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Chinese firm wins bid for Saudi phosphorus project
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Guizhou Hongfu Industry and Commerce Co., Ltd. has won the bid for a Saudi Arabia beneficiation project, the company announced on Thursday.


The Chinese phosphorus chemical giant successfully tendered to construct a concentrator capable of processing 12.5 million tons of ore to form an annual phosphorus concentrate production capacity of 5.3 million tons. The 350 million U.S. dollar contract has a construction period of 28 months.


After the project's completion, the phosphate concentrate would be sent to an Arab Gulf industrial base via rail for the production of 1.5 million tons of phosphoric acid annually. It would then be used to product diammonium phosphate (DAP).


The project is part of a 5 billion U.S. dollar phosphorus project invested by Saudi Arabia mining company Ma'aden. It is the world's largest in terms of one-time investment.


Guizhou Hongfu is the only Chinese company involved in the project. Hongfu and Ma'aden will sign a formal contract on December 9 in the Saudi capital Riyadh, according to Hongfu Chairman He Haoming.


"The project marks the entry of China's phosphate fertilizer industry into a phase of technology export," He said.


Hongfu is a large state-owned enterprise involved in phosphorus mining, phosphate and compound fertilizer production.


Known as the world's largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia's phosphate reserves were estimated at 3 billion tons. After the completion of first phase of the Ma'aden project in 2011, the annual DAP production capacity was expected to reach 3 million tons.


At present, China is the world's largest producer of and market for phosphate fertilizer. This year, the country was expected to consume 6 million tons of DAP. Total global sales of DAP was forecast to hit about 20 million tons.


(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2007)

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