Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers
01-November-2010 16:13 IST
India Signs A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Govt. of Syria for Long Term Cooperation in Phosphate Sector
India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Syria for long term cooperation and setting up of joint venture plants in Syria in phosphate sector. The MOU signed by the Secretary (Fertilizers) Shri Sutanu Behuria and the Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources envisages a broad framework of long term cooperation between the two countries through their respective fertilizer and mining entities for setting up of phosphatic plants and projects in Syria.

Syria is one of the countries, which has proven reserves of rock phosphate; estimated to 1700 million MT. Syrian mining and fertilizer company, General Company for Phosphates and Mines (GECOPHAM), which is responsible for mining operations in Syria, is presently able to exploit only about 4 million MT of rock phosphate annually. GECOPHAM is planning to up scale its productions to 10 million MT.

Earlier, based on a bi-lateral offer and the MoU signed between the GECOPHAM and the Department of Fertilizers in May 2009, Indian entities, MECON, RITES and PDIL have carried out a Consultancy Study for assessing feasibility of upgradation in infrastructure (port/rail/road) and mining sectors in Syria. Draft Feasibility Report (DFR) is under finalization between the Indian consortium and GECOPHAM. Government of India is funding the consultancy study at a cost of US$ 1.5 million. The study is expected to provide basis for the Syrian entity to up scale its production of rock phosphate and strengthen related infrastructure for its export and downstream processing. Syria will gain immensely by exploiting its natural resources by way of employment and foreign exchange. India will also gain since it will enable Indian mining and fertilizer companies to set up phosphatic projects in Syria. This would provide certainty of supply of phosphatic fertilizers to the country.

The Indian delegation led by Secretary, Department of Fertilisers Shri Sutanu Behuria had representatives from the Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF), Zuari Industries and Jubilant Organosys. The delegation visited Syria recently.