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EBRD supports modernisation of fertiliser plant in Uzbekistan

By Anton Usov

  • EBRD providing US$ 12.5 million loan to fertiliser producer Indorama Kokand
  • Modernisation of existing facility to increase production and improve efficiency
  • Company commits to creating equal employment opportunities

Agricultural enterprises and farms in Uzbekistan and Central Asia, particularly the Fergana Valley, the region’s agribusiness hub, will be able to improve their cultivation practices and the planning of harvests following the modernisation of JSC Indorama Kokand Fertilizers and Chemicals (Indorama Kokand) supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The EBRD’s financing will contribute to the development and modernisation programme of Indorama Kokand’s plant. The financing will also be supported by a parallel loan of the same size from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

The financing will help the company to increase its annual output of fertilisers threefold to 350,000 tonnes and introduce energy-efficient equipment into the Indorama Kokand production facility.

Formerly known as the Kukon Superphosphate Factory, based in the city of Kokand, the state-owned company was acquired in 2019 by Indorama Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indorama Corporation, Singapore.

Indorama Kokand will also create equal employment opportunities. Modern training and recruitment practices will be employed to eventually increase the female share of the workforce at the enterprise to 25 per cent.

The company’s increased output of phosphate fertilisers will assist the growth of the agricultural sector in Uzbekistan. Advanced technologies used during the modernisation process of Indorama Kokand will serve as a benchmark for other enterprises in the country and across Central Asia.

“The privatisation of the Kukon Superphosphate Factory is part of the government of Uzbekistan’s plans to restructure the chemicals sector and increase its competitiveness. This project demonstrates our commitment to implementing the privatisation effectively and transparently to attract responsible and experienced investors like Indorama, who can take these enterprises to the next level of development,” said Sardor Umurzakov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan.  

Amit Lohia, Group Vice Chairman of Indorama Corporation, said, “We are proud of our roots in Uzbekistan since 2010 and are excited about our first fertiliser investment in the country. Our goal is to supply Uzbekistan’s fast-growing agricultural sector with high-quality phosphate-based fertilisers in the near future. This project also integrates well with our existing cotton-farming activity in the country. The financing of this project in the current global environment reflects Indorama’s strong long-term partnership with IFC, spanning three decades, and now also brings the EBRD in as a long-term partner.”

Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Director, Manufacturing and Services, said: “We are pleased to see Indorama’s commitment to realising investment plans in Uzbekistan despite the coronavirus pandemic. This is an important investment project in one of the priority sectors for Uzbekistan.”

The Fergana Valley is the most densely populated part of Central Asia, with nearly 14 million inhabitants – almost 20 per cent of the region’s population.

To date, the EBRD has invested €1.85 billion through 79 projects in Uzbekistan’s economy.

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