As part of a $13 billion investment plan announced last December, OCP Group has confirmed that a new ammonia production facility will be built near Tarfaya in Morocco’s south. The $7 billion plant will be powered by 3.8 GW of wind and solar energy, with desalinated water to be used for electrolysis. 200,000 tonnes per year of renewable ammonia will be produced from 2026, rising to 1 million tonnes per year by 2027 and 3 million tonnes per year from 2032.
Last year, OCP reportedly spent $2 billion on ammonia imports to Morocco. It has secured a deal to buy ammonia from North America from later this year, and ultimately aims to replace the bulk of its imports with domestically-produced ammonia from Tarfaya and other projects. Reuters also reports OCP plans to drastically scale-up desalination capacity, moving to the complete use of desalinated water for industrial operations by 2027, with tenders to be launched soon for the increase of desalination capabilities at its Safi and Jorf Lasfar facilities. Also at OCP’s Jorf Lasfar site, Proton Ventures and the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University are building a demonstration-sized renewable ammonia facility that will inform the development of larger projects.
Morocco is also the location for a number of other interesting ammonia production projects:
- China Energy will construct an ammonia export mega-project for Ajlan Bros and Gaia Energy.
- CWP Global’s GW-scale AMUN project.
- and Fusion Fuel’s 180,000-plus tonnes per year HEVO ammonia plant in Rabat.
Home to some of the world’s richest phosphate resources, Morocco has long relied on imported ammonia to manufacture fertilisers, which are then shipped all over the world. OCP Group is pursuing fossil-based ammonia production projects in neighboring African countries, but the potential of renewable ammonia to create a “virtuous cycle” for fertiliser production in Morocco will have beneficial flow-on effects to food production across the globe.