The Managing Director of OMNIFERT, a local fertiliser blending company, Mr Michael Zormelo, has said the anticipated increase in gas production should help in establishing a petrochemical industry in the country.
He explained that a petrochemical industry would use the natural gas to produce a key ingredient – urea- needed to produce fertiliser to support agriculture.
Mr Zormelo told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS that it was time to develop the industry that would create jobs locally while boosting agriculture.
“With the gas prospects, the way to go is to have a petrochemical industry. Because why do you want to flare the gas? Why do we always have to send the raw materials to other countries, and then import finished products?”
“We need to start now so that whatever we can use the gas for, we do so. We will then employ more people and export the product instead of exporting the raw material and importing finished products,” he told the paper on the sidelines of the 2017 West Africa Fertiliser and Agribusiness conference in Accra.
He, however, explained that his company, OMNIFERT, would not be able to use the gas directly to produce fertiliser because it blended three main ingredients needed to produce fertiliser, and it was therefore important to have an industry with competent players that would use the natural gas to produce urea that the local companies could buy for blending.
“We are doing blending, which is different from the production of urea from the scratch. The gas would be used to produce urea and we would now to go to the urea company to buy and use for our blending.”
“There are three key components of fertiliser, which are urea, potash and phosphate. In order to have a blend which is used on the farm, you need to put these three ingredients together. Somebody has to produce the urea for you, somebody has to give you the potash and phosphate and you then put it together to get your fertiliser,” he said.