Issue Date: November 21, 2011
Agrium Venture Halts Egypt Operations
An Agrium fertilizer joint venture in Damietta, Egypt, has suspended operations because of protests over the chemical complex’s impact on the local community. In addition, Agrium says the partnership, called Mopco, has paused construction on an expansion of the facility. Controversy isn’t new to the urea complex, of which Agrium once owned 60%. The Egyptian government halted the project as it was set to commence operations in 2008. Agrium then agreed to let the Egyptian firm Mopco take over the plant in a deal that gave Agrium a 26% stake in Mopco. The expansion, scheduled for completion in 2012, would triple urea production to 2 million metric tons per year. Additionally, Methanex has idled operations at its methanol plant in Damietta, although the company says it doesn’t believe its plant “is the focus of the unrest.” Methanex owns 60% of the facility, which began operations earlier this year.
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