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Publication > Issue > Articles

A vision of fertility

Summary

The IFA International Fertilizer Award is made each year to scientists whose research "has led to a significant advance in the efficiency of mineral fertilizer use, and which has been communicated successfully to the farmer in the form of practical recommendations."This year's award to Professor Uzi Kafkafi fulfils these criteria perfectly, and he has achieved an unrivalled knowledge of the effects of all three primary nutrients on plant growth. He is also an active communicator, promoting advisory services in his native Israel and advising Haifa Chemicals and Rotem Amfert Negev, as well as other companies on fertilizer-related issues. In this interview, Prof. Kafkafi offers an exciting vision of achieving fertility in the least favourable conditions.

Abstract

From its inception in 1948, the state of Israel gained a reputation as a centre of excellence in agricultural science, and progress has been sustained over the subsequent decades as the country set the pace in attaining a high level of fertility in the least favourable circumstances. The knowledge accumulated by Israeli soil scientists and plant nutritionists has been made available throughout the world, and so it was singularly appropriate that this year, the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IF A) made its annual award to Professor Uzi Kafkafi of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The award cited "A lifetime of dedication and achievement in the field of plant nutrition research," and as an internationally-recognised plant nutrition scientist whose studies have included all three primary nutrients, Prof. Kafkafi's expertise must surely be unmatched in extending our understanding of the very different qualities of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

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Best for fertigation?

Summary

Haifa Chemicals Ltd. has announced a series of expansion plans which consolidate the company's lead in the market for potassium nitrate. The growing popularity of fertigation has ensured that this product is moving increasingly into the mainstream, and Haifa Chemicals is becoming a world-scale supplier of high-value products.

Abstract

Haifa Chemicals Ltd. is a recognised leader in the development and marketing of high-added value fertilizers, specialising in potash and phosphate products. The company was established in 1966 to exploit the minerals available in Israel using a patented process developed by the Israel Mining Institute. Today, Haifa Chemicals is the world's leading supplier of potassium nitrate, accounting for over 50% of global sales.

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Your high-value partner

Summary

The Rotem Amfert Negev group combines the strengths of Israel's valuable natural resources from the Dead Sea and the Negev Desert with renowned expertise in agriculture. The group is undergoing a corporate transformation, which will extend its role from a producer and supplier of raw materials and commodity products to an international marketer of high added-value, customised crop nutrition products. Rotem's new role is reinforced by a series of overseas partnerships and acquisitions, which have consolidated Rotem's production, marketing and distribution capabilities. These factors, along with expert agronomic support services, make Rotem a true partner for high-value fertilizers.

Abstract

The Israeli phosphaty; fertilizer producer, Rotem Amfert Negev, is an integrated company which mines, produces and markets worldwide. The Group business includes the mining, beneficiation and marketing of phosphate rock, sulphuric acid, fertilizer- grade phosphoric acid, food- and technical-grade phosphoric acids, powdered and granulated fertilizers (P, PK and NPKs) and MKP fully-soluble fertilizers.

The Rotem Amfert Negev group was established in its present form in 1992, following the merger of Negev Phosphates and the Rotem Amfert group. Both were subsidiaries of Israel Chemicals Ltd.

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DSW is ready for change

Summary

Dead Sea Works (DSW) pioneered the extraction of potash and other minerals from brines, and its products enjoy a worldwide reputation for high quality. The company continues to invest in new capacity to keep at the forefront of its traditional markets, but under new management, DSW is moving fast to extend its expertise into new products and markets, as described in this profile.

Abstract

T he year 1995 saw Israeli potash producer Dead Sea Works Ltd. (DSW) break all previous production records. Output of potash totalled 2.21 million tonnes, while sales totalled 2.45 million tonnes. This was supplemented by the production of 550,000 tonnes of various salts and 89,000 tonnes of magnesium chloride flake, with sales of81,OOO tonnes. (Table 1) These are indeed prosperous times for DSW. Sales revenues for 1995 amounted to $362 million-an increase of 22% compared with the 1994 total of $296 million, and up 48% from sales of $245 million in 1993. DSW enjoyed an operating income of $53.8 million last year, versus $35.1 million in 1994, and a 94% increase on the figure of $27.8 million posted in 1993. The company's net income for 1995 was $35.2 million, compared with $28.0 million in 1994 and $17.9 million in the previous year. (Fig. 1)

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A low-cost alternative

Summary

You plan to expand your fertilizer capacity but are daunted by the high capital cost of a new plant? A second-hand unit offers a 50% saving. This may be an appealing bargain. On the other hand, potential buyers may be aware of the attendant risks of buying used plant or equipment. The specialist dealers can help to minimise the problems, as described in this profile.

Abstract

The recent news that the US company, Universal Process Equipment (UPE), had been retained to liquidate the Romanian fertilizer producer, s.c. Archim SA, has created renewed interest in the use of pre-owned process plant and equipment as an economical alternative to constructing a new plant when companies seek to increase capacity. UPE is advertising the Aradbased complex for sale and has until the end of the year to find a buyer to acquire the facility en bloc. If Archim fails to attract a white knight investor, UPE will sell the plant and equipment piecemeal.

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A Springbroad for growth

Summary

Arab Potash Co. (APC) can be considered a jewel in Jordan's economic crown. Since the commercial extraction of potash from Dead Sea brines began in 1982, the company has been consistently profitable and a major contributor to Jordan's GOP. Now, it is poised for further expansion, which will bring APC into new markets and with new partners.

Abstract

Arab Potash Co. (APC) achieved record profits in 1995. At JD 42 million ($60 million), pre-tax profits were 75% up on the previous year's total~a rise that was attributed to increased sales, higher production rates and firm prices. Total sales amounted to JD 128.3 million ($182 million)~an increase of 32% on the 1994 total, fuelled by a revival in demand from APC's main export markets in Asia. Production rose by 15% to 1.78 million tonnes KCl, ahead of the target output of 1.7 million tonnes. The comparable 1994 figure was 1.55 million tonnes, and APC's sales were boosted by a new $120 million plant which raised capacity by 400,000 tla to 1.8 million t/a.

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Logistics are the key

Summary

The key element in Jordan's success in winning a commanding share of the fertilizer business in the rapidly growing Asian markets is the favourable c.& f. price of Jordanian phosphates and potash. This article looks more closely at the factors which reinforce Jordan's status in these markets: the excellent facilities offered by the port of Aqaba, and the growing expertise offered by Jordan's specialised shipping companies.

Abstract

Many Jordanians are p-roud to trace their ancestry from Bedouin tribesmen, which makes the country's growing emergence as a maritime nation all the more remarkable. Jordan's recent maritime achievements are further enhanced by the fact that the country has just one outlet to the sea: the port of Aqaba, which is situated at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba, at the eastern tip of the Red Sea. The Gulf of Aqaba is a busy marine highway, some 180 Ian in length and no more than 20 Ian in width. Aqaba is some 400 Ian south of Amman, and between 150-250 Ian from Jordan's phosphate rock and potash operations. I t is only 20 Ian from the Saudi border, and the port also adjoins the Israeli resort ofEilat. Not only is Aqaba Jordan's most strategically important city, but the port serves as a hub for sea-to-land routes for Jordan's Arab neighbours.

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