NMP celebrates Namphos trials
Namibian Marine Phosphate this week announced that the trials of the Namibian phosphate (Namphos) product by the IFDC (International Fertilizer Center) in Florida in the USA is a success.
Phase 1 of the project is expected to generate N$2.4 billion per annum at peak production by year three, while at present value, phase 2 will generate about N$22 billion in revenue over the first 10 years.
According to Barnabas Uugwanga, CEO of Namibian Marine Phosphate, the trials confirm the initial scientific research which indicated that the Namibian phosphate-rich sand can be applied directly as a fertilizer in certain soil conditions, for instance low pH soil.
“We are planning agricultural trials to be conducted by various independent organizations and government institutions. The trials are expected to commence before the end of 2013 and will continually run on a need-basis as part of our commitment to Research and Development of new products. Initially the trials in Namibia will focus on establishing empirical “Namphos” fertilizer usage for direct application,” he said.
He further said the project is being developed in 2 phases. Phase 1 which involves the development of required infrastructure to process phosphate rich sand on land and phase 2 involves the development of a vertically integrated fertilizer manufacturing business in Namibia.
Phase 1 involves an investment of N$3.2 billion and the construction and commissioning of this phase will take about 24 months. 500 people are to be employed during that period. Once in operation, about 350 people will be employed (about 150 directly and 200 indirectly).
He also said that phase 2 of the project is in line with the government’s position on value addition and that his company is fully committed to ensuring that the Namibian phosphate is beneficiated in Namibia to allow local farmers to have access to affordable high-value fertilizers.
“At this stage phase 2 is in the primary planning stage however the company is committed to advancing these plans as soon as the relevant permits for phase 1 are in place,” he said.
Uugwanga stated that his company is waiting for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in consultation with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to issue an Environmental Clearance for the project to advance into full developmental mode.
“NMP has submitted a sound and comprehensive Marine Environmental Impact Assessment authored by reputable marine experts in various relevant aspects of assessing the potential impacts of the proposed operations in the Namibian waters. This Marine EIA has been submitted in March 2012 and the company still awaits the necessary clearance to continue with the proposed development. NMP to date has spent just over N$120 million in developing the necessary knowledge about the deposit and also collecting the necessary information which was required in assessing the environmental impacts,” said Uugwanga.
He said Namibia Marine Phosphate is committed to ensuring that the fishing industry’s fears and concerns are addressed by providing the scientific evidence. The company is committing N$14 million to the verification programme. We are confident that the science will speak for itself as already indicated in the Marine EIA.
“NMP is committed to contributing to Namibia’s economy by driving the much needed industrialization and fertilizers. NMP is committed to developing projects in an environmental friendly manner,” he said.