Walvis Bay to become major producer of caustic soda

Walvis Bay Salt Refiners (WBSR) announced on Monday the company is looking at expanding its manufacturing capacity. The company has its eyes on Namibia’s caustic soda market which is estimated at a demand of 60 000 tons per annum. Caustic soda is a fundamental mining chemical, but is wholly imported by the mining industry as it is not produced in Namibia.

This was said on Monday by the Managing Director of WBSR, AndrĂ© Snyman, at the inauguration of the company’s salt pans expansion project. The N$65 million expansion of the salt pans will enable WBSR now to increase its annual salt production output from a current 700 000 tons to one million tons. WBSR is a subsidiary of the South African owned CAH Group of Companies and will soon be associated with the Syn-Chem Group.
The guest of honour at the inauguration event was Namibia’s Vice President Dr. Nickey Iyambo, who expressed satisfaction with the fact that the expansion project will enable WBSR to open its salt exports into North American markets. Currently salt exports are confined to SADC, Nigeria, Cameroon and Europe.
The Vice President said he is pleased with WB-SR heeding the call from Government for market diversification and the transformation of the manufacturing sector through local beneficiation. Walvis Bay Salt Refiners conducts a number of value addition processes like washing, refining and bagging of salt and through its sister company Ekango Salt Refiners, produce in excess of 60 000 tons of premium table salt under the well-known brand name Cerebos.
Vice President Iyambo reminded those attending the inauguration ceremony of Government’s Harambee Prosperity Plan, which aims at accelerating prosperity for all Namibians and called on the business community at large to uplift and empower its workers. In this instance the Vice President was referring to Ekango Salt Refiners’ 25 % owned by previously disadvantaged Namibians, including a number of women from rural communities.

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