Published: Sep 21, 2014
Source: Peninsula Qatar

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Fertiliser sector set to grow: Qafco CEO

Al Sowaidi, Qafco CEO and Vice-Chairman, at the annual GPCA fertiliser convention in Dubai.

DOHA: Fertiliser industries in the Middle East is set to play significant role in the years to come by the virtue of their geographical location and easier access to raw materials, Khalifa Al Sowaidi, Qafco CEO and Vice-Chairman said in his opening address at the just-concluded annual GPCA fertiliser convention held in Dubai.

This year, the convention focused on challenges ahead for the industry in ensuring global food security. 

The world population which is projected to increase by almost one billion people within the next twelve years presents a huge challenge before us, he said. Emphasising on increasing yield per hectare, Al Sowaidi said: “With the talks of agricultural intensification gaining ground, the road map for our industry’s future is more or less defined. Augmenting production, product value addition, diversification and focus on research and development will be the drivers of growth in the coming years.”

On the role of regional fertiliser manufacturers, he said, “Parts of Africa, South East Asia and America will be the centres of population growth hence, fertiliser industries in the Middle east stand to play significant role in the years to come by the virtue of their geographical location as well as easier access to raw materials.” 

Speaking on sustainability, one of the key themes of the convention, Al Sowaidi said, “Adopting a sustainable approach to fertiliser production is a fundamental pillar of the industry’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and product stewardship. Efficient production of fertilisers via operational improvements is key towards improving fertiliser performance and efficiency, and in turn supporting nutrient efficiency.

At Qafco, through the adoption of state-of-the-art and energy efficient technologies, we were able to achieve 13 percent reduction in specific energy consumption for urea production, which consequently resulted in reduced carbon emission intensity of our products.”

Speaking on Qafco’s collaboration with universities of Qatar, he said, “Qafco has taken the lead to collaborate in research activities with local universities and provide facilities that will benefit many industries in Qatar, such as deployment of DeNOx technology. The company has signed an MoU with Qatar University to build and commission a heat exchanger pilot plant and appoint a Qafco Chair in Energy Systems at the College of Engineering (CENG). Through this initiative, we aim to strengthen collaboration between industry and academia to enhance the process of connecting research with education for achieving the objectives and priorities for Qatar.” 

Qafco has sponsored 25 students from Qatar to be part of the international convention.

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