A Chinese industrial and construction consortium including China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) has won an $848m contract to build and operate a large phosphoric and sulfuric acid factory in Egypt.
Located near the Abu Tartour phosphate mine in the southwestern New Valley Governorate, the plant will boost Egypt’s standing as a major producer of the acids, which are used in fertilizers, food and beverage manufacture, electronics and other products.
Phosphate producer Wengfu Group and industrial engineer East China Engineering Science & Technology Co. joined CSCEC in signing the contract on 24 December, with Egyptian mineral resources minister Tareq al-Molla and China’s ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang on hand to witness.
Commissioned by Egypt’s state-owned Phosphate Misr Company, the plant will have the capacity to produce 500,000 tons of phosphoric acid and 1.6 million tons of sulfuric acid a year.
The Abu Tartour Plateau has a reserve of more than 5 billion tons of phosphate rock, Phosphate Misr says.
CSCEC said the deal "will effectively drive the Chinese phosphorous chemical industry and related Chinese equipment to go global".
Phosphate production has helped Egypt industrialise. The chairman of Phosphate Misr, Khaled El Ghazaly, writes on the company’s website: "In just over three decades Egypt has managed to transform itself from a small phosphate ore producer to one of the world’s largest producers with a production capacity of 10 Million Tons per year."
Image: The Abu Tartour Plateau has a reserve of more than 5 billion tons of phosphate rock (Phosphate Misr)