By Sami Zaptia.
London, 22 September 2020:
As a sign of the start of normalization of Libya’s hydrocarbon sector, the Libyan Norwegian Fertilizer Company (LIFECo), announced yesterday that it had shipped 8,000 metric tons of ammonia using M.V Gas Snapper from its Marsa Brega port.
The company hoped that it will now be able to resume operations at least in a phased manner and that this will be the first of many shipments with the decision to resume Libyan oil production and exports which would mean LIFECo would receive gas supplies to operate its factory.
LIFECo is a joint venture created during the Qaddafi regime in 2009 between Libya’s state National Oil Corporation (NOC) (25 percent), Libya’s state sovereign investment fund, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) (25 percent) and Norwegian fertilizer giant, Yara (50 percent).
The beleaguered company has been struggling due to the political and military instability in Libya. In January 2019, the NOC suspended natural gas supplies to LIFECo pending settlement of its unpaid debts then of LD 210 million and Euro 31 million owed to Sirte Oil Co, and over US$ 80 million owed to the NOC.
In June 2019, and after protracted negotiations, the NOC announced that an agreement had been reached with LIFECo and that the NOC was resuming gas supplies. In July LIFECo announced it had resumed ammonia production, as the first stage of fertilizer production.
LIFECo had said that production had started at its second ammonia plant, AMM2, to be followed directly by production at its first ammonia plant.
It had further reported that the initial production of liquid ammonia (NH3) at its AMM1 plant will go on to become urea fertilizer in quantities that would cover the needs of the local Libyan market and local agricultural projects which should aid the local farming sector and local food production.