Morocco’s abundance of phosphates serves electric car battery production ambitions

Morocco’s abundance of phosphates serves electric car battery production ambitions

The African Development Bank said that Morocco’s large phosphate reserves are a key factor in the country’s transformation into a global center for the production of electric car batteries.

According to the Cheriffian Office of Phosphates (OCP), Morocco has more than 70% of the global reserves of phosphate, and its main uses are currently in agriculture through the production of phosphorus, the main component of fertilizers.

According to the North African Economic Outlook report issued by the African Development Bank on  Thursday, the current trend in electric cars is based on replacing “lithium-ion” batteries made of nickel, manganese and cobalt (NMC) with “lithium-iron-phosphate” (LFP) batteries.

The same source indicated that phosphate-based batteries remain cheaper, safer, and last for a long time compared to their cobalt-based counterparts.

In 2022, the OCP produced 40.7 million tons of phosphate, of which 10.3 million tons were exported as raw material, 7.1 million tons of phosphoric acid was manufactured, and 1.9 million tons of main inputs were exported.

African Development Bank experts recommended Morocco to develop its production of phosphate and phosphoric acid to manufacture LFP batteries for electric cars, and indicated that the use of phosphate and iron would enable the Kingdom to provide a competitive cost in this field.

According to the data of the report, mineral exploitation represents 10% of Morocco’s gross domestic product, 90% of which concerns phosphates, an activity that recorded a record last year in exports of about 115.5 billion dirhams, an annual increase of about 43%.

The African Development Bank suggested providing incentives to encourage the manufacture of batteries locally and the development of value chains for electric cars, given the availability of cobalt, phosphate and iron materials, which will enable the reduction of financial obstacles to investment in green technology.

These recommendations come at a time when electric mobility is attracting significant investments in Morocco. Last week, the National Investments Committee approved investment projects worth 22.5 billion dirhams in this field, and four other projects were given a strategic nature, mainly related to batteries, at a value of 113.8 billion dirhams. .


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