Venture has completed infrastructure work for the project in Ras Az Zawr, on Saudi's Gulf coast
A phosphate joint venture between Saudi Arabia Mining Co (Maaden) and Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) will start production in the third quarter of 2011, Maaden said on Wednesday.
Maaden said in a statement on the Saudi bourse website that it had completed the infrastructure work for the project in Ras Az Zawr, on Saudi's Gulf coast and had started testing most units.
Separately, the company announced the retirement of its chief executive.
"The company rescheduled trial production whereby it will start in the second quarter of 2011 instead of the fourth quarter of 2010 with the completion of the infrastructure," Maaden said.
"It (the project) is expected to start commercial production in the third quarter of 2011," Maaden added.
When completed, the 20.6 billion Saudi riyal ($5.5bn) project will produce 3 million tonnes per year (tpy) of diammonium phosphate (DAP), Maaden said.
Maaden and Sabic are doubling capacity at a fertiliser plant to 6 million tpy. The project will use phosphate from al-Jalamid and local gas and sulphur supplies to manufacture the fertiliser diammonium phosphate (DAP).
The mine at Al Jalamid has started production, Maaden said.
"The project is expected to be completed within the estimated cost," Maaden said.
In a separate statement, Maaden said its board accepted the retirement of CEO Abdullah al-Dabbagh at the end of 2010. Dabbagh will remain a board member.
Khalid al-Mudaifer, who is vice president for the phosphate unit and new business development and marketing will replace Dabbagh as CEO from Jan. 1, 2011, Maaden said.