TEL-AVIV, Israel, September 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
ICL (TASE:ICL), a leading specialty minerals company that fulfills essential needs of the world's growing population, today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding agreement ("MOU") with Duc Giang, a privately-owned Vietnamese company, in which the parties will cooperate in building and expanding a phosphate platform in Vietnam to serve the country and the wider South East Asian market. The agreement calls for joint activities to mine phosphate and to establish factories to process phosphate in the Bao Thang province of Vietnam for a variety of uses in ICL's 3 core markets: food, agriculture and engineered materials.
The MOU was signed in the presence of Vietnam's Ambassador to Israel in line with ICL's recent "Next Step Forward" strategy, and it is an expression of the two companies desire to enter into a process to seriously examine the possibility of future cooperation that would enable ICL to increase and diversify its mining sources outside of Israel, broaden its global activities in the phosphate sector and provide ICL with a growth engine for the primary markets in which ICL operates. Phosphates represent a key element of ICL's activities in the food, agriculture and engineered materials sectors, and the Company recently announced its intention to increase and expand its phosphate-related activities.
Building the platform in Vietnam is not intended to replace ICL's activities in Israel but aims to strengthen its overall franchise in the phosphate markets globally, especially in Asia. The new joint company may also supply several ICL customers and plants currently served by the Company's Israeli platform located in the Negev, should activities there cease due to the expiration of mining permits several years from now.Going forward, the two companies are engaging in joint activities to evaluate the expansion of phosphate mining activities in Vietnam, including the manufacture of downstream products based on phosphates, and both ICL and Duc Giang believe their cooperation will be productive and serve as the basis for the further expansion and intensification of cooperation between the two companies in Vietnam and surrounding countries. Duc Giang is a manufacturer of thermal acid (P4), and it is in the process of expanding its activities in this area, by, among other things, engaging in a project to broaden its fertilizer activities and produce phosphoric acid for the fertilizers and food industries. The two companies believe that cooperation between them will assist in the development of local industry in Vietnam, in general, and the phosphate industry, in particular. About ICL