OCP Group, one of the leading exporters of phosphate rock, phosphoric acid and phosphate fertilizers in the world, has suspended its shipping activities in Kenya.
The Morocco-based firm, formerly known as the Office chérifien des phosphates, made the announcement after it was alleged that a vessel with fertiliser from Morocco fled to the high seas to avoid cargo safety tests.
“Following the publication of a sensational and misleading article in the Daily Nation on 28 June 2018 headlined Ship vanishes over cargo safety tests, OCP wishes to set the record straight,” the company said in a statement.
OCP is a 10100-year-old Moroccan State-owned company with a global presence. The African company is the world leader in phosphate related products with an annual production capacity of 12 million tonnes of fertilizers. OCP generates approximately $5 billion of annual revenues, employs more than 21,000 staff members, and serves several hundred customers on five continents.
Morocco has 73% of the world’s phosphate reserves to which OCP has exclusive rights.
In light of this established reputation, OCP termed the accusations as grave and unfounded. The company added that the allegations prompted the Group to temporarily suspend any further product shipments to Kenya forthwith.
“This was to allow OCP Kenya to, as a matter of priority, dedicate all its energies and resources to provide full support to the mandated authorities, until the matter is fully resolved,” the company added in its statement.
OCP Group was founded on August 7, 1920, in Morocco and transformed into a limited company (OCP SA) in 2008. In February 2016, the OCP Group created a new subsidiary named OCP Africa, which is responsible for leading the development of the group on the African fertilizer market through a network of subsidiaries in five African countries, including Kenya.
In the context of the recent accusations, OCP made the decision to reroute the vessel MV MYKONOS BAY. OCP stressed that the vessel was rerouted while on international waters and the cargo had been inspected and a certificate of conformity (COC) issued by multinational inspection company, Intertek on behalf of Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), a regulator for products entering the Kenyan market.
“This unforeseen inconvenience to our esteemed customers is highly regretted, but does not question our commitment to Kenya’s Agricultural development,” said OCP Group officials.
“OCP maintains the highest ethical standards in its production and business operations at all times. Our governance is based on strong values anchored in integrity, ethics and a commitment to the highest levels of quality assurance,” added the firm.