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EcoPhos invests €60 million in innovative Dunkerque plant

24 Aug 2015 | Investment, Advanced Materials

Belgian phosphate producer EcoPhos is building a €60 million phosphate production plant in Dunkerque—its first site in France. The unit is expected to create 100 jobs by 2017.

First phosphate plant in France

EcoPhos, a Belgian producer of dicalcium phosphate for animal feed, is building a €60 million phosphate plant in Dunkerque—the company’s first in France.

Innovative plant

With global phosphate resources running low, EcoPhos has found an innovative, low-cost source of the chemical in Europe. “We will be the first to process sewage sludge ash, which contains 24% phosphates. It’s the new urban mine,” says Yannick Vancoppenolle, head of development at EcoPhos.
The new plant will also extract phosphates from ore. EcoPhos plans to import 400,000 metric tons of mineral ore through Dunkerque’s port infrastructures annually, producing 220,000 metric tons of phosphates and selling 80,000 in France.

Strategic choice for EcoPhos

The new plant is a strategic move for EcoPhos, which expects to raise its total phosphate output to 600,000 metric tons, boosting its coverage of the European market from 30% to 50% within five years.

The company chose its French site over the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, drawn by Dunkerque’s favorable industrial environment and available space at the Industrial City Dunkerque platform in the port complex. The new plant is expected to begin operations in 2017 and should create some 100 jobs.

About EcoPhos

Founded in 1996, EcoPhos is based in Louvain-la-Neuve, near Brussels and has sales of €150 million. The company has a workforce of 250, two production sites and a powerful research center, as well as ten phosphate extraction patents worldwide.

 

Sources: Les Echos, L’Usine nouvelle

 

 

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