This year, it's five years since DSM Agro and DSM Melamine were acquired by the Egyptian Orascom Construction Industries group and continued under the name OCI Nitrogen. Those five years have flown by and that time has been well spent.
"It seems ages since both divisions were merged," says CEO Gert Jan de Geus. "A new name, adjustments to the organisation, coordinating systems…. Much more interesting is that after the merger we could focus on investing, making improvements and becoming stronger. Not only as regards capacity, but also with an emphasis on reliability, efficiency and sustainability. For instance, we have sharply increased the capacity of our fertilizer plants and developed a unique cooling system, which has ensured zero particle emissions. The urea plant has been extended and the Melamine 4 plant has been recommissioned. We have also made substantial replacement investments in our ammonia plants."
The investments in Geleen and in Stein harbour have resulted in much improved and quicker logistics operations. "We have introduced new barge loaders so that transport using kubel container wagons is now a thing of the past," De Geus explains. "Furthermore, we recently constructed a new loading facility for liquid fertilizers and ammonia. "And in our recently acquired ammonia terminal in Rotterdam, major maintenance is now being carried out and several new RVS tanks are being installed. In other words, never a dull moment, which means that we now have a considerably strong company than five years ago."
The parent company has also changed. Orascom Construction Industries became OCI NV and established its head office in Amsterdam, where it is listed on the stock exchange. OCI NV has now been demerged into a construction division and a fertilizer and chemical division and has announced that it intends to merge with CF Industries in the US. "I do not yet know what form the collaboration will take," says De Geus. "We must first complete the final negotiation phase and obtain the approval of various countries and bodies. We have faith in our own strength and every change offers opportunities to make further improvements. That much has become clear in the past five years."