Phosboucraa is a subsidiary of OCP Group, the world’s leading producer and exporter of phosphorous in all its forms, including phosphate-based fertilizers, phosphoric acid, and phosphate rock. Phosboucraa operates in Morocco’s Southern Regions where it mines, beneficiates and markets local ore which represents 2% of Morocco’s phosphate reserves. It is in the process of opening a state-of-the-art fertilizer complex as well.
As part of OCP Group, our intention is to maximize the positive impact of phosphate by bringing investment and social development to the area. Phosboucraa is the largest private employer in the region with a workforce of more than 2,000 employees, at least 75% of whom are native to the region, a rate which has risen from just 4% in 1977. Management has worked hard to ensure that new hires are trained and empowered to take up roles that share in the region’s mineral wealth. We are committed to building a genuinely sustainable business that empowers the communities around it.
Phosboucraa was originally founded in 1962 by the Spanish state-owned entity Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI). In 1976, OCP S.A. became the majority owner of Phosboucraa Today, Phosboucraa is a wholly owned subsidiary of OCP S.A.
Of Morocco’s 50 billion tons of phosphate reserves located in different ore deposits throughout the country, approximately 2% are in Phosboucraa’s region of operations. Phosboucraa operates a mine and port facility and is working on a state-of-the-art fertilizer complex.
All profits earned by Phosboucraa’s are retained and reinvested in the Southern Provinces. No dividends are distributed to OCP S.A., its parent company.
The new ocean wharf which is 3.45km long, was an investment to upgrade the port capacity which previously could process 3 million tons of cargo per year. Today the ocean wharf capacity has been increased to 5.2 million tons of cargo a year and OCP are also investing in new washing and flotation unit plus new drying and storage facilities to support this significant expansion project.
Phosboucraa is currently engaged in a USD $2.2 billion development plan to move operations up the value chain from raw materials to intermediate products and phosphate-based fertilizers by 2022.
In terms of local wages and revenues generated by local businesses, there is an expected net benefit, both direct and indirect, of some USD $3.7 billion and the creation of up to 5,000 new jobs. This sum will serve as a sustainable source of prosperity and development for the region far beyond 2022.
At least 75% of Phosboucraa’s employees are local to the region – a significant improvement from just 4% in the 1970’s when OCP initially took ownership of Phosboucraa. Local recruitment is a central focus, and today 100% of new employees come from the region and are hired locally. Growth of local employees has occurred at all levels. As training and educational opportunities in the region have increased, the percentage of local employees in specialized areas of work, in particular, has risen steadily. Indeed, local employees have gone from 24% of Phosboucraa’s specialized workers in 2002 to over 70% today. Moreover, Phosboucraa’s operations support an additional 50 local companies which operate as subcontractors and in turn employ more than 600 people from the local community.
Yes. 100% of Phosboucraa’s profits are retained and re-invested in the Southern Provinces. Such a commitment contributes to operational enhancement and exclusive focus on regional development. It also spans across all aspects– economically, educationally and socially.
The Phosboucraa Foundation was established in 2014 to administer Phosboucraa’s social sustainability programs in the Southern Regions. The Foundation promotes the socio-economic development of the region, both professionally and for the well-being of local communities. The Foundation focuses on four primary areas: encouraging education; improving the local economy; enhancing and promoting the local natural and cultural heritage; and revitalizing the area through urban innovation programs.
The Foundation is very young, but from the positive impact it has already had, we see it as the beginning of something special for the whole region. To date, it has impacted more than 60,000 people from the local communities, mainly young people, women and farmers. The Foundation’s ambition is to extend its programs and strengthen their scope, in order to reach as many people as possible among the 600,000 inhabitants of the region.
The Foundation aims to better connect the region’s communities and Phosboucraa, using Phosboucraa’s resources and skills to empower local populations. The Foundation does not just work with people near Phosboucraa’s sites, but also for the benefit of the entire population of the Southern Provinces. In all three Southern regions, Guelmim-Oued Noun, Laâyoune – Sakia El Hamra and Dakhla – Oued Eddahab, the Phosboucraa Foundation has invested in education, healthcare, and empowered local communities to establish businesses and enhance their livelihoods.
The Foundation initiated the creation of the Foum El Oued Technopole dedicated to innovation, Research and Development in the Sahara region. The Technopole is a smart city of 600 hectares housing an academic and research center, a business center, a cultural center, museum, commercial, residential, educational and sports facilities.
This project’s main objective is to contribute to the sustainable development of the Sahara and to the well-being of the local population by boosting socio-economic development and stimulating the local economy. This is done in collaboration with reputable local and international partners to stimulate local investments and create more job opportunities.
The Technopole entails an investment of USD $200 million and is home to a university, schools and a skills center, cultural and sporting facilities, as well as facilities to partner with local businesses. The university, which is a branch of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Benguerir, will be pivotal in bringing world class research and education to the Southern Regions.
The impact of the site will go far beyond its 600-hectare footprint. The Technopole will improve educational outcomes, allowing students to stay in their region while studying at the highest level. This is one way to combat ‘brain drain’ (the movement of highly-skilled workers away from the region), and empower more students who may have been deterred by either the cost or distance of other establishments to study.. Education is the foundation of progress. Students are the real catalyst for change – sharing ideas and skills throughout their working lives so that knowledge spreads within the entire ecosystem.
Beyond hiring and secondary employment, Phosboucraa has invested in skill-building within the local community to enhance access to opportunity. The Phosboucraa Foundation has established learning centers in Laayoune and Dakhla in partnership with Amideast to develop capabilities and improve employment opportunities for people from the region, focusing in particular on youth and women. Over 6,600 young people from the community have been trained at the Laayoune skills center alone.
Phosboucraa has also built preschools and primary schools, each with a capacity of over 1,000 pupils, for the children of Phosboucraa employees and the broader community. A junior high school in Laayoune with 18 classes and 560 students is also currently being developed. This is in addition to a specialized training center in Laayoune which prepares workers from the region for employment specifically at Phosboucraa.
The goal is to provide the local community with the capacity and resources to address the challenges and opportunities of the region. It has been OCP’s experience that these investments create virtuous cycles in which local development and innovation sustains and enhances life in the region as well as the company. It is a philosophy adopted wholeheartedly by Phosboucraa.