and the second biggest supplier to the US.
Qafco products have markets in some 35 countries across the world. Currently, Qafco leads the global fertiliser manufacturers with an 18% share of the global urea supply.
With the inauguration of Qafco-5 in late 2011, Industries Qatar (IQ)’s joint venture became the “largest, single site” fertiliser producer in the world.
Established in 1969, Qafco was the first joint venture in Qatar’s downstream sector.
Qafco is a recipient of the coveted RC14001 ‘Responsible Care’ certification based on the Mesaieed-based fertiliser major’s comprehensive health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) performance improvement initiative. It is one of the few companies in the Middle East to get the RC14001 certification.
Responsible Care Management System and International Fertiliser Association (IFA) Product Stewardship Programme were the two recent initiatives adopted by Qafco.
Qafco is currently hosting the three-day 80th International Fertiliser Industry Association annual conference at the Ritz Carlton here.
About 1400 senior executives representing production, consumer, trade and technical sectors representing some 400 fertiliser companies from 75 countries are participating in the event.
IFA director general Luc Maenae, IFA president William J Doyle and Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association secretary general Dr Abdulwahab al-Sadoun were among those present.
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