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Eritrea plans sea port as peace with Ethiopia excites investors



Eritrea is considering building a port on its Red Sea coastline to export potash from deposits being developed in the Horn of Africa nation, a mines ministry official said.

Plans for the harbor signal the country’s reemergence as a potential investor destination after its surprise rapprochement with neighboring Ethiopia last month ended two decades of political tensions. The facility could be used to ship potash from Ethiopia and adds to a series of port developments in the strategically located region by nations including Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and the self-declared Republic of Somaliland.

The port would be situated at the Bay of Anfile, 75 kilometers (47 miles) east of the 1.2 billion-metric-ton Colluli potash deposit, Alem Kibreab, director-general of mines in the Ministry of Energy and Mines, said in an interview in the capital, Asmara. A feasibility study is under way to decide on the specific site, with the start of construction envisaged about five years after a mine starts operating there, he said.

“To begin, the company has to make money,” Alem said.

Read Also: Tanzania, Uganda deepen economic ties with deal for supply of gas

The mine will be operated by Colluli Mining Share Co., jointly owned by Danakali Ltd. of Australia and the state-owned Eritrean National Mining Co. Colluli contains deposits of high-grade fertilizers suitable for use on fruit and coffee trees and vegetables, according to Danakali’s website. It’s situated in the Danakil Depression, a geological area that stretches into Ethiopia and is regarded as an “emerging potash province,” the company said.

Danakali expects construction of the $320 million mine to start later this year, Chairman Seamus Cornelius said by phone from London. The company is engaging bankers to secure funding for construction of the mine, he said.


Libya’s National Oil Corp signs South Refinery contract with Honeywell



Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) announced on Sunday it had signed a contract with Honeywell (HON.O) for engineering work on its planned South Refinery project, which is expected to cost between $500 million and $600 million.

According to a statement by NOC subsidiary, Zallaf For Oil And Gas Co, the project would be carried out in two phases but not issue a schedule for works.

Libya hopes to take advantage of increased demand for its oil and gas as the Russia/Ukraine war continues. The country is seeking to bring foreign investment back into its energy sector after two and a half years of comparative peace following years of conflict.

The war has forced major global players to push for the enhancement of relations with oil-rich Libya. The United States in the week ending revealed that it is “actively” working to re-establish a diplomatic presence in Libya following a season of ruptured ties between the countries.
Last month, the Tripoli-based government agreed to move forward with an offshore gas project with Eni (ENI.MI).
Despite a plan for national elections, the political situation remains fragile, and armed factions have shut down production repeatedly since the ceasefire that ended the last bout of fighting in October 2020.
The North African country is strategic in the global economy as its oil reserves are the largest in Africa and among the ten largest globally.

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Morocco restricts tomato exports to manage high domestic prices. Smart move?



The head of Morocco’s main fruit and vegetable exporters’ group has revealed the country restricted tomato exports since late February with a total ban in place from last week until Thursday to lower domestic prices.

The head of the Federation of Moroccan Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables (FIFEL), told journalists that the Agriculture Ministry had agreed on a daily quota of tomato exports last month before stopping all exports from March 18 to 22, with a lower quota of 700 tonnes a day from Thursday.

Higher-priced produce such as cherry tomatoes, which represent more than half of the North African country’s tomato exports, are not included in the restrictions, Aderdour said.

He further revealed that exporters were given a quota of 1000 tonnes but that was less than the usual 1500 tonnes they used to have.

“We are failing to honour our long-term supply contracts,” one trader said, noting that most contracts with British clients are signed a year ahead at fixed prices.

“The credibility of Morocco as a stable tomatoes supplier to both the EU and UK market is at stake,” he added.

The ministry is yet to respond to Reuters calls for comment and did not immediately answer a request for comment.

Morocco’s central bank recently increased its benchmark interest rate for the third time in a row by 50 basis points to 3% as part of measures to fight inflation.

Food inflation jumped to 20.1% last month, bringing general inflation to 10.1%, a level unmatched since the 1980s.

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