United Capital Fertilizer Zambia Company Limited (UCF) was established in 2021 as a subsidiary of the Wonderful Group of Companies Limited (The Group). The Group was founded in 2011 as a strategic company to spearhead industrial development investments. The Group is specialized in pioneering and establishing greenfield manufacturing companies, based on local content enhancement and import substitution.
UCF was established to localize the manufacturing of compound fertilizers, urea, synthetic ammonia, and ammonium sulphate. To fulfil this objective, the company prepared a multi-phased strategic plan. The first phase of the strategic plan was to construct a compound fertilizer plant. This was accomplished this year at a total cost of USD 138 million, and this plant became fully operational in September 2022, with an installed capacity of 300,000 metric tons per annum.
As part of the company’s strategic plan, UCF has reached an advanced stage in the financing and preparation for the construction works for an ultra-modern second fertilizer plant to produce ammonia and urea. This constitutes the second phase, whose commencement we are witnessing today. This plant will have an annual production capacity of 180,000 metric tons of ammonia and 300,000 metric tons of urea, with total project costs of USD 531 million. UCF has been in negotiations with Wuhuan Engineering Co. Ltd (WUHUAN) for 8 months, culminating in the appointment of WUHUAN to execute the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) of an ammonia and urea plant. Since its establishment in 1958, WUHUAN has executed over 2,578 projects and constructed multiple ammonia and urea plants across the globe and brings significant EPC experience to this project. The construction of this state-of-the-art plant will take 36 months and will deploy the latest climate-resilient technology, which is compliant with the Equator Principles on environmental protection.
The signing of the EPC contract today is an important milestone as it signifies the commencement of the ammonia and urea project, which will make Zambia self-sufficient in ammonia and urea production by 2026. The construction stage of the plant shall create over 2500 jobs, and later 1,800 direct jobs at the operation stage. Furthermore, the project will have a huge impact on the value chain as 100% of the raw materials will be sourced within Zambia and will upscale productivity in the agriculture sector making Zambia a food basket in the region. This project also signifies the single largest investment in the agriculture value chain in the history of Zambia.