WASHINGTON - OCP, Morocco’s largest producer of phosphates, is expanding its market production to include uranium.
WASHINGTON – OCP, Morocco’s largest producer of phosphates, is expanding its market production to include uranium.
OCP CEO, Mostapha Terrab made the announcement of OCP’s new venture in the presence of PM Benkirane and the Energy and Mining ministers at the first conference of Research & Development in Skhirat, on September 12.
90 million dirhmas will be invested in research to establish a development strategy for the new sector of the company. OCP plans to “sign a strategic cooperation agreement in terms of innovation and research with MaScIR (Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science and Innovation Research) or with IRESEM,” according to Terrab.
He also noted that the “operations will be accompanied by financial support and is the culmination of a vision to create an ecosystem of innovation.” The 90 million dirham investment will also be allocated to the implementation of these agreements with MaScIR and IRESEM—thus expanding OCP’s network of researchers, bringing together nearly 200 scientists with a budget of 400 million dirhams.
At the moment, OCP’s phosphate production is facing a weak quarter with nearly a 20% drop in exports between January and July of 2013. Despite the setbacks in exports, OCP remains optimistic that its new investments will recover its current losses. Its plan is to increase its production to 50 million tons by 2017—a timely ambition seeing that Morocco contains over 50% of the world’s phosphate reserves.
The new project has been endorsed by the Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research, and Professional Training, Lahcen Daoudi.
Daoudi stressed that OCP’s endeavors are in line with the “urgent need to invest in R&D in order to protect natural resources, including the phosphate industry that is facing several challenges in mining, chemical processing, transportation, etc.”
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed