WALVIS BAY - Walvis Bay Salt Refiners, the largest producer of solar sea salt in sub-Saharan Africa, has invested in an N$93.6 million new salt processing plant at the harbour town.
The new wash plant that was inaugurated yesterday by the minister of industrialisation, Tjekero Tweya, can process 220 tonnes of salt per hour and 450 tonnes per day, making it the single biggest capital investment since the inception of the company in 1964.
According to Tweya, Walvis Bay Salt Holdings clearly supports the initiatives of his ministry – that is to see Namibia transforming into an industrialisation economy.
“This company, without a doubt, constantly explores new opportunities for organisational development to enter into smart partnerships for increased value-addition and to improve the bottom-line that will ultimately improve our economy to create more jobs for Namibians,” he acknowledged.
He noted the company is evidently an evolving business that continues to grow its capacity with breakthrough initiatives in the most sustainable and ecological processes.
Tweya then explained the company is aiming to enhance local value addition in support of the government’s growth at home strategy.
“They produce salt for the chemical sector and general purposes, as well as state-of-the-art table salt for the 330 million SADC market. These are the strategic initiatives that will create jobs for our people to reduce unemployment levels,” he acclaimed.
Managing director of the company Andre Snyman said they produce solar sea salt by pumping seawater from the Walvis Bay lagoon through a series of concentration and crystallisation ponds.
“The evaporation process takes place between 18 to 24 months to ultimately form a thick layer of salt crystals on crystalliser pavements, which are mechanically harvested, washed, dried and stored to yield chemical-grade or general-purpose salt, supplied in both bulk and bag formats,” he explained.
He added the new plant is also anticipated to lower processing losses while ensuing a drier product, lower power consumption, as well as significantly increasing the plant’s intake capabilities and support in terms of harvesting and haulage operations at a constant feed rate.
“Initially, the new plant has had a few challenges but the team have met them all since construction in 2018. The plant is also located in the Kuiseb river delta close to the sea, which made it necessary to cast raft foundations on a sand basis – just 300mm above the water level on the site. The harsh, highly corrosive environmental conditions also required special design and standards to ensure a plant life of more than 30 years,” he explained. -email@example.com
Eveline de Klerk
2020-02-25 06:57:14 | 1 months ago