The fact that there has been a transaction between Paradeep Phosphates and Phosphates de Boucraa SA – the trading entity which is a subsidiary of OCP for production and export and sale of phosphates from Western Sahara - can be deducted from the annual reports from Paradeep's owner Zuari Agro.
During the financial year 2011-2012, according to the company’s own annual report, Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd (formerly called Zuari Holdings) purchased and paid goods/raw material from Phosphates de Boucraa SA for a value of 460,314,000 Rupees. On 9 May 2012, 54 Rupees equalled 1 USD. Value of the purcase friom Boucraa in 2011-2012 was thus according to the annual report at 8.5 million USD – which is the precise value of the cargo of a bulk vessel containing around 50.000 tonnes of phosphates. At the end of the year, there was an «Outstanding balance» of 178,100,000 Rupees from Zuari Agro Chemicals to Phosphates de Boucraa. WSRW has not managed to identify which bulk vessel was behind this 2011-2012 shipment.
For the financial year 2012-2013, only a tiny purchase from Boucraa of 2660000 Rupees was accounted for: equalling 3700 Euros. During the financial year 2013-2014, no purchases were accounted for. The lack of larger figures during the financial years could be due to the accounting practice or transparency. However, WSRW has traced no shipment during this period.
WSRW started to systematically monitor the vessel traffic in Western Sahara waters from autumn of 2012. This shipment to India seems to have taken place shortly before.
About the company PPL has two shareholders: Zuari Maroc Phosphates Ltd. (ZMPL), controlling 80.45% of the shares, while 19.55% are owned by the Government of India.
ZMPL is in itself a 50-50 Joint-Venture between Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd (a subsidiary of Adventz Group of India) and Maroc Phosphore S.A (a subsidiary of OCP Groupe of Morocco). ZMPL isa so-called Special Purpose Vehicule established by the two latter with the purpose of acquiring the stake in PPL – a stake originally fully owned by the Government of India. Said in other words: Paradeep is today owned by the Government of India, the Government of Morocco and the private company, Adventz an Indian conglomerate involved in a wide number of businesses in India, from fertilizers to furnitures and finances.
The mother company Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd is highly controversial one, even without taking into consideration the sourcing of the phosphates. The company has been blacklisted by several investors for its use of child labour. Those controversies are associated with Zuari Seeds Ltd, 100% owned by Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd. In 2013 Zuari Agro Chemicals was excluded from the Norwegian government pension fund due to alleged use of child labour.
Notice that the figures in the annual reports below are in «Lacs» - 100.000 Rupees.
From ZACL annual report 2014: «PPL manufactures and markets complex phosphatic fertilisers and intermediary products such as Phosphoric Acid and Sulphuric Acid, which are crucial in the manufacture of phosphatic fertilise` All the products are marketed under the popular ‘Navratna’ brand. PPL’s portfolio caters to almost all agricultural applications. PPL’s plant is located in the port town of Paradeep in Odisha, with an installed annual capacity of 7,20,000 Metric Tonnes of DAP and other phosphatic fertilisers. PPL achieved Gross turnover of ` 4,231.07 Crore and posted a Net loss after taxation of ` 125.89 Crore for the year ended 31st March, 2014.»
Paradeep Phosphates uses Paradip port for its imports. It seems Paradeep Phosphates have no facility in Tuticorin, which is the port of imports to India for shipments in 2013 and 2014.
WSRW sent the mail to Paradeep and its owners Zuari on 9 Feb 2015, and has not received reply.
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.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.