ABIDJAN, May 17 (Reuters) - The African Development Bank has approved a $100 million loan for Nigeria’s Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals aimed at helping it boost fertilizer production, the bank said in a statement on Thursday.
The company, a unit of Singapore-based petrochemical producer Indorama, is seeking to double annual output of urea fertilizer from 1.4 million tonnes to 2.8 million tonnes, the statement said.
Once a net importer of fertilizer, Nigerian production has grown in recent years. In 2017, it exported around 700,000 tonnes of urea to markets in West African as well as North and South America.
Indorama Fertilizer’s increased output will target the export market but also seek to boost domestic supply to drive down prices.
Nigerian farmers still use much less fertilizer than their global and African peers due to high costs, leading to low crop yields that forced the West African nation to spend around $6 billion on food imports annually.
The AfDB financed the building of a Indorama Fertilizer plant via a previous loan in 2013. It went online in 2016. (Reporting by Joe Bavier Editing by Alison Williams)