Inaugural salt shipment

NEXT week the first export from Akzo Nobel group’s Onslow Solar Salt facility will hit the high seas.

The shipment of between 40,000 and 45,000 tonnes from the $80 million salt plant will leave from the company’s purpose-built jetty on the MV Oceanic Angel.

Akzo Nobel WA managing director Koen van Eig said the company expected to make about eight shipments this year and between 20 and 25 shipments next year.

However, the plant is capable of producing up to 2.5 million tonnes of salt per year, meaning up to between 60 and 70 shipments. The salt is drawn out of seawater pumped from Beadon Creek into a system of condenser ponds.

Construction of the crystalliser and concentrator ponds started in 1997 and work on the plant, jetty and infrastructure started a year later.

The main markets for the salt are Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Pilotage services for the new port are being provided by international surveying giant SGS. The company has already provided pilotage for Apache Energy but this will be the company’s first foray into pilotage on Australia’s mainland.

p More Resources, pages 11, 23.

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