The GCC fertilizer industry must continue to focus on sustainability, adopting clean production principles and green economy standards at various stages of production to maintain a growing footprint in the global fertilizer market as a leading global center for the production and supply of fertilizer, Dr Rashid Ahmed bin Fahd, UAE Minister of Environment and Water said in Dubai.
GCC fertilizer output will reach 32 million metric tons by 2016
The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association estimates that annual output will reach 32 million metric tons by 2016, compared with 21 million tons last year. Within five years, the region is set to corner 36 per cent of global urea exports and a quarter of the world trade in phosphate fertilizers.
“This could be achieved through the formation of strategic partnerships with those who are operating in the environment and agricultural development fields, and increasing investment towards making this industry more green, so that we may play our rightful role in achieving regional sustainable development,” Dr Bin Fahd said.
The industry’s expansion in the UAE is aligned with the national strategy for a green economy
He said that the industry’s expansion in the UAE was aligned with the national strategy for a green economy launched earlier this year by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“The UAE has supported the fertilizer industry since the first factory opened in the country in 1977,” said Dr Bin Fahd. Today, there are 34 plants in the UAE, including 27 organic fertilizer plants and seven chemical fertilizer plants producing various fertilizer compositions.”
Policies are issued to achieve optimal usage of fertilizers and to limit the negative impact of overuse
He said the UAE’s attention was focused not only on expanding the number of plants and their production capacity, it also encompassed developing trading regulation for fertilizers through the issuance of a number of policies and the development of plans aimed at achieving optimal usage of fertilizers to limit the negative impact of overuse.
“The fertilizer industry in the GCC has become increasingly important in view of its contribution towards meeting the need for increased fertilizers supply to support higher level of production for food crops. Given that, it is widely believed that securing steady and increased fertilizer supply to global markets will contribute to shielding the world growing population from food shortage and existing food prices spikes,” Dr Bin Fahd said.
The fertilizer industry is growing at around 7.5 per cent a year
With the industry growing at around 7.5 per cent a year, Gulf manufacturers can establish the region as a global hub for fertilizers and play an increased role in meeting world food demand, expected to increase 70 per cent by 2050.