media release

Premier Praises Salt Project

Akzo Nobel's new solar salt facility in Western Australia has been officially opened, backed by an offical seal of approval.

Akzo Nobel’s USD 60 million solar salt plant in Onslow, Western Australia, has received a ringing endorsement at its official opening.

The plant—which has targeted production of 2.5 million tons a year by 2004—was praised by the Premier of Western Australia, Geoff Gallop, for boosting the local economy and bouncing back after the development was seriously delayed by a devastating cyclone in 1999.

“This is a real success story and one with real growth potential,” he said. “It’s also a significant milestone because the company has persevered for so long to get the project off the ground. The outcome is real jobs and an investment in the state’s future."

The Onslow site actually started harvesting salt in April and dispatched its first shipload of 45,000 tons in August. The salt produced will mainly be used in the chlor-alkali industry in the Asia Pacific region.

As well as creating jobs, it has been estimated that the project will generate 500,000 Australian dollars a year in revenue for the state. Last year, Western Australia produced close to eight million tons of salt, or about five per cent of world supply.

Akzo Nobel owns 92 percent of the Perth-based Onslow Salt Pty Ltd, with the rest held by Australian company Gulf Holdings Pty Ltd.

(Released: October 29, 2001)

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