Chlor-Alkali Holdings

Background

The Chlor-Alkali-Holdings Group is a manufacturer of chemical products, presently focusing its operations in selected sub-Saharan African countries.  It is comprised of five operations being the Chlor Alkali production facility located at Chloorkop in South Africa, the salt mining and refining facility located at Walvis Bay in Namibia, the soda ash and salt mining located at Sua in Botswana and, most recently, the industrial and retail salt mining and refining facility in Port Elizabeth, Cerebos, as well as Watersol.

The Chlor Alkali production facility at Chloorkop is the second largest in South Africa and produces a range of products, predominantly focused on Chlorine and Caustic Soda.

The facility at Walvis Bay is the largest producer of salt in Southern Africa and produces salt by solar evaporation of seawater.  It produces salt for various markets, including industrial-grade salt for Chlor Alkali production, and refined salt for household and agricultural markets in Africa and Europe.  This is shipped either in bags or bulk to destinations including West Africa (Nigeria and Cameroon) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Chlor Alkali business was first established on the Chloorkop site by the South African government in 1948.  During the 1960’s, it was privatized, and in 1967 the then Klipfontein Organic products became a founding member of the Sentrachem Group.  In 1997 Sentrachem was acquired by the Dow Chemical Company.  With effect from 1 September 2002, Investec Bank Limited together with a consortium of private investors performed a leveraged buyout of the business from Dow Chemicals.  During 2004 the Group purchased Sasol Chemical industries’ packed chlorine business for R65 million.

During 2006 NCP Chlorchem Proprietary Limited began an expansion program, which would see its chlor alkali production capabilities being doubled.  The first phase, which also included the development of certain down stream plants, was completed and brought into use in December 2009.

In 2010 Chlor-Alkali Holdings acquired its shareholding in Botswana Ash (Proprietary) Limited.  Botswana Ash is accounted for as a joint venture and its results are accordingly equity accounted.  Botswana Ash (Proprietary) Limited mines and produces soda ash and salt, which are sold into the Southern African markets.

In 2011 NCP chlorchem completed the construction and successful commissioning of its depot at Atlantis Cape Town.  The deport was primarily designed to service the Western Cape market.  In the same year a refined salt plant was built and commissioned in Walvis Bay.  This venture was housed in Ekango Salt Refiners and also saw the introduction of a 25% Namibian held shareholding in that entity.

In 2014, Watersol SA was established to enable the introduction of black economic empowerment partners.  To date, this venture has not been as successful as envisaged.  Furthermore, Botash South Africa and Bosash Zambia were formed to manage the marketing and logistical interests of the Botswana Ash operation.

Effective 1 March 2015, Chlor Alkali purchased the 100% of the shareholding of Cerebos Proprietary Limited.  Cerebos is a long established business with a strong internationally known brand which is the  market leader in the retail salt market in South Africa with extended distribution into Southern Africa.  The company’s industrial business is focused on the supply of quality salt to the food manufacturing sector while the retail division strives to deliver consumer with an array value added convenience products.

The remaining principal activities of the company and its subsidiaries have otherwise remain unchanged from the previous year.