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Pakistan’s Fatima Fertilizer Plans $1 Billion Africa Plant, Possibly in Nigeria

By on March 14, 2012

Pakistan’s third-biggest maker of the farming ingredient, plans to build a new factory in Africa at an investment of about $1 billion to tap international markets.

The company expects to finalize plans this year to set up the factory, Fawad Ahmed Mukhtar, chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview from his Lahore head office. The fertilizer maker may consider forging a partnership by investing $200 million, he said, without elaboration.

Fatima registered its American Depositary Receipts in New York in March 2011 to raise its profile and expand overseas, aiming to overcome a chronic gas shortage at home. Pakistani fertilizer makers including Engro Fertilizer Ltd. and Fauji Fertilizer Co. get as much as 50 percent less gas than they need to run their factories, curbing production, according to Foundation Securities Pvt. in Karachi.

Fatima’s planned Africa factory may have a capacity to produce more than 1 million tons of fertilizer because the company expects to get “the best gas rates,” Mukhtar said.

“Besides local sales, we are also looking to export from there to Pakistan, Brazil and the markets in Africa,” Mukhtar said yesterday. To set up the plant Fatima is considering countries including Nigeria, Algeria, Tanzania and Mozambique, where there is “enough gas, which means that they will offer us good rates and good terms,” he said.