KARACHI: Engro Fertilisers Ltd is exploring an opportunity to export urea to South Korea.

The East Asian nation in looking to import urea from Pakistan after its supplies took a hit because of the recent limitation on the export of urea and other fertilisers from China, says a press release on Thursday.

A delegation of Engro Fertilisers Ltd met the South Korean ambassador to discuss the possibility of making the export.

Company CFO Imran Ahmed said Pakistan was a net importer of urea until 2012 as domestic manufacturers faced capacity constraints.

However, the local industry invested around Rs162 billion in new plants and capacity expansions, resulting in an increase in the domestic production capacity by two million tonnes.

Mr Ahmed said the fertiliser industry has an idle capacity of 800,000 tonnes on an annual basis as domestic demand is hovering around 6-6.2m tonnes. “If granted permission by the government, the industry can start making exports within 30 days,” it said, adding that the move will generate foreign exchange inflows of over $700m on the current spot basis.

Urea manufacturers utilise low quality — low British thermal unit or BTU — gas for which adequate reserves for the next decade and beyond are available. Moreover, untapped reserves of low BTU gas in the country can be put to use to earn the much-needed foreign exchange, Mr Ahmed was quoted as saying.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2021

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