19 Jul 2016 08:10am
WALVIS BAY, 19 JUL (NAMPA) - The expansion of salt pans by the Walvis Bay Salt Holdings (WBSH) Group has enabled the site to produce 1 million tonnes of salt per annum.
This is an increase from 750 000 tonnes per annum produced before the expansion that was launched by Vice-President Nickey Iyambo on Monday.
Iyambo encouraged local companies to focus on value addition and create employment for the people of Namibia.
For too long we have been a dumping ground for finished products from other countries and the time is now for us to change that, said the vice-president.
Referring to one of the shareholders, Ekango Salt Refiners that is 25 per cent owned by previously disadvantaged Namibians, Iyambo used the opportunity to thank WBSH for making previously advantaged Namibians business partners.
Speaking at the same event, WBSH Managing Director Andre Snyman said the pans were expanded from 4 500 hectares to 5 500 hectares at the cost of N.dollars 65 million.
He said the positive growth within the company has enabled them to undertake this investment, noting that as a direct consequence of this expansion, opportunities for further local salt beneficiation are created.
We are proud to announce that feasibility studies are currently underway in order to determine what WBSH can do locally to reduce the nations dependency on the importation of salt-related raw materials, said Snyman.
He clarified that amongst other things, they are investigating the local production of certain chemicals such as caustic soda for the local market.
Caustic soda or sodium hydroxide is an inorganic compound used in water treatment and the hospitality industry for cleaning kitchen equipment or unclogging drains.
He added that this initiative is in line with Governments growth at home strategy.
The company said the expansion did not require them to employ new employees but assisted them in keeping their 170 permanent employees.
Namibian salt is exported to Europe and African countries such as Nigeria and Cameroon.
Established in 1964 as Salt and Chemicals, the WBSH uses about 50 million tonnes of seawater to produce salt for human consumption and industrial purposes.