The Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El-Molla, asserted on Monday the state’s tendency to make use of Egypt’s rich reserves of mineral resources, in a way that attracts more investments into the Egyptian market, in accordance with the vision and the objectives of the state in achieving sustainable development.
During a tour at Abu Tartur project to inspect the phosphoric acid production complex, alongside the governor of the New Valley governorate, Mohamed Zamlout, El-Molla said that the government is developing legislative reforms and a roadmap for the advancement of the mining sector in Egypt, which leads to making use of the mineral wealth, in collaboration with a number of experts, specialists, investors, and concerned authorities, who have all cooperated to increase the national output.
The Abu Tartur project of the company for the phosphate industries and fertilisers is currently underway at the New Valley, with an investment estimated at $800m, and a phosphoric acid production capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year.
“The new project embodies the government’s interest in increasing the value of the mineral wealth which can bring in great yields to the country,” El-Molla said, adding that it will contribute to covering the local consumption, as well as achieving a comprehensive development in southern Egypt.
The project is highly remarkable, as it makes use of the large reserves of phosphate at Abu Tartur plateau in the New Valley, according to El-Molla.
“Increasing phosphoric acid production is essential in improving the agriculture in Egypt, as it is the basic raw material in the manufacture of phosphate fertilisers,” El-Molla said, explaining that the ministry aims to establish complementary industries in order to process the mineral materials, and convert it into final products, thus leading to secure the needs of the local market, as well as raising the country’s exports of phosphate.
For his part, Zamlout said that the project reflects the state’s interest in the optimal exploitation of mineral wealth and the natural resources of the New Valley, pointing out that the project will be followed by other projects based on the produced phosphoric acid, which encourages attracting more investments and providing new jobs for the governorate’s residents.
The complex consists of three units, one of which to produce concentrated sulfuric acid with an annual capacity of 1.6m tonnes, and another to produce the phosphoric acid, and the third to process it after production to reach the required purity, depending on an input of 2m tonnes of phosphate per year, the Chairperson of Misr Phosphate, Khaled Al-Ghazali Harb, said while he accompanied the minister on his tour.
The project will also contribute to generating electricity for the surrounding area with a capacity of 33.5MW, in addition to pumping the surplus of the project to the national electricity grid.
During the tour, Harb reviewed the development at the Abu Tartur plateau project to extract phosphate, and the challenges they faced and the establishment of the Misr Phosphate in 2009, which turned the losses into profits. He pointed out that the renovation of the railway line connecting Abu Turtur, Qena and Safaga, is aligned with the state’s plan to use railways in commodities’ transportation, as well as using it to transport passengers.
Harb pointed out that Misr Phosphate has overcome the dilemma of the price difference in selling phosphate, as it unified the export’s prices and improving the quality of the Egyptian product.