Afrox’s ability to supply customers reliably and on time will be significantly improved as 2008 continues to unfold, according to Managing Director Tjaart Kruger.

To this end the company has commissioned a 100 tpd ASU at Lydenburg and upgraded plants at Wadeville and Richards Bay, totalling 215 tpd, and has also upgraded its Pietermartzburg plant to produce around 95 tpd of liquid nitrogen for the merchant market.

Kruger explained, “Our one billion rand capital expenditure of 2007 has been invested in facilities that will underpin our strategy and restore Afrox’s core strengths. 2008 will see the commissioning of the last major projects; namely a 100 tonne per day ASU and 150 tonne per day liquid nitrogen unit at Kuilsriver. In Sasolburg, there is our 250 tonne per day CO2 plant; and importantly, our state-of-the-art cylinder-filling hub in Germiston and MIG-wire plant at Brits will also be operating to capacity.”

Commenting on the slightly turbulent first quarter of 2008, Afrox’s Managing Director confirmed trading conditions had been tough, mainly as a result of load shedding, which has impacted on customers, coupled with a worsening economic climate.

“However, as indicated last year, we expect the second half of 2008 should see improved trading conditions; our delivery capabilities enhanced, improved customer services and, in general, a more settled and focused organisation,” Kruger told shareholders at Afrox’s Annual General Meeting on 9th May 2008.

Kruger confirmed Afrox had been struggling with capacity constraints across the board, resulting in an inability to meet demand and in poor service delivery. Kruger will also be discussing Afrox and its future in the forthcoming July issue of gasworld magazine.