Although OCI started as a small, family-run construction business, it has grown into a global powerhouse based in the Netherlands and listed on Euronext in Amsterdam. Over its seventy-two-year history, the company has diversified and transformed itself into a leading producer and distributor of nitrogen products and methanol. OCI serves agricultural and industrial customers and is using its influence to encourage sustainable practices and limit environmental impact.
Each year, OCI produces about 16.1 million metric tons of nitrogen, fertilizers, diesel exhaust fluid, and other nitrogen products. Farmers use those nitrogen fertilizers to improve crop yields while diesel exhaust fluids injected into vehicle systems limit emissions.
The scale and reach of the company mean it has the opportunity to impact communities through meaningful green initiatives. In March 2021, OCI’s leaders presented their latest sustainability plan, which includes a decarbonization strategy.
Executive Chairman Nassef Sawiris presented the official ESG strategy, saying, “Hydrogen is the fuel and feedstock of the future and will also play a vital role in achieving global decarbonization ambitions.” Ammonia and methanol, two key OCI products, will power the hydrogen transition and decarbonize the transport sector.
Almost all OCI’s facilities can use solar and wind energy, and CEO Ahmed El-Hoshy says renewable production processes mean the company can supply hydrogen-poor countries in Europe and build the supply chain to boost Asia’s green transition. “OCI’s European assets, which include an ammonia import terminal in Rotterdam, are strategically positioned to play a major role in fulfilling Europe’s hydrogen import needs as demand ramps up,” he said in the organization’s annual report.
Bobby Owens, general counsel at OCI Americas, says the company is well positioned to make an impact in the chemicals market and is further diversifying its products to become greener. In 2019, OCI established Fertiglobe, the world’s largest exporter of nitrogen fertilizers. Today, Fertiglobe is producing lower-carbon blue and green ammonia that aid in the decarbonization efforts.
The plan is part of an overall commitment that impacts everything OCI does. The company optimizes its fertilizers to minimize soil nutrient loss and water runoff. It also minimizes its environmental footprint by investing in advanced technologies that reduce emissions. Each OCI plant implements a robust water management process, and partnerships with industry organizations help encourage sustainable farming. Additionally, OCI is now planning to reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 20 percent by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
Government regulations and changing customer preferences are pushing demand for green, sustainable, and decarbonized products higher and higher. OCI is ready to meet that demand. The company is developing more products and initiatives in these categories and is committed to adding even more low-carbon products to its portfolio. As OCI approaches its seventy-fifth anniversary, it has a strong foundation and a clear purpose to “cultivate a sustainable world through cleaner fuel solutions, lower carbon feedstocks, and food security.”