Of all Ma'aden mining products, none is as essential to life as phosphate. Phosphates are a naturally occurring form of the element phosphorus, one of the three primary nutrients--nitrogen and potassium are the other two--required for photosynthesis and crop growth. At Ma’aden, the company mine phosphate rock and process it into phosphate products, including di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP), the most widely used ammonia phosphate fertilizers in modern agriculture.
Ma'aden's vision is to be among the leading players in the global phosphate trade. As the global population continues to grow, the demand for protein-rich food increases while arable land per capita declines. Fertilizers – including ammonia phosphate fertilizers – play an important role in boosting crop output and contributing to stable food supplies around the world. The global demand for phosphorus is increasing by about 1.5 million tonnes a year.
With our natural phosphate deposits in the north of the country, access to sulfur and natural gas for processing and proximity to promising markets in South Asia and East Africa, we are in a strong position to serve this global need.
Ma'aden phosphate business consists of three mega-projects:
Ma’aden Phosphate Company (MPC)
MPC is a joint venture between SABIC (30%) and Ma’aden and represents a USD 5.6 billion (nearly SAR 21 billion) investment. It operates at two primary sites: Al Jalamid in northern Saudi Arabia, home to the company phosphate mine and beneficiation plant, and the Eastern Province’s Ras Al Khair, where Ma'aden integrated chemical and fertilizer facility is based.
The mine produces close to 11.6 million tonnes of ore per year, and the beneficiation facilities up to 5 million tonnes of concentrated phosphate rock per year. Ma'aden has made significant infrastructure investments in Al Jalamid, building a power plant, potable water, and communications facilities, and transport networks that make the company exploration and production viable.
From here, concentrated rock is taken by rail to Ras Al Khair for processing in our network of facilities including phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid, ammonia, DAP granulation, and desalination plants. At full capacity, MPC can produce 3 million tonnes of DAP annually, most of which are sold to international markets.
Ma'aden's second big project is the fully integrated MWSPC, a joint venture between Ma’aden (60%), SABIC (15%) and the US-headquartered Mosaic (25%), the world’s largest producer of phosphate fertilizers. With around USD 8 billion (over SAR 31 billion) investment, the new complex includes seven large world-class plants and associated facilities, making it one of the largest phosphate complex in the world.
MWSPC can produce 3 million tonnes of fertilizer products (such as DAP, MAP and NP/NP K fertilizers), as well as 440,000 tonnes of other downstream products (such as purified phosphoric acid used in food industries, sodium tri-polyphosphate used in detergents, and di-calcium phosphate and mono-calcium phosphate used to produce animal feed).
Complementary plants to produce ammonia and ammonia phosphate-based fertilizers were built near the port facilities at Ras Al Khair; the North-South Railway links the twin sites. When the project started up in 2017, it became a great source of pride for Saudi Arabia and elevated Ma’aden’s stature as a leading player in the global phosphates market.
In late 2016, Ma’aden announced it was launching a feasibility study to define a third world-class phosphate fertilizer project to be based in the Wa’ad Al Shamal area. In October 2018, Ma’aden signed a USD 892 million (SAR 3.35 billion) engineering, procurement, and construction with South Korean company Daelim to build the first of the several plants under the project: 1.1 million tonnes per annum ammonia plant.