Explosives company Enaex Africa has completed the construction and commissioning of an expansion project at its bulk emulsion explosives plant in Secunda.
The company says this is a significant milestone as this is the first infrastructure project developed and completed under the joint venture agreement between Enaex, Sasol and Afris.
The project also displays the agile culture of the Enaex Group, since the execution of the entire project took less than 12 months to complete, and was within budget as well.
As part of the expansion growth strategy and the sustainability of Enaex Africa, which is underpinned by its vision of becoming the preferred blasting supplier in key African mining regions, this initiative has been identified as key to its operations across the region and will support the company’s ambitions in South Africa and across the continent.
The facility enables Enaex Africa to produce more products.
Additionally, the added weighbridge and silos have increased storage capacity by 50%, allowing for the production of extra bulk emulsion.
“This expansion project will create both direct and indirect jobs, most of them hopefully in the local communities. In addition, the projects demonstrate our strong commitment as Enaex Africa to contribute to the South African economy through the execution of local investments,” says CEO Francisco Baudrand.
The bulk emulsion expansion at the site is part of the first phase of planned future production increases. The company emphasises that there are other projects already under way.
Moreover, the company is also building the first Enaex Electronic Initiation Systems assembly plant in Africa. This local assembly facility will be located in the company’s Secunda Complex in South Africa and is expected to start operating by the end of 2022, a year before the initial planned deadline.
The electronic detonators offered by Enaex Africa are currently imported from Davey Bickford, an Enaex subsidiary located in France.
Because of this local facility, customers will have the additional security of supply of Enaex’s electronic detonators, assembled locally and at a competitive cost.
The new assembly plant will be able to produce 800 000 detonators a year and will create several local job opportunities.
Enaex Africa believes its growth investments will have a positive effect on the local community and ultimately the economy of the country as a whole.
In 2017, energy and chemicals company Sasol undertook a detailed asset review to ensure all assets in the company’s global portfolio delivered against stringent financial metrics and were aligned with the company’s growth strategy.
In line with this review, Sasol’s explosives business was identified as having substantial growth potential that could be unlocked through collaboration opportunities, including the possibility of partnering with a world-class explosives brand.
In June 2019, after a robust evaluation process, Enaex, a leading company with more than 100 years of history in the explosives business based in Chile, was selected as Sasol’s preferred strategic partner to create a world-class explosives business on the African continent.
That company was established and started trading under the Enaex Africa name in July 2020.
Enaex is the majority shareholder and is responsible for the management and operational control of the entity. Enaex is the third largest explosives company in the world.
In May 2021, Africa Rising Explosives was incorporated into the joint venture as the new broad-based black economic empowerment partner, bringing Enaex Africa’s shareholding to 51% held by Enaex, 23% held by Sasol South Africa and 26% held by Africa Rising Explosives.
Enaex Africa provides all products and services required to execute the blasting process in both surface and underground operations.