Pakistan to privatize fertilizer company

Pakistan's Privatization Commission has invited prospective investors to prequalify to participate in the privatization of Pak Saudi Fertilizers Ltd. The long-profitable firm owns a large ammonia-urea plant at Mirpur Mathelo, Sukkur district, in Sindh province.


KARACHI�Pakistan's Privatization Commission has invited prospective investors to prequalify to participate in the privatization of Pak Saudi Fertilizers Ltd. (PSFL). According to the commission statement, PSFL's sales exceeded 3.8 billion rupees in the 1998-99 fiscal year, and the company has a 15% share in the domestic urea market. Total pretax profits in 1998-99 exceeded 2 billion rupees, and the total profit for last 5 years has been about 7 billion rupees.

Urea fertilizer produced by the company has a ready local market and export potential, says the commission. And there is uninterrupted availability of natural gas from nearby Mari gas field, which serves as the main supply of raw material for PSFL's ammonia-urea plant.

The plant is at Mirpur Mathelo, Sukkur district, in Sindh province. Commissioned in the early 1980s, it is the largest single-train urea plant in Pakistan, producing 1,000 tonnes/day of ammonia and 1,740 tonnes/day of urea. The ammonia plant is based on Haldor Tops�e AS's process, while the urea plant is based on Snamprogetti SPA's process.

PSFL employs 902 persons. Net investment at cost in fixed assets was 2,558 million rupees as of June 30, 1987. The company's foreign exchange requirement has been met with loans from the Government of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Fund for Development, and Asian Development Bank.

If the privatization plan for PSFL is similar to those announced previously, Pakistan's partner in the concern, the government of Saudi Arabia, will receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale commensurate with its ownership in the firm.

Pakistan is in the process of privatizing many state-owned companies.

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