Field Trip: Walvis Bay Salt | Thursday 9 November

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IMFORMED is delighted to be able to offer delegates an exclusive opportunity to visit the operations of Walvis Bay Salt Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

The Field Trip starts at 08.00 from the conference hotel – Strand Hotel Swakopmund – and takes place the day after the conference, ie. Thursday 9 November; after the tourthe bus will return to the hotel via nearby Walvis Bay International Airport (for those catching the early evening flight(s)).


07:45 Meet lobby Strand Hotel Swakopmund
08:00 Bus departs hotel for Walvis Bay
09:00 Arrive Walvis Bay Salt; start of tour
11:00 Refreshments at Walvis Bay Salt office
11:15 Bus shuttles leave, incl. for Walvis Bay Airport

*subject to change

FIELD TRIP SPACES ARE LIMITED: when registering for the conference online please be sure to tick the Field Trip box; you can also contact Ismene to ensure your attendance on the Field Trip: | T: +44 (0)7905 771 494

Please wear clothing and footwear as befits a working industrial site visit.

Walvis Bay Salt Holdings (Pty) Ltd, through its various subsidiaries, is the largest producer of solar sea salt in sub-Saharan Africa. The Company processes 90 million m3 (cubic metres) of seawater per annum to produce in excess of 900,000 tonnes of high quality salt per annum. The total operation covers an area of 5000ha.

The Group exports to various countries, including West Africa, South Africa and Europe.

In addition to producing salt for the chemical industry and other markets, the Group also produces high quality table salt for the Southern Africa market.

Besides South Africa, refined sea salt is exported to neighbouring countries, including Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana and Zambia, mainly for human consumption.

The salt operation at Walvis Bay Salt Holdings comprises three companies, Salt & Chemicals (Pty) Ltd, Walvis Bay Salt Refiners (Pty) Ltd, and Ekango Salt Refiners (Pty) Ltd.

Salt & Chemicals operates the salt field and produces the raw salt, whilst Walvis Bay Salt Refiners further processes and markets the product internationally. Ekango Salt Refiners produces table salt for various local and international markets.

The Walvis Bay Salt Refiners salt production process is based on the solar evaporation of seawater to produce 99,4% pure sodium chloride (NaCl) on dry mass basis.

Seawater, which is the only raw material, contains a 3.5% concentration of salts, of which 2.9% is sodium chloride. The water is pumped from a natural lagoon into a series of pre-evaporation ponds and then through a series of concentration ponds.

During the evaporation process, brine depths and densities are controlled to ensure that the maximum number of unwanted chemical impurities are precipitated before they enter the crystallizers.

Once the salt crystals have grown to the required levels, the product is removed by mechanical harvesters and transported to a processing plant. Here, the raw product undergoes a process of upgrading, using dilute brine as washing medium. During the wash process impurities including calcium, sulphate and magnesium is removed. Finally, the processed salt is dried through centrifuges and stockpiled.

Product destined for bulk exports is transported from the bulk storage facility at the harbour by a conveyor belt and spout-trimmed into the ship’s hold at the Walvis Bay harbor dockside. Loading can take place on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week. Bulk product is shipped to Southern Africa, West and East Africa, as well as Europe and North America.

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