Martin Kadzere Senior Business Reporter
Sable Chemicals, the producer of ammonium nitrate has secured a US$11 million facility from Afreximbank for retooling, its chief executive Mr Bothell Nyajeka said.
The capacity enhancement of Sable is part government’s plan to boost production of fertiliser to reduce imports under its five year roadmap.
“I can confirm that we have secured a US$11 million facility from Afreximbank that will go towards the acquisition of tankers that carry ammonium from Mozambiquan ports while the other portion will be used for plant refurbishment,” said Mr Nyajeka.
The investment will see the company raising annual output to 150 000 tonnes of AN from 50 000 tonnes. Last week Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza, said ongoing investment has boosted the capacity of the industry to 1,2 million tonnes annually.
If fully utilised, the country will be in a position to export given that the current national demand is 630 000 tonnes for both compounds and blends and Top dressing (AN/Urea).
This is split as 330 000 tonnes of NPK compound & blends and 300 000MT of top dressing.
Dr Nzenza also said the fertiliser industry was prepared to meet demand for the forthcoming 2021/22 season. As of 20 August 2021, the fertiliser industry had 264 000 tonnes of fertiliser stocks in raw material equivalent and finished product split as NPK compounds and blends 187 000 tonnes and top dressing (AN/Urea) 77 000 tonnes.
The planned production from August to December 2021 is 375 000 tonnes of NPK fertiliser and 26 000 tonnes of AN and importation of 200 000MT of Top dressing (AN/Urea).
Within the five -year supply strategy under NDS1 agenda the fertiliser, industry would focus more on import substitution and local beneficiation agenda by exploiting the local phosphates value chain from Dorowa and ZimPhos for production “of competitively priced” compound D.
For the 2021/22 summer season Dorowa and ZimPhos are expected to produce 75 000 tonnes of phosphate.
This production levels are expected to increase over the five -year plan to over 300 000 tonnes after commissioning of the current new investment projects underway “which will enhance import substitution, foreign currency savings, local beneficiation, industrialisation, low-cost fertiliser and employment creation.”