Amman: President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday inaugurated a $860-million Indo-Jordanian fertilizer plant with King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussain that has been commissioned in less than a year in this Hashemite Kingdom.
The inauguration was done remotely from the King's Palace here, soon after Mukherjee arrived at noon on a special Air India flight, in what is the first visit to this country by an Indian head of state.
Officials said India's fertiliser cooperative Iffco and Jordan Phosphates Mines Company had formed a limited liability joint venture - Jordan India Fertilizer Company -- in 2008 to execute the project.
It aims to produce 4,500 million tonnes of sulphuric acid and 1,500 million tonnes of phosphiric acid per annum, besides related products.
Iffco and its affiliates hold a 52-percent stake in the venture, while the rest is held with the Jordanian company -- which will supply two million tonnes of rock phosphate per annum to the plant.
It is estimated that the project will generate around $300 million by exporting phosphoric acid to India. Iffco will convert it into di-ammonium phosphate and other phosphate-based fertilisers at its plant in Kandla in Gujarat.
The project will also give a major push to bilateral trade between the two countries, estimated at nearly $2 billion annually, officials said, adding Jordan was already India's key source of potash and phosphate.
(Arvind Padmanabhan, executive editor with IANS, is part of the accompanying media dlegation with President Pranab Mukherjee. He can be reached at email@example.com)