The local production of 150-tons-per-day of oxygen, nitrogen and argon will commence in early 2015, thereby ensuring regional security in the supply of these critical process components. Afrox managing director Brett Kimber says: “I am proud to confirm this unit will start supplying customers with industrial and medical gases in early 2015. This is a true testament to Afrox’s dedication towards supporting the development of the local economy.”
The ASU is the first-of-its-kind in Africa, and the company is proud to be establishing it in the Coega IDZ. This ASU represents a major milestone in pursuit of Afrox’s goals to support the economy and our existing customers, as well as to drive the growth agenda of many other businesses in need of our products and services locally.
The world-class infrastructure of the Coega IDZ bodes well for the growth of the export industry. The Eastern Cape manufactures half of South Africa’s passenger vehicles and contributes 51 percent of vehicle exports. Afrox is already recognised as a leading supplier to these manufacturing customers, in addition to the food and beverage, wind energy, metals, private and state healthcare, farming and aquaculture sectors. The ASU will further enhance our local standing.
At the heart of the Afrox ASU is the cold box, which is the central point where proprietary technology is utilised to cryogenically separate ambient air into nitrogen, oxygen and argon. The Afrox ASU cold box was designed and manufactured in Germany by its parent company, the Linde Group. It weighs over 100 tons, and is 40 m in height, 5 m in width and 4 m in breadth.
The ASU project was initially approved by Afrox and Linde in early 2013, and an official sod turning ceremony was held in February 2014. “The process from approval to what we have before us took a little over a year – a record in our industry. This shows Afrox’s commitment and project execution,” Kimber concludes.
As a socially responsible corporate citizen, Afrox has taken its commitment to local community upliftment beyond operational business, by sponsoring R1-million worth of welding and gases equipment and providing expertise for the welding courses hosted at the Coega Skills Development Centre for learners taking part in the Eastern Cape Schools and Tertiary Welding Programme.