SOWA TOWN: Botswana Ash, a soda ash and salt producing company this week revealed an ambitions plan of doubling its earnings to P300 million in two years' time.
The plan was revealed by Managing Director, Montwedi Mphathi during a media tour of its facilities on Wednesday morning. The target will not be easy, the former BCL mine boss admitted. In achieving this target, Botash strategic themes he said include product diversification, market optimisation; product and market development amongst other elements. “We have growth potential in the Sub Saharan Africa. Protecting our current market is essential particularly, reef in South Africa.
Our strategic growth projects include increasing fine salt production by 50ktpa and include forward integration into small packs. We are currently assessing upgradability and refining options,” he revealed. Botash is also looking to partner with Air Liquide in the trading of Carbon Dioxide and the commercial negotiations are ongoing.
The company is also investigating extraction of other chemicals from Sua brines. The presence of potash, sodium sulphate and boron are already confirmed and discussions on shareholding options with potential partners are in progress. Botash production capacity for soda ash is 300 000 tonnes per annum and for salt is about 650 000 tonnes per annum.
Currently salt production is around 530 000 tonnes per annum made of 250 000 tonnes chemical salt, 200 000 tonnes coarse salt and 80 000 fine salt. Mphathi said this production is however limited by the market constraints rather than production constraints.
For the year ended August 2015, Botash produced soda ash of 242 000 against a target of 260 000, while salt production was 456 000 against a target of 435 000 tonnes. The total gross revenue amounted to P900million. South Africa remains the biggest consumer of Botash products by 47 percent, followed by Zambia 24percent, Zimbabwe 16percent, Botswana 4percent and DRC at 2percent.
Botswana and Chloe Alkali Holdings group of South Africa, aims to double its earnings by 2018 to P300million.