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Tunisia doubles phosphate output, produces 1.3 million tonnes in Q1 2022

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In the midst of political uncertainty in Tunisia, the North African country has managed to double the production of phosphate to1.3 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2022.

A senior official in government-owned Gafsa Phosphate told a journalist on Sunday that the new feat doubles what the country achieved during this same period last year.

Phosphate is the natural source of phosphorous, an element that provides a quarter of all the nutrients that plants need for their growth and development. Phosphorous is used in many products and is an essential ingredient in all fertilizers.

According to Statista, “in 2019, the total production of phosphates in Tunisia exceeded 1.1 million metric tons. This represented a peak in the period under review. The country’s phosphate production increased compared to the previous year when it stood at around 813 thousand metric tons.”

Reuters reports that Tunisia was once one of the world’s largest producers of phosphate minerals, which are used to make fertilizers, but its market share fell after the 2011 revolution that eventually spread across the Arab region. Raising the production and export of phosphate would provide a valuable boost to Tunisia, which is suffering a financial crisis and is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Tunisia continues efforts to take back its position as a leading exporter of phosphate to take advantage of a sharp increase in fertilizer prices due to the war in Ukraine. Gasfa Phosphate’s Production Manager, Rafaa Nssib revealed that the country “aims to produce 5.5 million tonnes of phosphate this year compared to 3.7 million tonnes last year”

Recall that one of the largest fertilizer plants in the world was recently launched in Nigeria. With Tunisia’s progress in the production of phosphate which is a key ingredient for fertilizer production, Africa might be set to rule the world in that space. Hopefully so.

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World Bank predicts Mozambique economy growing at 5.7% on average

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The World Bank has predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024, as a result of demand recovery and economy benefits from the start of liquefied natural gas production this year.

In a report released Thursday, the World Bank said the start of LNG production at the offshore Coral Project and the expected resumption of other LNG projects would help spur the southeast African nation’s growth in the intervening year.

The World Bank said a three-year extended credit facility arrangement agreed by Mozambique with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and budget support from other partners would further help to strengthen its economic recovery.

The IMF’s executive board had, in May, approved a $456 million program for the country, the first since the global lender suspended support to Mozambique six years ago.

However, the World Bank warned that risks remained for Mozambique’s growth, especially from rising import prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, a possible surge in COVID infection waves, and insurgency in the north.

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Nigeria, Algeria, Niger to revive Saharan gas pipeline talks

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The governments of Nigeria, Algeria and Niger Republic have held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The three countries, represented by their various Petroleum Ministers, met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday and resolved to set up a task force to revive the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study.

A statement by Niger’s Oil Ministry after the two-day meeting stated that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project estimated at $13 billion, could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The statement added that the energy ministers of the three countries will meet again in Algiers at the end of July to “validate the proposals of the newly installed task force.”

“The pipeline should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” the statement said.

“With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe,” it said.

The gas pipeline idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago with an agreement signed between the three countries in 2009, but progress stalled stalled following a lack of follow through by the countries.

Earlier this month, Nigeria also took steps to revive another gas pipeline project that would pass through West Africa, Morocco to Europe.

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