Lifosa lied about having stopped controversial imports

Lithuanian fertilizer producer Lifosa has taken in another shipment of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara, just months after having gone on record saying they would not do so again.
Published: 10.10 - 2016 17:28Printer version    
Western Sahara Resource Watch has received photos of the vessel SBI Flamenco, as it sailed into the port of Klaipeda, Lithuania on 8 October 2016. The bulk carrier contained an estimated 75,000 tonnes of phosphate rock from the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

See and download high resolution images below, taken this weekend in Klaipeda port. Free of use.

For a decade, Lifosa – a Lithuanian fertilizer production company – took in its imports of phosphate rock in that particular port. And, as Lifosa’s managing director Jonas Dastikas admitted to a Lithuanian national business newspaper on 3 October 2016, the cargo on board of the Marshall-registered SBI Flamenco was indeed also destined for Lifosa.

That is remarkable, given that in February this year, EuroChem, the Russian parent company of Lifosa wrote to WSRW that “… the Group does not intend to purchase phosphate rock from Western Sahara in 2016 or at any time over the foreseeable future.”. Download the letter from EuroChem to WSRW here.

The statement from the subsidiary to Lithuanian media is the complete opposite.

In its February 2016 letter to WSRW, EuroChem also claimed that it had only imported 68,000 tonnes of the controversial rock in 2015, as opposed to WSRW's estimates of 113,000 tonnes into Klaipeda port. WSRW took the company's word on it, looking into potential other Lithuanian takers. However, in view of the new turn in the Lithuanian story, it could be that WSRW's 2015 imports to Lifosa, as described in our P for Plunder 2015 report should also be re-evaluated.

Based on what seemed to be a positive development of Lifosa, WSRW on 11 July 2016 notified to UN initiative on corporate responsibility Global Compact that the grounds for our concerns with the company were no longer present. WSRW today told UN Global Compact to look away from that mail sent to the UN initiative.

The government of the Republic of Western Sahara, exiled in Algeria, has issued a letter of protest to Lifosa. "The Saharawi people have, through their government and civil society organizations, asserted their rights to what is a sovereign resource, protesting its taking at every opportunity", the letter reads. "Moreover, international law prohibits the removal of such resource from a territory under armed occupation and by which the facts are clear has been attempted to be annexed illegally by the Kingdom of Morocco.”

Download high resolution.

Download high resolution.

Download high resolution.

Download high resolution.

Download high resolution.



News archive:
12.02 - 2017Siemens dodges questions on Saharawi consent
09.02 - 2017This cargo from occupied Western Sahara is now to arrive France
09.02 - 2017Danish company stops salt imports from Western Sahara
02.02 - 2017EU looks to avoid energy imports from Western Sahara
25.01 - 2017Key Bay unloaded all cargo in Fécamp, France
24.01 - 2017Here is the Key Bay inside the port of Fécamp
23.01 - 2017Why the Key Bay imports are not in accordance with EU law
22.01 - 2017Key Bay just outside of port of Fécamp
18.01 - 2017Key Bay to arrive in France while complaints to be filed
14.01 - 2017Key Bay appears at Las Palmas horizon
13.01 - 2017Key Bay is now heading to Las Palmas
07.01 - 2017Fresh images: Key Bay inside the port
06.01 - 2017Here is the vessel that will transport fish oil to the EU
06.01 - 2017First ship to challenge EU Court ruling on occupied Western Sahara
04.01 - 2017Chinese Geron Energy might take over block in occupied Western Sahara


Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
Report: COP22 controversy - Moroccan green energy used for plunder


At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
The Western Sahara oil curse


Big oil’s interest in occupied Western Sahara has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Some companies are now drilling, in complete disregard of international law and the Saharawi people’s rights. Here’s what you need to know.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!


On 17 February 2013, in a mockery of justice, a Moroccan military court condemned 25 Saharawi citizens to shockingly tough prison sentences. Help us to release the Gdeim Izik 25. News Archive 2016 News Archive 2015 News Archive 2014 News Archive 2013 News Archive 2012 News Archive 2011 News Archive 2010 News Archive 2009 News Archive 2008 News Archive 2007 News Archive 2004-2006

Register for our English newsletter:

These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy