South Africa -- Industrial Urethanes has spent Rand 20 million ($ 2.8 million) implementing a new pre-polymer production and blending facility at its Umbogintwini, Kwazulu-Natal plant south of Durban and closed its factory in Sebenza, near Edenvale.
Technical and operations director at Industrial Urethanes, Dr Peter Groome, said in a 28 Jan statement that the revamped Umbogintwini plant will have two sections -- one for flexible blends and polyol dehydration and the other for isocyanates. "We now have a much more cost-effective and simple supply chain from Durban to Umbogintwini," he added. "We no longer need to hold very large quantities of hazardous chemicals for conversion on site and will keep a week's supply with just-in-time replenishment," said Groome.
The move could also create opportunities for transport and logistics collaboration and cost-saving with other companies in the Chemserve group said Industrial Urethanes.
A new production improvement plan has also been implemented to further raise productivity at Umbogintwini. The propylene oxide feed is being automated to speed up the process by three hours which in turn could increase capacity "by more than 3000 tonnes, or about 600 percent of the original capacity," said Groome.The company said that it expects that the modifications will be complete by April 2008, and that "sufficient stockholdings of flexibles product have been built up to ensure supply to all customers in the interim." (ss)