The Arab Potash Company (APC) is a company that is primarily involved in harvesting minerals from the Dead Sea. It is the eighth largest potash producer worldwide by volume of production and the sole Arab producer of potash. The Company was formed in 1956 in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as a pan-Arab business venture and it has a 100-year concession (1958-2058) from the government of Jordan that grants it exclusive rights to extract, manufacture and market minerals from the Dead Sea. It is headquartered in Amman and has its main plants at Ghor Al Safi. The company's stock is listed on the Amman Stock Exchange's ASE Weighted Index.
The site of Arab Potash Company (APC) is located 110 kilometers south of Amman and 200 kilometers north of Aqaba. The site is basically a Solar Evaporation Ponds System of an area of 112 km2 and processing plants. APC produces four grades of potash: standard, fine, granular and industrial grade potash through the following process:
- Solar Ponds: The process starts at the Brine Intake pumping station located on the Lisan peninsula where four intake pumps with a capacity of approximately 20 m3 per second deliver 250 - 300 million tons per year of Dead Sea water. The precipitated raw Carnallite is the raw material for producing potash is precipitated as mixture of Carnallite (KCl.MgCl2.6H2O) and NaCl. This bed is harvested as a slurry from beneath the brine and delivered to booster pumps on the dikes and then to the refinery through floating pipes.
- Processing Plants: The Hot Leach Plant: APC utilizes the hot leach process technology to produce high grade standard and fine potash, which includes the following units of operation: Carnallite Processing; Sylvinite Processing; Crystallization; Product Dewatering; Drying; Screening
- Industrial Potash Plant: Industrial grade Potash (KCl) is the premium form of Potassium Chloride (99.2% KCl min.) that is produced to meet the needs of the non-fertilizer sector.
- Cold Crystallization Plant I: The cold crystallization plant is independent of the hot leach facility. It is operated under ambient temperature and therefore requires less energy. It includes the following processes: Carnallite Receiving; Flotation; Crystallization; Cold Leaching; Drying
- Cold Crystallization Plant II: A second Cold Crystallization Plant (II) came into operation in September 2010 to give a total production of 450,000 tpy. The new plant is much similar to the Cold Crystallization Plant I, but it encompasses certain areas of modified processes and advanced technology. A new compaction plant was also installed to produce more than 250,000 tpy of high quality granular potash. The new compaction plant comprises a post-treatment unit to enhance the quality of granular potash.
Subsidiaries and affiliates
Arab Potash has several Dead Sea-area affiliates and subsidiary projects, including:
- Arab Fertilizers & Chemicals Industries (KEMAPCO) Established in 1998, KEMAPCO is a limited liability company wholly owned by APC. KEMAPCO produces potassium nitrate fertilizer (of which it supplies around 12% of world's total demand), dicalcium phosphate, animal feed and nitric acid, for markets in Europe and Asia.
- Numeira Mixed Salts and Mud Company is a limited liability company founded in 1997 and wholly owned by APC. Numeira produces "mixed salts" and "Dead Sea Mud" for the cosmetics industry. The company is the domestic cosmetic industry’s sole supplier of Dead Sea raw materials.
- Jordan Bromine Company (JBC), established in 1999, is a joint venture with Albemarle Holdings Company of the United States, dedicated to producing bromine and bromine derivatives, including tetra bromo bis phenol-A (TBBP-A), used as a flame retardant; calcium bromide, which is used in the oil drilling industry; sodium bromide, used in photography; and hydrogen bromide. JBC completed extensive expansion of its plant in the second quarter of 2013 at an investment of JD 120 million, which raised its production capacity to more than 200,000 tons annually.
- Nippon Jordan Fertilizers Company - was established in 1992 as a joint venture between APC, Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC), ZEN-NOH, Mitsubishi Kasei, Asahi and Mitsubishi Corporations. It produces NPK fertilizer and DAP Fertilizer (diammonium phosphate) exported primarily to the Japanese market.
Jordan Industrial Ports Company (JIPC) was established in 2009 as a joint venture between APC and the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC), following a memorandum of understanding signed in 2008 by APC and JPMC with the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) to refurbish, develop, upgrade, and expand the existing jetty. Implementation work started immediately after signing the operating and management agreement with ADC in 2013, and it was scheduled to be completed in 2016.