• Date: June07 – 09 , 2015
  • Committee: Technical
  • Place: Amman, Jordan


AFA organized, in cooperation with AFA Jordanian member companies, the 28th Technical International Conference, in Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, during the period 07 – 09 June, 2015, in Le Royal Hotel, under the title “Arab Fertilizer Affecting Future Sustainability” and the with sponsorship of the following Jordanian companies:

  • Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC)
  • Arab Potash Company
  • Nippon Jordan Fertilizer Company
  • Indo-Jordan Chemicals Company Limited (IJCC)
  • Arab Fertilizers and Chemicals Industries (KEMAPCO)

The three-day Conference included five sessions, during which 19 working papers were presented. When selecting the previous working papers, it has been taken in consideration to include nitrogenous, phosphate and potash fertilizer industries issues, accordingly, tackling the following:

First Issue: best applied techniques for nitrogenous, phosphate and potash fertilizers

Second Issue: equipment, operation, maintenance and removing congestions of fertilizers factories

Third Issue: best usage of raw materials and feedstock in addition to saving energy

Fourth Issue: health, safety and environment (HSE) and the most important practical applications in fertilizer factories

All of the above were pinpointed in addition to the case studies provided by Arab companies, which reflect distinct experiences in fertilizer industry field, particularly with reference to energy saving, natural resources and HSE.

The Conference was attended by AFA Board members, Chairman of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Lord Bill Jordan together with concerned organizations and companies’ chairmen. Furthermore, around three hundred and fifty participants from across the world joined the event that received great attention from Arab and international specialized fertilizer companies.

Dr. Shafik Ashkar, AFA Jordan Fertilizer Industry Representative, inaugurated the Conference with a welcome speech, in which he mentioned being honoured to be involved in AFA work for ten years having a clear and responsible goal, i.e. serving Arab fertilizer industry.

He added saying that Arab fertilizer industry is enjoying a distinctive international status. Also, he highlighted that the distinct status of companies working within Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association is an asset contributing in putting such companies at the vanguard of international companies, with regard to efficiency, productivity and abiding by HSE standards. It was further noted that such pioneering giant companies, in the Arab Gulf region, are led by remarkable industry leaders on both regional and international levels. Emphasizing on such status and underscoring such leaderships, with Arab and international consensus a great Arab industrial leader was selected to chair the International Fertilizer Association (IFA).

Dr. Ashkar highlighted the following points in his speech:


  • MENA region, in which the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is deeply rooted, is abundant with natural resources, namely natural gas, phosphate, potash, sulphur and secondary nutrients required for soil fertility, fruitful crops, successful farmers and sustainable agriculture. Jordan is characterized by a relative advantage that is a stock of phosphate and potash, which are the main components for the strength of agricultural crops and the backbone of fertilizer industry in general.
  • These nutrients are of continuous benefit for plants, and thus for food security in the MENA region and other internationally served societies. Nevertheless, the coming generations significantly depend on current generation keenness upon the best usage of such resources, which is the case from one generation to another. Therefore, each generation should preserve such resources in order to fulfil the coming different generations’ needs.
  • Accordingly, striking a balance between current needs and the coming generations’ rights undoubtedly require equally rational management of natural and environment resources, i.e. water and energy; fertilizer industry cornerstone. More efficiency is further required by using renewable energy sources such as solar energy, decreasing carbon resulting from fertilizer processes and reducing industrial wastes to its minimum or zero level.
  • Middle East region, including 5% of world population, is the most dried region across the world, as its share of fresh water does not exceed 1%. Hence, shortage in water and lands are among the main determinants that threaten food security. However, with better consideration to water usages and preservation of soil health and fertility, better food production and life essentials will be provided for the region people. More investment in research and development, to entrench good practices in agriculture field in line with the region climate and soil conditions, are also borne in mind.
  • Fertilizer industry is considered one of social and economic development pillars in the region as a whole, including inter alia Jordan. This success is highly affirmed by the close relationship existing between Jordanian companies and official institutions. We thus should strive, surmount challenges and work on harmonizing our interests with that of our countries, taking environmental issues in consideration, in the best way possible.
  •  Responsible fertilizer industry abides by producing fertilizers and related products, which are expanding soundly and appropriately, to fulfil current and future needs, whether with reference to crops production or other industries. To note, good practices within the framework of HSE should be at the core of our work culture, namely production phases, manufacturing processes, factories, work site, road and transportation means. Our main priority should be zero tolerant with regard to unsafe practices.
  • In line with all of the previously mentioned, and with the increasing world population rapidly rising from 7 billion to 9 billion in 2050, which is after a generation and a half from now, it is confirmed that no industry can bear a responsibility greater than ours; achieving food security for all and eradicating hunger. 


In conclusion, Dr. Ashkar wished the meetings fruitful discussions and constructive results, commending the Conference program valuable working papers and sessions together with the presence of such a galaxy of speakers; exchanging expertise, experiences and enriching the Conference work and enhancing fertilizer industry system regionally and internationally.


The speech of Chairman of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) H.E. Lord Bill Jordan followed Dr. Ashkar’s, in which The lord  began his speech by congratulating Dr. Jawahery, AFA Chairman, IFA Chairman & GPIC President for his recent appointment as IFA President, while  praising his responsibility to operational safety, health and environment,  taking into careful consideration his commitment to sustainable development.

The lord then introduced the idea of hazardous incidents proving the lack of safety emphasizes in various occasion by demonstrating multiple Statistics of occurred disasters in the industry. He also mentioned a study in Pakistan University that helped portray how these disasters could have been prevented.

The lord stressed upon the significance of occupational safety and advised all company leaders to continuously remind themselves of the crucial adverse effect of occupational incidents on any organization's reputation!!  He stated that safety equals a successful business, in which he mentioned while quoting Dr. Jawahery that safety is not considered as a burden or issue for accomplished companies like GPIC. He mentioned that GPIC made and surpass the standards RosPA placed .. showing strong leadership across the world Fertilizer industry.

The lord then discussed an extremely interesting topic that incorporates both safety and leadership. He stated that Leadership is key to transform companies and countries. Where he used Jordan as a testimony to true leadership and HM King Abdullah and late King as excellent examples of true leadership making Jordan as an island of stability in perpetual term oil.

The lord stressed upon the relationship between leadership and occupational safety in which he explained that the various hazardous incidents that occurred before are a result of the organization's leadership negligence that have had a drastic effect on its workforce. It makes sense I believe that in the absence of strong and solid safety procedures in an organization, the employees are the ones who suffer the consequences.

Hence, safety and health needs to be embedded in every organizational decision.

The lord also encouraged the interaction between management with the workforce, to train and involve, basically to give and take back. He quoted Shakespeare by saying "wisdom cries out in the street and no one regards it"

Toyota was an example of a company that was small an unknown and transforming into a leading company by harvesting wisdom of its workforce and continues improvement


He stated that in our rapidly evolving and innovative world, unparalleled technological advancement, Knowledge is here and is the most powerful tool in the planet and we should grasp it!


The speech of AFA Secretary General Engineer Mohamed Abdullah Zain followed Lord Jordan’s, in which he started by welcoming the participants in Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, being the land of civilizations and centre of cultural, touristic and historical enlightenment. He wished that all the attendants would enjoy Jordan monuments of mosques and churches, touristic centres in Amman and Aqaba, therapy centres in the Dead Sea and Ma’ Main.  

He then extended his thanks and appreciation to the King, government and people of the Hashemite of Jordan for continuously hosting the Technical International Conference. This affirms Jordan fertilizer stakeholders concern with fertilizer industry in general to push forward economic and social development. Mr. Zain also expressed in his name and on behalf of Board members all thanks and appreciation to AFA Jordan member companies for their support to the proceedings of such an important technical event.

He added saying that Arab countries are keen upon developing fertilizer industry, which is one of the national economy important sectors in the region. Such an endeavour is taking place within the framework of achieving sustainable development, for being part of the sustainable support to the agricultural sector, in order to combat hunger and enhance food security across the world.

 Heading from AFA policy of boosting the concept and culture of sustainability in fertilizer factories, entrenching the interaction between member companies to exchange expertise and running in line with the new technological huge advancements in the surrounding environment, AFA embarked on setting a strategic plan to develop AFA performance in the coming years. Such a plan has established an AFA vision of “Human First ... Food Security Foremost” and encouraged AFA members to carry out their entrusted roles. To elaborate, these roles are represented in:  the best utilization of available natural resources, utmost achievement of added value, effective contribution in economic, social and agricultural development and enhancement of fertilizer production efficiency, including all agricultural nutritional components. In addition, storage and transportation methods were taken in consideration to support food security and combat hunger.


Mr. Zain then presented the methods for fulfilling such goals, mechanisms of implementation and the established schedules in order to achieve the objective of Human First, namely paying attention to human health, safety and environment; supporting and building human leading, administrative, technical, economic and social capacities and with regard to all fertilizer industry specializations; saving and best usage of production inputs, raw materials and energy; improving water utilization.

  1. Increase productivity through technical rehabilitation and development, expand existing fertilizer factories capacities and encourage the establishment of new projects and factories.
  2. Efficiently utilize modern media means and communication system and raise fertilizer industry image among media means.
  3. Encourage and boost scientific research to serve all fertilizers related fields.
  4. Entrench the approach of coordination, cooperation and exchange of expertise in all fields between AFA member companies.
  5. Bridge the gap between Arab companies and related international organizations from one side and AFA members from another side.
  6. Develop member companies by increasing economic resources and requirements and identify opportunities, challenges and obstacles.
  7. Increase the geographical scope of AFA work to reach fertilizer consumers outside the Arab region.
  8. Develop AFA secretariat work through the revision of working systems, regulations and administrative structure.


Engineer Zain then quoted Winston Churchill words “however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”  


Bearing in mind the above quotation, the plan first fruit was reaped after a short period of four months, important of which is the establishment of working groups that presented their achievements in three sessions.


In a nutshell, such working groups’ achievements were as follows:

Health, Safety and Environment Working Group (HSEWG)

  • Issue annual HSE performance report for member companies (Performance Metrics Reporting).
  • Prepare report on best HSE practices applied by AFA member companies (Best HSE Practices in AFA Companies).
  • Encourage companies on adopting corporate social responsibility (Corporate Social Responsibility)
  • Introduce AFA member companies to responsible care concept and set a plan to prepare companies to obtain (Responsible Care Certificate).
  • Adopt UN principles, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and (Global Compact).

Energy Saving Working Group (ESWG):

It pursues the promotion of energy saving policy in fertilizer factories by adopting the following methods:

  • Set monitoring and targeting standards, indicators to measure energy saving performance efficiency in fertilizers factories (KPI)
  • Carry out energy checking and auditing activities (Benchmarking).
  • Establish a database for member companies implemented projects in the field of energy saving.
  • Design a matrix for trainings and qualifications related to energy saving and management and form related team in companies.
  • Entrench energy saving culture among AFA member companies.

Communication and General Affairs Working Group (CGAWG)

It aims to develop the media mechanism and market AFA goals, activities and proceedings through the following:

  • Expand the scope of work with fertilizer related electronic sites.
  • Assign a representative for each country and perhaps each company to communicate with the secretariat in order to exchange and disseminate subjects and reports serving fertilizer industry.
  • Mainstream all AFA periodicals (seasonal periodicals – reports – magazines – newsletters …) in all related ministries and associations inside the country (Ministries of Industry, Agriculture and Environment, CSOs …)

Agriculture Working Group:

It targets strengthening relations between AFA and agricultural sector in Arab region, through the following:

  • Enhance cooperation between AFA and agricultural research centers in Arab countries in order to effectuate AFA role in the agricultural field.
  • Issue agricultural periodicals and reports
  • Support research projects in which AFA is involved.
  • Contribute in developing agricultural extension and the best usage of fertilizers.

It was worth noting that AFA is convening specialized technical workshops aiming to identify the state-of-the-art technological developments and exchange expertise in significant issues for the sustainability of the production process, including:

  • Ammonia Tanks Integrity Management & Inspection Challenges : “Being in Control”
  • Zero liquid Discharge
  • Process Waste Heat Boilers Integrity

It has been also indicated that any technical information derived from such Conference working papers or by networking with concerned experts definitely lead to increasing factories efficiency; removing congestion and avoiding factory stoppage thus become a tool for change and human being protection. The Secretary General then expressed his wish that the distinguished participants would benefit from such a remarkable technological opportunity.

To conclude, Engineer Zain re-thanked the Jordanian companies sponsoring such a Conference for their distinct support, organization and hospitality, which definitely result in the success of such a remarkable technical event. All thanks also to the distinguished participants for their attendance.

He further wished the gathering all success to fulfill all the noble set goals and prayed God to protect the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The Conference was accompanied with an industrial exhibition, in which 15 companies presented the latest technological developments in all fertilizer industry sectors and related technical and engineering services provided in this regard.

Papers and materials: