Algerian public oil company Sonatrach and Chinese conglomerate Citic signed an agreement for the construction of a phosphate extraction and processing complex in Tébessa (630 km East of Alger), requiring a $6 billion investment, the official news agency APS revealed.
This complex which should enter into production in 2022 will help Algeria increase its yearly phosphate production from 1 million tons to 10 million tons.
According to the Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, the new complex will guarantee revenue of "about 2 billion dollars" per year.
Apart from the extraction of phosphate at Bled El-Hadba’s deposit in Tébessa, the complex will ensure the production of phosphoric fertilizer and ammonia acid as well as create 3,000 direct jobs.
Algerian Sonatrach and Asmidal-Manal own 51% of the firm and the Chinese consortium led by Citic owns 49% of stakes.
Algeria is trying to diversify its economy from oil which represents 95% of the country’s revenues in foreign currency.