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Tunisia: phosphate production edges up 74%

The production of the Gafsa Phosphate Company (CPG) reached 2.087 million tons of commercial phosphate during the first half of 2014, with an approximate 74% increase compared to the same period 2013 where it was 1.2 million tons, TAP reported.

The production increase comes despite the vacillation of the production of phosphate and in Redeyef and its total stop in Um Larayes for most periods of the year, TAP added.

However, although positive, this increase has not allowed achieving the expected results for CPG, which was planning to reach 2,650 million tons, a lack of 21%, according to the interim director of production control Hafedh Ben Yahia.

Commercial quantities of phosphate were produced by Metlaoui washing units, with 727,000 tons, those of Kef Eddour with 567,000 tons and in the two production units of Mdhilla with 613,000 tons, while quantities from the recycling unit of Redeyef did not exceed 122,000 tons and from the unit Um Larayes were only 57,000 tons.

In parallel, the activities of the CPG are paralyzed at the extraction, production and transportation in Um Larayes, while they are marked by vacillation and instability in the delegation of Redeyef following sit-ins and protests.

The CPG is seeking to produce 5.5 million tons this year, but according to Hafedh Ben Yahia, this goal will be difficult to achieve, knowing, however, that production was more than 8 million tons in normal periods.

On the other hand, this company has succeeded in the first half of 2014, to improve its sales of phosphate, especially for local customers, with a total volume of 2.270 million tons against 2,000,000 tons during the same period of 2013, up 29.4 pc.

The Tunisian Chemical Group with its different factories located in Mdhilla (Gafsa), Gabes and Sfax is the main customer of the CPG, with amounts that have reached 2.988 million tons, while the Tunisian-Indian Society, based in Skhira (Governorate Sfax), acquired 182,000 tons during the first half of 2014.

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