Fertilizer consumption in the Syrian Arab Republic has grown strongly, especially during the past two decades. The growth of total nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P2O5), and potassium (K2O) consumption between 1975 and 2000 is shown in Figure 3.
The Syrian government has invested heavily in expanding domestic fertilizer production capacity to meet the rapid growth in fertilizer consumption. These investments were encouraged by the discovery in the late 1960s of substantial deposits of rock phosphate, oil and natural gas that can be used as raw materials for fertilizer production. Figures 4 and 5 illustrate the development of domestic production and consumption of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers in the Syrian Arab Republic during the period 1975 to 2000.
Figure 3 Total fertilizer consumption in the Syrian Arab Republic
Figure 4 Domestic production and consumption of nitrogen fertilizers
Figure 5 Domestic production and consumption of phosphate fertilizers
The domestic production of fertilizers increased during the period 1975 to 1983 to reach a peak in 1983 when it was approximately equal to the total consumption. However, domestic fertilizer production then declined, essentially due to serious technical problems.
Fertilizers are produced at a complex near Homs in central Syrian Arab Republic. The first facility, originally built in 1972 to produce calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) with 26 percent N, was upgraded in 1984 to produce a 30 percent N product. The maximum capacity is 36 000 tonnes of N per year. A second manufacturing unit, for urea, commenced operation in 1981: it has a maximum capacity of 267 000 tonnes of urea (or 123 000 tonnes N) per year. A triple superphosphate (TSP) plant, operating since 1981, has a maximum capacity of 315 000 tonnes TSP (or 145 000 tonnes P2O5) per year.
The Syrian Arab Republic depends on imports to cover the difference between domestic production and consumption. This difference represents a large proportion of its fertilizer needs in some years for both N and P2O5. The amount of N and P2O5 imported into the Syrian Arab Republic was particularly high during the period of 1985 to 1995 (Figure 6), when the domestic fertilizer production was very low.
Figure 6 Fertilizer imports in the Syrian Arab Republic