Published On: Tue, 20 Dec 2011

  Mesaieed: In a glittering ceremony on Tuesday, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Heir Apparent, inaugurated the $3.2 billion QAFCO-5 project in the industrial city of Mesaieed. The project will make QAFCO the world’s largest single site producer of ammonia and urea.

The ceremony was attended by H.E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Deputy Premier and Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, Their Excellencies The Sheikhs, dignitaries from Qatar Petroleum, QP subsidiaries, Yara, Snamprogetti and Hyundai along with the dignitaries from different economic sector corporations. Diplomats from the different countries too attended the event. A documentary film based on QAFCO-5 project marked the opening of the event.

Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, said, “Under the leadership of HH The Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and HH The Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar has developed rapidly from a state whose economy was based on the export of its natural resources into the vibrant and modern country we see today.“ He further added, “Working with international partners the Government has set up large scale industrial projects that utilize the competitive energy supplies and the abundance of raw materials to create a diverse economy based around the petrochemical industry”. He also recollected, “QAFCO was the 1st Joint Venture established more than 40 years ago that set an example for other Joint Ventures that had followed over the decades. Elaborating on the QAFCO-5 project, the Minister H.E. Dr. Al-Sada said, ““QAFCO 5 project cost $3.2 Billion US Dollars and was financed with a loan of $1.1 billion and the rest was funded from equity. The 2 ammonia plants being built under QAFCO-5 project will increase QAFCO’s production capacity by almost 3 quarters. The project will boost QAFCO’s urea production capacity by more than 40%. This will further enhance QAFCO’s position as the single site producer of ammonia & urea in the world”.

About QAFCO’s progress, and QAFCO responding to the increased demand for fertilizer H.E. Abdulaziz Bin Ahmed Al-Malki, QAFCO Chairman, said “QAFCO was established in 1969 and it was the first joint venture in the downstream area. QAFCO has set strategy to be the leading company of its kind with regard to fertilizers. To meet the increasing world demand for fertilizer and to continue its diversification of the use of Qatar’s natural gas, QAFCO commissioned the construction of QAFCO-5 project in 2007”. Mr. Khalifa Abdulla Al-Sowaidi, QAFCO, Vice Chairman & CEO said “right now QAFCO operates 4 trains of Anhydrous ammonia as liquid and 4 trains of urea , with a total production capacity of 2.2 million tons of ammonia and 3 Million tons of Urea annually. Mr. Khalifa added “QAFCO produces 3 types of fertilizers: Anhydrous ammonia, prilled urea and granular urea. Prilled urea in a fine form of urea that is mostly used in the traditional agriculture where urea is spread by hand and granular urea that is used in the developed markets with highly mechanized forms of agriculture”.

Adding further, Mr. Khalifa A Al-Sowaidi, QAFCO CEO said “QAFCO has ensured the quality of its product. We have invested heavily in development and research and use sophisticated laboratory testing and the latest computer technologies throughout the production process to ensure customer satisfaction and making our products more competitive in the global markets. Speaking about QAFCO’s response to the increased world demand for fertilizers Mr. Al-Sowaidi said, “QAFCO has been expanding year after year and now we are expanding with our fifth train. This is the largest fertilizer project in the world in terms of money and in terms of size. After QAFCO-5 project, QAFCO will emerge as the largest single site producer of both ammonia and urea. The project will increase QAFCO’s ammonia production from 2.2 million MT to 3.8 million MT and its urea production from 3 million MT to 4.3 million MT per year. Speaking on the market reach of QAFCO, Mr. Al-Sowaidi informed that “QAFCO is the number 1 supplier of urea fertilizer to Australia and number 1 supplier to South Africa and the second biggest supplier in the United States. And in the future we will like to expand our markets in South America especially in Brazil, Brazil will be demanding lots of urea and we look to establish big market there”. Mr. Khalifa remarked that “Qatar, a small country with a population of 1.5 million, is contributing to 200 million people by putting food on their tables”.

H. E. Dr. Al- Sada commented that “QAFCO as a pioneer in the industrial diversification of Qatar economy, will continue to play a crucial role in the 2030 Qatar National Vision where Human, Social, Economic and Environmental Development will create a self sufficient knowledge based economy with a strong cultural, educational and political presence in the region and around the world. H.E. Al-Malki said, “The project manifests the vision of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar and His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Heir Apparent, under whose leadership Qatar has reached the towering position that it is at today. Expressing his gratefulness, to the people who contributed to the foundation of QAFCO-5 Project H.E. Al-Malki said that “the credit should defiantly go to H. E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah deputy premier for his efforts and support for us right through all QAFCO-5 project phases, and to H.E. Dr. Mohamed Bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry with whom we are continuing with the same spirit and who is supporting us to go for further steps in the development of the company. Also Mr. Al-Malki expressed his thanks to QAFCO Board of Directors, QAFCO management and staff for their efforts, dedication and loyalty to the company which led to the successful culmination of QAFCO-5 project.