An aerial View of the RBIDZ Phase 1A located in close proximity to the Port of Richards Bay.
An aerial View of the RBIDZ Phase 1A located in close proximity to the Port of Richards Bay.

Commencement of investment activities strengthens RBIDZ's confidence

By Brandstories Time of article published Dec 18, 2020

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The Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) boasts award-winning, state-of-the-art infrastructure that aims to encourage international competitiveness and attract investments into its estates.

World-class infrastructure geared for investors

The RBIDZ’s own investment in its world-class infrastructure is worth more than R900 million.

The two fully developed estates - Phase 1A and Phase 1F - are well equipped to accommodate investments for light manufacturing industries as well as general and heavy manufacturing industries.

Both estates are fully serviced and declared Customs Control Areas, with 24-hour security and surveillance.

RBIDZ CCA Phase 1F gate complex.

Two giant investment projects have recently commenced construction in the RBIDZ: a palm oil refinery in Phase 1A, and a multi-billion titanium beneficiation plant in Phase 1F.

It is expected that this will revive investor confidence and position the RBIDZ as an ideal investment destination that is a strategic ally positioned along the deep-sea waters of the Port of Richards Bay.

Major boost for RBIDZ Phase 1 Estate as construction of palm oil refinery commences

The RBIDZ Phase 1A, which is already home to two operational investors with a total investment value of R351 million, will also soon be the location of a giant palm oil refinery plant estimated at an investment value of R1.3 billion.

The construction of this project is being undertaken by Wilmar Processing SA (Pty) Ltd, and commenced in October 2020. The construction of the refinery will be rolled-out in three phases being: civils construction (which is underway), mechanical works, and electrical and instrumentation works. Construction and completion is estimated to take two years.

An artist’s rendition of the R1.3-billion oil refinery.

The project delivers an array of prospects that will be beneficial to communities, including employment opportunities. It is estimated that 1 000 jobs will be created during construction of the project and 150 permanent jobs when the refinery is operational. Significantly, Wilmar Processing has committed 30% of its procurement spend to qualifying local SMMe sub-contractors, service providers and equipment suppliers as the project progresses through various phases. Some of the other economic opportunities will materialise once the factory is operational, since some of the inputs (material) will then be grown and produced locally.

The facility, which will be used to produce edible oils and other products, will include a refinery, a fractionator, a shortening plant, a packaging facility and warehouse as well as a tank farm.

Construction takes off for the R4.5-BiLLion chemical manufacturing plant at Phase 1f estate

Nyanza Light Metals investment paves way for the ‘Titanium Capital’

Nyanza Light Metals (Pty) Ltd, a leading chemical manufacturing company with its headquarters in Gauteng, will be accommodated in Phase 1F of the RBIDZ. Nyanza Light Metals was established in 2011 by Johannesburg-based private equity company, Arkein Industrial holdings, for the purpose of exploiting the Witbank slag resource. Nyanza Light Metals is now developing a R4.5-billion titanium beneficiation plant in the RBIDZ that will produce titanium dioxide pigment and other nano titanium-related products from titaniferous slag.

An artist’s rendition of the Nyanza Light Metals Technical Services Centre.

The project will be rolled-out in two phases. The first phase is the construction of the Technical Services Centre (TSC) with an investment value of R130 million. The duration of the construction of the TSC is anticipated to be eight months. The TSC will operate for a year to allow the completion of the bankable feasibility study for the main commercial plant. It is expected to employ about 100 people during its construction phase and create an estimated 60 permanent jobs post-construction.

The second phase is the main production plant, which accounts for R4.3bn of the investment value. At peak production, the plant will produce more than 80 000 tons of titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment per annum. This pigment is used in paints and plastics, cosmetics, inks, dyes and other every day products. This final stage of the project will account for 280 permanent jobs as well as more than 1 200 construction jobs, and will take three years to construct.

The recent appointment of Grinaker-LTA (G-LTA) as the company that will design and construct the top structure of the Nyanza Light Metals TSC plant heralds the start of this unique and significant project – one which will enhance Richards Bays’ position as the “Titanium Capital” of the Africa.

G-LTA is a pioneering multi-disciplinary construction and engineering company with a high performance and efficient delivery track record, having won various awards in the construction and engineering sector. G-LTA delivers its exceptional capabilities in the following global sectors: civil engineering, building construction as well as mechanical and electrical engineering.

It is a condition of the contract that G-LTA will sub-contract a proportion of the work to sub-contractors in the region with the necessary skills and experience to participate in the project.

Moreover, Nyanza Light Metals has also secured a 10 MW deal with Distributed Power Africa (DPA) to deploy a solar energy solution at its titanium minerals processing and chemicals manufacturing plant. DPA will engineer, finance and construct a solar energy solution for Nyanza in a phased power lease agreement, with the first megawatt projected to be deployed in January 2021. Overall, the entire chemical plant has a total energy requirement of 22 MW once fully operational.

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