NAMIBIA – Walvis Bay Salt Refiners has opened a N$93.6 million (US$46.3m) salt processing plant targeting the international market. This is the single biggest capital investment since the inception of the company in 1964.

WBSR is the largest producer of solar sea salt in sub-Saharan Africa. The company produces solar sea salt by pumping seawater from the Walvis Bay Lagoon through a series of concentration and crystallisation ponds.

According to a report by The Namibian, the company recently entered new markets in Europe, East Africa and North America.

With regards to South America, WBSR’s managing director, Andre Snyman, said there were certain export barriers pertaining to taxes that slowed the process, but he is confident WBSR will be breaking into this market soon.

By investing in the new plant, WBSR have seen improvements all round. The new plant requires lower operator input, making more time available for monitoring, measuring and maintenance work.

This investment enhances international sales and marketing by offering a wider range of product specifications from a lower cost base.

The new plant increases the processing capacity of salt from 120 to 220 tonnes per hour, and also improves product quality in terms of lower insolubles, lower calcium and magnesium levels.

Construction of the new plant commenced in June 2018 and includes a new reception area, security office, induction office, information centre, training room as well as warehouse and ablution facilities.

In total 60% of the total project cost was allocated to Namibian service providers.

Minister of trade Tjekero Tweya lauded WBSH as “breakthrough organisation” that adheres 100% to what the government encourages the private sector should do through our Growth at Home strategy: increasingly export raw and final Namibian products to the world.

“Walvis Bay Salt Holdings, without a doubt, wants to see strategic outcomes because this business constantly explores new opportunities for organisational development to enter smart partnerships for increased value-addition and to improve the bottom line that will ultimately improve our economy to create more jobs for Namibians,” said Tweya.

“They are a trusted company with intentions to enhance local value addition in support of the Growth at Home strategy.”

Tweya said the government, through his ministry and the Ministry of Mines and Energy, remains committed to supporting local investors to help other Namibians to grow and inject “freshness” into the economy.

“We have a collective duty to expedite any effort of industrialisation, trade and small-and-medium enterprise development with speed of execution across all sectors of the economy to extract maximum returns in favour of GDP. We must support all Namibian initiatives, because this is the right thing to do,” he said.