Published on 03 May 2016

Phosphates: the OCP behemoth out to conquer a continent

Phosphates: the OCP behemoth out to conquer a continent

The OCP group (Office Cherifien des Phosphates) launched an unprecedented offensive to conquer Africa in September, 2015. Working out of its Parisian arm named OCP Africa, which is staffed by former executives of Areva, the Moroccan giant is laying the groundwork for a supply and distribution network that is to include East Africa, the continent's new economic frontier. In West Africa it will overhaul its local fertilizer units, some of which are struggling.

And on the operational front, the Office is working overtime to justify its long-standing presence in phosphates at Bou Craa in the disputed territory of Western Sahara. With that in mind OCP has engaged in a huge public relations exercise to persuade its customers - and the international community - that it has the law on its side. But there's no saying that many will be convinced. Several big international fertilizer companies have bowed to the arguments of Polisario and its backers - and turned their backs on OCP.

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