February 9, 2009 / 12:57 PM / 10 years ago

Yara completes $225 mln Libya fertiliser deal

TRIPOLI, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Norwegian fertiliser maker Yara (YAR.OL) sealed a joint venture deal worth $225 million with Libya on Monday, taking a 50 percent stake in a complex producing urea and ammonia in the north African country, the company said. The venture, which helps Libya diversify an economy heavily reliant on oil and gas exports, was agreed last July and involves the upgrade of the facility as well as production and marketing.

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) and the Libyan Investment Authority each retain 25 percent of the company, named Libyan Norwegian Fertiliser Company (Lifeco), while Yara’s Gianni Paci becomes its chief executive.

“NOC transfers to Lifeco the existing Marsa El Brega fertilizer assets, valued at $225 million, while Yara contributes to Lifeco the corresponding value in cash,” Yara said in a statement posted on a Libyan investment Web site.

The Marsa El Brega plants produce 700,000 tonnes of ammonia per year and around 900,000 tonnes of Urea, the companies said.

NOC will supply natural gas to Lifeco under a long-term agreement with a gas price linked to fertiliser prices, they added. (Reporting by Tom Pfeiffer; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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