Jun 13, 2021
Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden), the Saudi Arabia’s national mining champion and one of the fastest-growing mining companies in the world, has completed utilities commissioning on a $900 million ammonia plant in Ras Al-Khair industrial City. Construction completion is expected in the fourth quarter 2021.
The ammonia plant is the first project in the $6.4 billion ‘Phosphate 3’ expansion to Ma’aden’s phosphate fertilizer portfolio, which encompasses the full mine-to-market development process of phosphate fertilizers.
Commenting on the announcement, Ma’aden CEO Abdulaziz Al Harbi said: “This is a tremendous milestone for our phosphate portfolio. The ammonia plant expansion will add over 1 million tonnes ammonia production to reach 3.3 million tonnes, making Ma’aden one of the largest ammonia producers east of the Suez Canal”.
The ‘Phosphate 3’ expansion will add 3 million tonnes of phosphate fertilizer production capacity to Ma’aden portfolio, bringing that to a total production capacity of more than 9 million tonnes. This will make Ma’aden one of the top three global phosphate fertilizer producers and Saudi Arabia the second largest phosphate fertilizer exporter worldwide.
“We have been moving ahead with the construction during the COVID-19 pandemic and thanks to the dedication of the Ma’aden team and our partners, construction has been completed for the utility section and pre-commissioning activities started. Safety has remained a priority for us throughout the project and I am pleased to say that over 4,000 employees invested 14 million+ safe man hours to deliver the construction on the Ammonia 3 project over 32 months,” Abdulaziz Al Harbi concluded.
Ma’aden began commercial production of fertilizers in 2011 and has since become one of the top three largest producers of phosphate fertilizers globally, catering to the biggest fertilizer markets and meeting the food requirements of hundreds of millions of people. Ma’aden is committed to empowering farmers by providing high quality products that improve crop quality and yield and supporting Saudi Arabia’s contribution to achieving global food security in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Ma’aden’s mine-to-market phosphate business consists of three mega projects in Saudi Arabia: Wa’ad Al Shamal – the center of the Saudi phosphate industry; Ras Al Khair, a phosphate and bauxite processing superhub; and Phosphate 3. In 2019, Ma’aden expanded the reach of its phosphate business in sub-Saharan Africa through the acquisition of fertilizer distribution company Meridian Group, enabling faster and better service for local customers in Africa.
In line with Ma’aden’s sustainability commitment, phosphate operations at Ras Al Khair Industrial City draw all its process water from one of the world’s largest desalination plants and utilize a natural engineered wastewater treatment (NEWT) system. Sixty to 80% of the treated water gets reused as process water and the rest for local landscape irrigation.
The resulting “artificial wetland” created by NEWT has proven to be a sustainable and effective natural method to treat wastewater on municipal and industrial levels, and as an added benefit, has become an important habitat for wildlife, especially shore birds, in line with Saudi Arabia’s commitment to combat climate change under the Saudi Green Initiative.