The Lithuanian fertilizer company Lifosa has received at least seven bulk shipments so far in 2013. WSRW asks them to terminate its voluminous imports.
Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) estimates that Lifosa AB, a subsidiary of the Russian firm Eurochem, has received around 295,000 tonnes of phosphate rock from the Bou Craa mines in occupied Western Sahara this year.
Assaying the average value of phosphate in the year to date at around USD 170/tonne, the company has sponsored the Moroccan treasury with approximately USD 50 million in exchange for phosphate rock originating in the parts of Western Sahara that have been occupied by Morocco since 1975. That amount is higher than what the international community spends annually on multilateral humanitarian aid to the Saharawi refugees in Algeria - the legitimate owners of the phosphates that Lifosa is purchasing.
Seven bulk carriers have delivered the Saharan yellow gold to Lifosa at the port of Klaipeda, Lithuania: the m.v. Hemus and the m.v. Slavnik have both made two trips up north, while the m.v. Usolie, the m.v. Balgarka and the m.v. Imperius each are responsible for a single shipment.
Its massive imports bestow Lifosa with the title of second largest importer to date this year, its purchase volumnes only surpassed by US-Canadian fertilizer producer Potash Corporation.
Today, with a cargo of around 40.000 tonnes arriving in the port of Klaipeda, Lithuania, and with another 25.000 tonnes on the way, WSRW has asked Lifosa in a letter
"to immediately terminate its imports".
In June 2011, Lifosa was kicked out of the UN Global Compact initiative on Corporate Social Responsibility
for refusing to answer WSRW’s question whether the company would consider refraining from buying phosphates from Western Sahara. The company's sizeable imports have now answered the question for them.