Israel Chemicals ends potash project in Ethiopia

JERUSALEM, Oct 6 (Reuters) -

* Israel Chemicals (ICL) said on Thursday its board had decided to terminate its potash project in Ethiopia.

* ICL, one of the largest suppliers of crop nutrient potash to China, India and Europe, cited the Ethiopian government’s “failure to provide the necessary infrastructures and regulatory framework” for the project.

* It also follows the Ethiopian tax authority’s “rejection of Allana Afar’s appeal regarding the unjustified and illegal tax assessment, which Allana Afar has declined to pay”.

* Allana Afar is a unit of ICL.

* The Ethiopian project was meant to be an alternative source of potash in case ICL failed to get its Israeli Dead Sea licence renewed after 2030 as well as an uncertain business and regulatory environment in Israel.

* ICL said the net book value of the investment in the project as of June 30 was $170 million. It will recognise in its financial reports an impairment of the investment amount as well as a provision for expected closing costs. (Reporting by Steven Scheer)