Afrox is forging ahead with its plans to establish a 150 tonnes-per-day ASU (air separation unit) in Port Elizabeth, to service customers across the Eastern Cape region.

This investment of approximately R300-million was recently approved by the board and is in response to current and future customer and industry requirements. Once commissioned, the ASU will eliminate the need for gas supplies to be brought in from far afield by road tankers and assure customers security of supply.

The investment earmarked for the Eastern Cape is part of a greater R1.5-billion strategic development programme aimed at boosting customer service levels, and supports Afrox’s advancement strategy in South Africa.  Other projects in the programme include the establishment of a R500-million centralised business campus near Umhlanga in KwaZulu-Natal, and a new R200-million ASU at Afrox’s Pretoria West site.

Afrox MD Brett Kimber says the new Eastern Cape ASU has taken the lead from customer growth plans and is the culmination of a long-term plan to underpin security of future supply in the region. The company will break ground for this state-of-the-art installation later this year and expects to go into production by early 2015. The ASU will produce nitrogen, argon, oxygen and medical grade oxygen.

Afrox is the leading supplier of gas and related products in the Eastern Cape, supporting local businesses through long-term contracts and supply agreements. It is the country’s only integrated gas company, differentiating itself in the local market by offering its customers an end-to-end solution that is fully integrated for each process. In practice, this means that customers can access the necessary consumables, equipment and gases, as well as on-site support and training, from a single reputable supplier.