Ma’aden opens its new regional office in South Africa

Maaden 11 MaySaudi Arabian Mining Company (MA’ADEN), Saudi Arabia’s national mining champion has announced the opening of a new regional office in South Africa

The announcement was made at the Mining Indaba Conference, taking place from 9 to 12 May 2022.  

In 2019, Ma’aden strengthened its presence in the African market with the acquisition of Mauritius-based fertiliser distributor, Meridian Group, one of the largest fertiliser distributors in Africa. As a result, Ma’aden has a network of operations across Eastern and Southern Africa, from Malawi to Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Zambia with 35-65% market share in the four countries. Beyond Meridian Group’s regional distribution operations, Ma’aden’s fertiliser business currently has a direct market share of 48% in East and South Africa combined.  

Robert Wilt, CEO of Ma’aden, commented on the new office, “We are pleased to expand our international presence with a new regional office in South Africa. The announcement reinforces our commitment to the African agriculture market, as it is a strategic growth area for our fertiliser business, and part of our long-term value creation plan to grow Ma’aden into one of the top miners in the world. 

Africa is one of the world’s fastest growing agricultural regions and will generate approximately 30% of global demand for phosphate fertilisers over the next decade. Most of this demand will come from East and South Africa, regions that are near Saudi Arabia. Our new office will allow us to better service South Africa and its neighboring countries, offering supply chain solutions for farmers as we expand our phosphate production volume in the near term to support food sustainability programmes in several African countries.”

Ma'aden’s fertiliser business consists of two mega production plants at 6 MMT annual capacity. As one of the largest suppliers of fertiliser to South Africa, Ma’aden is key player in contributing to food security.  

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IFU and Norfund invest in CBI

AdobeStock 253272599 1IFU and Norfund have invested US$27.9mn in Continental Blue Investments Ghana Limited (CBI), to increase local production of cement in Ghana and install the world’s largest calciner system to date, which will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20% tonne cement produced

IFU and Norfund have invested US$27.9mn in Continental Blue Investments Ghana Limited (CBI). The company is one of the leading producers of cement in Ghana and operates a 550,000 tonnes p.a. facility outside Accra in southern Ghana. The cement is sold under the brand name Supacem for commercial, industrial and residential construction projects, as well as complex infrastructure.

The new investment supports CBI’s plan to almost triple the production to 1.4 metric tonnes annually. As the production of cement is one of the heaviest global emitters of carbon, the investment includes the building of a 405,000 tonnes per annum clay calcination unit, which is the world’s largest calciner system to date.

The purpose is to use locally sourced calcined clay instead of imported clinker, which is a major contributor to the high emissions from the production process. The substitution will lead to a reduction of carbon emissions by up to 20% tonne cement produced without compromising the quality of the product. Including the sale of calcined clay to other cement producers in Ghana, the total avoided emission is expected to be close to 30% compared to current production technology.

The introduction of calcined clay in the production of cement supports the green transition and is in line with the EU green taxonomy, that sets an upper limit for CO2 emissions intensity.

FLSmidth delivers technology and equipment

The Danish company FLSmidth will deliver the technology and equipment for the expansion of CBI’s production as well as the clay calcination unit. CBI expects both financial and environmental return on the investment from lower CO2 emissions, energy and fuel saving and reduced cost from clinker imports.

“The production of cement is a very large contributor to global carbon emissions, but the product is also indispensable when it comes to developing infrastructure, including wind parks, for example. With this investment we support the green transition by reducing the carbon footprint whilst increasing locally produced cement that will contribute to Ghana’s further development,” commented Torben Huss, CEO of IFU.

“We are excited to partner with and support CBI’s leadership team, its Board and its existing investors, and look forward to actively working with these stakeholders and our co-investor partners IFU and FLS to support this proactive company in their market-leading effort to reduce carbon emissions in an essential sector for development – cement manufacturing. The added benefits of job creation and import substitution for Ghana are of great importance to us as well,” said Naana Winful Fynn, regional director for West Africa for Norfund.

“The significance of this order cannot be overestimated – clay calcination is yet another example of how the cement industry is responding to the need for more environmentally friendly processes. The CBI project in Ghana marks a key milestone in the green transition of the industry,” said Carsten Riisberg Lund, president, cement industry at FLSmidth. 

IFU’s investment is made on behalf of the Danish SDG Investment Fund, which is backed by large Danish pension funds and private investors.


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