PRODUCTION at the Walvis Bay Salt Holdings will reach one million tonnes per year, now that the company has added 1 000 hectares to its salt pan area.

Vice president Nickey Iyambo on Monday inaugurated the extension to the salt producers’ premises.
WBSH has been producing salt from the Walvis Bay lagoon for over 50 years. Until recently, the company produced 750 000 tonnes from pans spanning 4 500 hectares. Now, with its N$87,5 million expansion project complete, the company will produce one million tonnes from 5 500 hectares.

This puts Namibia into 30th position when it comes to global salt production. The United States and China are the biggest producers.

The salt is basically produced after the sun evaporates sea water from large pans from which the salt is then harvested, cleaned, processed and then packed for the market. Most of the salt is used for chemical processing, with a small percentage used for human consumption.

Besides salt, WBSH managing director Andre Snyman said the company is undertaking feasibility studies with the aim of producing 60 000 tonnes of caustic soda per year. This is one of the key products used in mining activities.
While this development will increase value addition capacity, it will also reduce the mines’ heavy import bill for caustic soda, which is not produced in Namibia, but imported mainly from South Africa and China.