Acetylene production plant to open in Arandis

ARANDIS: A gas production plant which will supply Acetylene and Oxygen across Namibia is expected to open in the mining town of Arandis.

Acetylene is a colourless gas widely used as fuel for cutting torches mostly used in the mining industry.

Sam Beukes of Kryso Investments Namibia, on Friday told Nampa in an interview that the plant will be operational within six months from this month and will be the first to distribute nationally.

The Namibia Custom Smelters (NCS) oxygen plant commissioned in 2010 at Tsumeb, is the only one in Namibia at the moment but only produce gas for the smelter not for sale to other companies.

“We will first start with the production of Acetylene and then after two or three years we will put up an oxygen production plant,” said Beukes.

Beukes and partner Stephen Viljoen gave a presentation of the project’s case study at the official opening of the third Arandis Investment Conference and Uranium Festival on Friday.

Speaking to Nampa after the presentation, Beukes said at the moment they import oxygen from South Africa for distribution in Namibia but will start producing own Acetylene and oxygen at Arandis.

He said the N.dollars 15 million plant is envisaged to alter the shortage of oxygen supply in the country as the gas used in Namibia is currently imported from South Africa.

“The mining sector is hungry for oxygen, sometimes the gas gets finished especially at Walvis Bay and people have to wait for days to get it from South Africa. This is the reason we want to produce and distribute from here,” he said.

He said Kryso chose Arandis as there is enough space to put up two separate plants.

“For Acetylene, we will employ three people but we will provide employment to a total of 10 people once all the plants are operational,” he told the news agency.

Beukes said the company plans to start supplying gas to mines such as Rössing Uranium, Swakop Uranium’s Husab mine and LangerHeinrich Uranium.

The festival held under the theme ‘Arandis the Gateway to Industrialisation Excellence’, aims to market the town to local and international potential investors as well as providing a networking platform.

The two-day event which ended on Saturday was attended by town mayors, councillors, ministers and representatives of different businesses especially from the uranium mining industry.