M a r k e t N e w s

IDC looking to establish manufacturing plant in Africa

Posted on : Thursday, 18th December 2014

 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has issued a call for proposals to conduct a prefeasibility study (PFS) on the establishment of a soda ash, or sodium carbonate, manufacturing plant in South Africa.

The IDC said soda ash was used in a number of manufacturing processes and, while the production of natural soda ash was largely dependent on trona ore reserves, present in Wyoming, in the US, synthetic soda ash was preferred over natural soda owing to its superior quality and reserve independence.
“Prior to 1965, all of the world’s soda ash was produced synthetically. The intervention of natural soda ash resulted from the discovery of natural resources. Currently, with the depletion of natural resources and the increasing demand for soda ash, the synthetic manufacturing process is gaining popularity again,” the IDC stated in the tender documents.
Currently South Africa imported all of its soda ash, which was consumed in large quantities by major companies, as it was a key component in the manufacturing of glass, detergent and other chemicals, the corporation explained.
According to a report by international metals and minerals research company Roskill, in 2009 South Africa consumed about 357 000 t/y of soda ash.
Based on this estimated consumption, the rand value of imported soda ash amounted to R1.5-billion a year, the IDC said.
Therefore, there would be significant advantages associated with establishing a local plant.
These included, close proximity to local consumers, the potential of including black economic-empowerment (BEE) partners – which would favour BEE procurement policies of local consumers – transport cost savings on imported material, reduced wastage on imports and compromised quality, the IDC stated.
The closing date for bids to be submitted to the IDC for the PFS on the development of a local plant was March 4, while the successful bidder would be expected to start conducting the study immediately after the tender had been awarded. The study would need to be completed in three months.

Source : www.engineeringnews.co.za
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