On Saturday, March 5, the CEO of the Gafsa Phosphate Company (GPC), Romdhane Souid, said the publicly owned company had recorded losses of an estimated 5 billion TND since 2010.
Souid was speaking at the opening of a workshop being held from March 5 to 6 on “The reality and prospects of the phosphate and fertilizers sector,” organized by and in the presence of Minister of Energy and Mining Mongi Marzouk.
Romdhane Souid said the GPC’s phosphate production was down 60%, since 2010 down to an annual production of 3.2 million tonnes in 2015.
In February, Hafedh Ben Yahiya, the CPG’s Production Manager told TAP that “commercial phosphate production had not exceeded 361,000 tons from January 1 to February 6, down 41% compared to the same period last year.”
According to Reuters “Tunisia produced about 8.26 million tons of phosphate in 2010, but in the four years since 2011 output totaled only 11.2 million tons,”
Production at Metlaoui, Gafsa Governorate, which produces 60% of Tunisia’s phosphate, has been brought to a halt by sit-in protests blocking roads and rails since January 2016.
The drop in production is due to roads and railways being blocked by protests of striking workers or unemployed locals demanding employment.
According to Souid statement’s on Saturday the volume of transported phosphates decreased from 7.3 million tons in 2010 to 2,300,000 tons in 2015.
Souid said that the CPG, if allowed to resume regular production rates could produce 8 million tons of phosphate per year.
A mark which Souid said would allow the CPG to break even.