Omnia recently commissioned a new nitric acid complex in Sasolburg comprising a nitric acid plant, an ammonium nitrate plant and a porous ammonium nitrate plant. The nitric acid plant is designed to produce
1 000 tons per day. At the opening on the 19 June 2012, Rod Humphris, CEO of Omnia, said that these plants provided growth opportunities for Omnia Fertilizer and Bulk Mining Explosives operations, allowing the company to take advantage of the increasing demand for fertilisers and explosives as a result of the significant growth in the agriculture and mining sectors in South and southern Africa.
Omnia used technology from Thyssenkrupp Uhde to eliminate greenhouse gases at its new and old nitric plant and almost 50% of its own electricity demand for the site is provided through excess steam resulting from the exothermal reaction.
The Group Chairman, Neville Crosse, made this statement in his speech at the opening event:
"Projects such as this one are game-changing events. They set up a platform or springboard that enables an organization to take advantage of all the opportunities that surround us on a daily basis. However, as important as they are, they have a finite end. When all the congratulations have been said, the hard graft begins. Our fertilizer and explosives businesses have to make these new assets work hard and profitably. If we don't get this right our customers suffer and we don't achieve the demanding targets that we have set ourselves. Failure is not an option!
"Putting this required 'hard graft' into practical terms highlights why failure is not an option. The nitric acid and ammonium nitrate produced at Omnia is directly used to produce the food for more than 25 million people in southern Africa as well as providing the explosives for about half of the electricity generated in South Africa."