17 February 2014
Industrial gas company Afrox last week broke ground on the site of a R300-million air separation unit at the Coega industrial development zone in the Eastern Cape.
The 150-ton per day unit will produce a variety of industrial gases for the automotive, food processing and medical sectors, and will give Afrox direct access to customers throughout the province, where it has an established customer base.
Linde Engineering, a subsidiary of the German Linde Group, of which Afrox is a member, will be constructing the plant, which is set to come online in the first quarter of 2015.
It will be the second air separation plant to be built at Coega. Another industrial gas company, Air Products, is currently building its own plant, which is expected to be operational in the third quarter of this year.
Speaking at last week’s sod-turning ceremony, Afrox MD Brett Kimber said company’s R300-million investment had come as a result of the Coega Development Corporation’s (CDC’s) “continuous assistance in wanting to make this investment work. Their assistance has seen a culmination of business coming together with industry.”
CDC business development executive manager Christopher Mashigo said Afrox’s air separation unit “is important to us not only as a new investor but as an enabler. It enhances our value proposition and also provides a foundation for Afrox’s own growth.
“Already a supplier to a number of our investors, including DCD Wind Towers, Agni Steels and Dynamic Commodities, their positioning and establishment in the IDZ means they will be able to service their established customer base while moving into new markets,” Mashigo said.
“Gas is a critical part of industrial processes, and we are happy to see demand equate into supply through the establishment of two air separation units in the IDZ.”
Coega Development Corporation and SAinfo reporter