RBIDZ to seal R4.5-billion titanium deal
Massive titanium beneficiation plant will be built in Alton north
A LONG anticipated R4.5-billion titanium beneficiation project, in the pipeline since 2014, will officially be cast in stone on Tuesday in Richards Bay.
The Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) will sign a contract with SA Company Nyanza Light Metals, in partnership with New-Zealand investor Avertana, to start a plant in Alton for the extraction of titanium from waste steel slag to produce titanium dioxide pigment – a critical ingredient in paint, toothpaste and colourants for food products.
Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, KZN Premier Willies Mchunu, KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala and New Zealand High Commissioner Mike Burrell will be attending the ceremony.
Nyanza Light Metals will be located in the Phase 1F industrial estate in Alton north. It is expected to create 800 construction and 300 permanent jobs. The commencement of the plant construction is expected in 2019.
Last week Minister Davies said he is delighted with the project, both in terms of human and financial resources. ‘This is a significant milestone in the implementation of the country’s Industrial Policy Action Plan and the national beneficiation strategy.
‘The R4-billion investment by Nyanza is good news for the country in general and the Richards Bay IDZ in particular. ‘The project will be the largest single investment in the RBIDZ.’ The DTI extended a grant of R17.1-million to the company for feasibility studies from its Special Economic Zones Fund.
It also approved an investment allowance of R900-million and training allowance of more than R10-million from its Tax Allowance Programme.
To date, the RBIDZ has signed investments worth R11.9-billion in different sectors of the economy, including chemicals, renewable energy and pipe manufacturing. To boost entry of previously disadvantaged communities into the mainstream regional economy, the organisation hosted an engagement seminar attended by more than 200 entrepreneurs at the KwaHlanganani Hall in eSikhaleni. ‘We emphasise the importance of implementing programmes focusing on economic transformation,’ said RBIDZ CEO Pumi Motsoahae. ‘Considering the fact that RBIDZ is strategically located along the Port of Richards Bay, we are encouraging SMMEs to explore diverse opportunities in the maritime sector. ‘There are opportunities in the variety of maritime sub-sectors such as aquaculture, oil and gas as well as shipbuilding, shipping and port trans-shipment. ‘It is becoming abundantly clear that the maritime sector has the potential of becoming an engine for sustainable economic growth for many years to come.’