The Arandis Chloralkli Plant is a plant owned by Calculus Industries (Pty) Ltd that is under construction in Arandis, Erongo Region. When complete, it will have the capacity to produce about 50 tonnes per day of caustic soda.

Background

The vision and ambition to construct the plant is a culmination of ideas and planning which emanated more than 10 years ago, during university training.

We also recognize that the African economy has immense potential for industrialization. Millions of people are making the move from rural to urban cities, and this creates even more pressure on governments to provide fundamental resources and infrastructure, such as clean water, electricity and good roads. Manufacturers are also faced with the burden of importing materials and chemicals to produce basic goods such as soaps, food preservatives and detergents. The water treatment and hygiene sectors also require cheap and readily available chemicals. Calculus industries intents to produce and supply speciality chemicals and materials, in order to bridge this supply gap. This will also lead to the immediate spawning of industrialization in the Namibian and the SADC economy.

In October 2019 the technical feasibility study was completed successfully. The market study focusing on the SADC region was also completed. The current capital cost for the project is estimated at US$ 51,931,825, including working capital. The current capital structure is designed at 70% gearing, and 11% weighted average cost of capital. The financial model shows the following fundamentals:

  • Annual return on capital employed – 12%
  • Annual return on equity – 39%
  • Annual gross margin – 40%
  • Annual net margin – 23%
  • Net positive discounted cash flow by the 9th year @ 5% of capital employed
  • Market growth – 12% by 2026.

Plant operations

Salt is the primary raw material for the chloralkali process. Chemical grade salt (99%) is required as input into the process at 26,400 metric tons per annum (tpa). The salt will be obtained from a solar salt mine at Cape Cross, and transported to site via road (180 km). The salt will be off-loaded from road trucks onto a salt storage patio with the capacity to store 2,000 metric tons of salt.

The maximum power requirement for the plant is 10 megavolt amperes (MVA). The plant will operate for 350 days per annum, as per design criteria. It is assumed that the plant will carry on operating during shift changes, effectively operating 24 hours a day.

The true power consumption, based on an apparent power of 8 MVA and utilizing a power factor correction of 0.9, is 7.2 megawatts (MW). The required power will be supplied from the nearby 220 kV line.

Off-take agreements for all the products have been attained. The products will be consumed in the following countries:

  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Angola
  • Zimbabwe
  • Kenya

The plant will generate Namibia’s entire caustic soda, chlorine and carbon dioxide (food grade) demand.