India, Algeria mull fertilizer JV

India, Algeria mull fertilizer JV

A deal may take time, while India seeks 49 per cent share in Algerian phosphate block having 6-billion tonne capacity
India’s keen desire to initiate a joint venture arrangement with Algeria for a multi-billion dollar fertilizer plant located in the North African country seemed to have moved to the front burner on Wednesday following a meeting here between Algerian Minister for Industry and Mining and the Indian Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh L. Mandavia.India, which has up to 96 per cent phosphate dependency, with the volumes running to some six million tonnes a year, is seeking a 49 per cent share in an Algerian block that has a capacity of six billion tonnes with 26 per cent to 50 per cent phosphate content. “But this will take time,” one official said, adding a note of tentativeness. For, a whole basket of issues needs to be discussed and tied up, and multiple Indian companies will need to come together in the effort, including in engineering terms. A consortium approach will need to be devised.Indian Ambassador Satbir Singh spoke to The Hindu explaining India’s potential stakes in such a project and putting the issue in perspective in the context of Indian efforts over a period of time for cooperation with other countries in securing the country’s fertilizer economy, especially in relation to phosphatic fertilizers. India has ongoing arrangements and cooperative ventures in this field with neighbouring Morocco but on a much smaller scale than what is in prospect in Algeria. For India, such a project will have major favourable food security implications and could ease the fertilizer subsidy burden as well. India currently imports raw phosphate resources from a number of African countries including Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt and Syria, as also from Russia, Canada and Israel among others.No specific agreements were signed at the end of Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s three-day visit to Algeria on Wednesday, but the process of giving a governmental push to the project had truly started, an informed official said.India’s aspirations in Algeria also span the information technology, pharma and space sectors. India believes there are good prospects for diversified expansion across sectors.Automobile assemblyIndia’s bilateral trade with Algeria currently stands at $1.5…

Be the first to comment on "India, Algeria mull fertilizer JV"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.