UNITED Capital Fertilizer Company Zambia Limited (UCF) has sealed a US$531million deal for an extra ultra-modern production plant to be built by Wuhuan Engineering, Production and Construction firm of China, reports *Francis Lungu* .
The ultra-modern second fertilizer plant will be producing a combined 480 metric tonnes of ammonia and urea fertilizers annually.
UCF which was established in 2021 as a subsidiary of the Wonderful Group of Companies Limited, constructed it’s first multi-purpose fertilizer plant in Lusaka west at an investment cost of US$138million with an annual production capacity of 300,000 metric tonnes. This project was completed in September this year.
According to UCF board chairperson Chance Kabaghe, the new plant will be producing 180metric tonnes of ammonia and 300, 000metric tonnes of area.
Mr Kabaghe said 2,500 jobs will be created at the construction stage of the plant while 1,800 direct jobs will be available during the operation stage.
Mr Kabaghe said UCF has been in negotiations with Wuhuan Engineering Company, one of the world’s largest engineering firms for eight months culminating into the signing of the deal on December 2, 2022.
He said Wuhuan Engineering has been appointed to execute the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the new ammonia and urea plant.
“The signing of the EPC contract today is an important milestone as it signifies the commencement of the ammonia and urea project, which will make Zambia self-sufficient in fertilizer production by 2026,” Mr Kabaghe said.
The project is expected to have an impact on the value chain as 100 percent of raw materials will be sourced within Zambia.
This project, according to Mr Kabaghe, is the single largest investment in the agriculture value chain in the Zambia’s history.
And Wuhuan Engineering Company vice president Wang Jiayi said since it’s establishment 1958, the company has executed over 2,578 projects and constructed multiple ammonia and urea plants across the world.
“Wuhuan Engineering brings significant EPC experience to this project. The construction of this state-of-the-art plant will take 36 months and will deploy the latest climate-resilient technology, which is compliant with the Equator Principles on environment protection,” Mr Jiayi said.
UCF was contracted by government to deliver 63,000 metric tonnes of of both ammonia and urea fertilizers for the 2022-2023 cropping season and by December 15 it is expected to finish the distribution in the assigned provinces of Muchinga, Luapula, Northern and Western, according to Mr Kabaghe.