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January 26, 2009

Long dormant Notore plant commences fertiliser production in Nigeria

Notore Chemical Industries Limited has commenced commercial production of ammonia fertiliser from its $400m plant in Onne, Rivers State.

According to a statement, commencement of production was achieved following an extensive rehabilitation exercise that was carried out by the major engineering, procurement and construction contractor and a team of Notore technical personnel, who had worked hard to surmount the challenges associated with the rehabilitation of the plant, which had been dormant for 10 years.

Notore acquired the assets of the liquidated National Fertiliser Company of Nigeria in August 2005, after a rigorous bidding process conducted by the Bureau of Public Enterprises.

The plant has capacity to produce 1,000 metric tonnes per day of ammonia, 1,500MT/day of urea and a bulk blend NPK capacity of 2,000MT/day.

The Managing Director, Notore, Mr. Jite Okoloko, said in the statement, “The African Green Revolution has indeed begun, with the commencement of our Train 1. It is a truly historic moment. Nigeria has once again joined the elite league of industrialised nations that produce fertiliser, a key input in the production of much needed crops, which will feed its citizens.
“We are also thankful to our partners, bankers, local and foreign investors, who have stood by us, understanding and keying into the vision of making Nigeria self-reliant in food production. Over $400m was invested in this rehabilitation project.”

Notore’s vision is to be the number one agro-allied company by market share and profitability in Africa by enhancing the quality of life through providing access to safe agro-allied products.
Okoloko said, “Notore, as champion of the African Green Revolution, is committed to helping the continent attain self-sufficiency in food production.

“We are committed to ensuring that agriculture takes its pride of place as the main stay of the African economy.”

The Punch

By Tume Ahemba

Nigeria's formerly state-owned fertilizer company is producing its first stock in a decade after a $400 million refurbishment by new owners who aim to boost farming and food security across Africa.

Notore -- a consortium of Nigerian and foreign private and institutional investors -- acquired the National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON) in 2005 for $152 million after the plant went into liquidation due to management problems.

NAFCON was established in 1980s as the first and biggest modern nitrogenous fertilizer plant in sub-Saharan African, which has the lowest rate of fertilizer use in the world despite being home to many agriculture-based economies.

The restart of the 1.6 million tonnes-per-year plant, located at Onne in the southern delta state of Rivers, is expected to provide a major relief for Africa's top oil exporter, which spends billions of naira every year on fertilizer subsidies.

Nigeria is the world's fourth-biggest cocoa grower and also produces cotton, cashew nuts, palm kernels and rubber, although its agricultural industries have seen a massive decline since the oil boom of the 1970s began generating easier revenues. Economists say Nigeria and other African oil producers, at the mercy of volatile world prices, need to diversify their economies again.

Notore said it planned to expand its business around Africa to help improve food security on the world's poorest continent. The plant has the capacity to produce 1,000 tonnes of ammonia, 1,500 tonnes of urea -- the world's most common form of nitrogen fertilizer -- and 2,000 tonnes of a bulk blend NPK per day, using natural gas usually flared during oil production.

It was refurbished by the Houston-based Proplant Inc. with the help of local engineers, and started producing ammonia this week, while the urea line is still being tested, Notore said.The plant was closed in 1999 due to technical and management problems, and a series of attempts by the government to revamp it had failed.

The Guardian

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