17 May 2007
A Singaporean company has become the 10th investor in the Coega Industrial Development Zone, outside Port Elizabeth, committing R5.8-billion to build a chlorine manufacturing and water desalination plant.
Straits Chemicals signed the deal with the Coega Development Corporation in April, during a visit by Singaporean President, Sellapan Ramanathan and an accompanying business delegation.
The company, a unit of Singapore-based Chemical Industries Far East Limited, was incorporated in South Africa for the specific purpose of constructing a chlorine, caustic soda and hydrochloric acid refinery at Coega.
According to the CDC spokesperson Vuyelwa Qinga-Vika, the Straits Chemicals deal has been in the pipeline for more than three years, with the first phase of development set to cost R1.1-billion.
Straits Chemicals will construct a leading technology plant with a capacity to produce 600-tons of chlorine per day to supply to both foreign and domestic markets.
The chlorine plant will require large amounts of salt to produce the targeted daily quantity to chlorine, so the company decided to build a water desalination plant alongside it. Both will be located next to the metallurgical and port cluster within the zone.
This project is expected to create 600 jobs during construction and once operational will employ about 250 people on a three shift basis, excluding management positions.
Straits Chemicals will make use of a new state-of-the-art membrane technology that is cleaner and friendlier to the environment. Construction is expected to take between 18 and 24 months. The plant will be officially commissioned in mid-2009, requiring about 100 megawatt of electricity per day
“Although this is the first investor to be signed in the current financial year, the total number of investors signed in the Coega IDZ now stands at a total of 10 with a value of about R20.8-billion and with the creation of thousands of both short-duration and more permanent jobs,” said Qinga Vika.
She said this was further proof that the Coega IDZ was establishing itself as a preferred investment destination on a global scale, and that it had a role to play in improving socio-economic conditions in the Eastern Cape.