The proposed PVC manufacturing plant would produce pipes that are used in conveying water (high pressure pipes), pipes used in sanitation (low pressure pipes), and pipes used in telecommunications and electrical conduits. The opportunity also exists to include an accessory PVC plant, which would manufacture all forms of joints and fittings in the future.

The required feedstock is readily available from Sasol Polymers, which is part of Sasol’s petro-chemicals manufacturing cluster in Sasolburg. There is also a Chem-City industrial estate within the cluster that could be a potential location for the PVC manufacturing facility.

With South Africa’s infrastructure investment, water reticulation and sanitation programmes and construction and civil market demanding PVC products, there is a good opportunity to make substantial inroads in the industry.

PVC chlorinated hydrocarbon polymer at its basic building blocks are chlorine, carbon and hydrogen. PVC is used daily in a range of products such as pipes for fresh water, drainage pipes, floor coverings, window frames, cablings, toys, pool membranes, kitchen cabinetry, wall cladding, medical drainage, furniture, stationary tubing and food packaging.

Plastic products provide inputs to a range of industries such as motor vehicles, packaging, textiles and clothing, construction and furniture. This implies that plastic products are more important in the development of manufacturing than their share of manufacturing.

PVC is typically a material of choice in building and construction systems where durability and strength is needed such as large area roofing membranes. It is light weight and this makes transportation and handling easy. It is one of the most researched and thoroughly tested building materials. Many PVC products find use in applications requiring durability, such as window profiles, pipes and fittings, flooring, decking, power and telecommunication cables, electrical conduits, cladding and trunking. Its superior toughness, fire resistance, chemical and corrosion resistance, long lifespan and superior cost performance ratio, makes PVC an ideal material for industrial applications.

It is widely used in medical devices, packaging, the automotive sector and consumer products.

A polyethelene foam manufacturing opportunity

A South Korean-based investor with the technology and market is seeking a local partner to establish a joint venture to manufacture XLPE foam that is used to manufacture various products used in applications such as insulation materials used in construction, industrial insulation, air-conditioners and other packaging applications in automotive, general packaging and other uses in the Free State province of South Africa.

The required local partner for XLPE foam manufacturing must have the necessary experience mainly in building, construction and industrial insulation field – companies in HVAC, duct material manufacturing, air conditioner assembling or installing, insulation material manufacturing, building material manufacturing or foam material manufacturing. Shareholding in the joint venture will be negotiated with the preferred partner.