The African Development Bank has loaned $250 million (193 million euros) to help development in Morocco's phosphate industry, which accounts for nearly a third of exports, MAP news agency said Friday.
The agreement, which was the first of its kind for a Moroccan company not to be underwritten by the state, was signed by the chief executive of the Sherifian Office of Phosphates Mostafa Terrab and AfDB representative Amani Abou-Zeid.
The funds will pay for "the construction of an industrial platform at Jorf Lasfar (south of Rabat), which will eventually accommodate several chemical complexes in order to increase capacity for the local transformation of phosphate into derived products (phosphoric acid and fertiliser)," said a statement issued after the accord.
"This will contribute to the attainment of objectives in the global programme to develop African agriculture and to provide for food security," the text added.
The AfDB is committed in Morocco to projects worth more than two billion euros ($2.6 billion).
Exports of phosphates and derived products account for almost a third of Morocco's international sales. These exports in 2011 leapt up by 31.8 percent, for a total turnover of 56.3 billion dirhams (about five billion euros).
The OCP employs more than 20,000 people.