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ICI increases soda ash production capacity to 350,000 tonnes

Post Time:Mar 20,2009Classify:Company NewsView:344

ICI Pakistan has increased its soda ash production capacity to 350,000 tonnes with production starting from next month, it is learnt on Thursday. According to sources in the industrial circles, the company has planned to raise the capacity by 65,000 tonnes per annum, increasing it to 350,000 tonnes per annum. ICI plans to export soda ash in future.

The company is the largest player in the soda ash market in Pakistan, producing and catering to approximately 70 percent of the country’s requirement of this commodity. The plant is situated in Khewra (Punjab) and began commercial production with the capacity of 18,000 tonnes per annum. Since then the plant has been modernised and its capacity has been expanded. The last expansion of 50,000 tonnes per annum in 2007 has taken the capacity to 285,000 tonnes per annum. Future growth is expected to be driven from the introduction of new Akzo products (launched Sikkens in 2008 which is a car refinish paint) especially in the paints and chemicals segments.

ICI will also seek to export paint products and soda ash to regional countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan. According to annual report of ICI, the domestic soda ash market also remained rigid during the first three quarters of the year primarily on account of unprecedented load shedding of natural gas and production constraints.

In addition, non-availability of imported product further exacerbated the situation. However, towards the end of third quarter of 2008, demand weakened due to economic slowdown and severe energy crisis, which adversely affected the downstream industries.

Although sales, volume for the full year was four percent lower than 2007, on a like to like basis (excluding the imported product for resale) sales volume was in line with the previous year.

Source: dailytimes.com.pkAuthor: shangyi

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