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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Creating opportunity


The Richards Bay industrial development zone is ideally located to attract investment from manufacturers and its strategy for smaller enterprises will bring benefits for all, says James Eedes.

Of South Africa’s four industrial development zones (IDZs), Richard’s Bay has the clear advantage of being part of an established, working industrial hub. This means that the zone, an industrial estate coupled with a duty-free operating environment, is particularly suited to downstream manufacturers using the low value output of the existing industrial companies. It also means that much of the necessary infrastructure is in place, including roads, rail and the port, as well as support services.

Richards Bay is located north of Durban, within the metropolitan boundaries of the city of uMhlathuze. It is either home to or very close to some major industries, including pulp and paper producer Mondi Kraft; Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton-owned Richards Bay Minerals, which produces titania slag, high purity pig iron, rutile and zircon; BHP Billiton’s Bayside and Hillside aluminium smelters, acids and fertiliser group Foskor; and Bell Equipment which manufacturers heavy equipment.

Easy access

In addition to the output of these companies, the Richards Bay IDZ enjoys easy access to a range of raw materials, including various minerals, timber and sugar, and also boasts the largest deep-water port in Africa. Richards Bay is also close to a modern dual carriage toll road, linking it to Durban and South Africa’s largest market around Johannesburg. This combination of close proximity to raw materials and transport infrastructure is a compelling business proposition.

The Richards Bay IDZ strategy is to cluster smaller, downstream manufacturing businesses around the existing major industries already based in the city, as well as attracting other heavy industrial operations, which will, in turn, drive the growth of more secondary manufacturing concerns.

Long-term goals

Smaller manufacturing concerns are important job creators, and are considered crucially important to South Africa’s development prospects. Moreover, downstream is considered a key priority in the country’s industrial development plan, adding value to the country’s abundant natural resources. Both government and the private sector actively support this, and it is particularly the efforts of companies like BHP Billiton to assist small and medium-sized companies as part of broader corporate social responsibility objectives that is fuelling growth of this sector. Opportunities for foreign investors exist for joint ventures and technical agreements.

First phase

The first phase of the IDZ will focus on the aluminium industry to support the two smelters in the area. A mag-wheel manufacturer, an extrusion plant and a powder-coating plant are set to begin operating during this phase.

In terms of heavy industry, the IDZ has been in negotiation with Tata Steel in India and Swedish timber consortium Sodra. Tata Steel is planning to take advantage of the cheap electricity in uMhlathuze. Sodra is considering a capital expenditure of R1.2bn ($186m) to establish a pulp mill in the zone.

Significantly, the city of uMhlathuze will negotiate on services costs, including water and power. The first priority now, however, is to get the R40m first phase up and running. This will see the zone’s infrastructure and shared services constructed.

The IDZ is a joint venture between the city of uMhlathuze, local development bank Ithala and the KwaZulu-Natal government, which has formed a company to oversee and finance the project. Growth in the town is averaging 8% pa from 1999 - 2004, way above South Africa's average growth of 3.4% for the period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
The numbers being thrwon around in RB are SCARY!!! But promises great growth for thr city, province and country.


Tata Steel scores points in Richards Bay pollution debate
January 19, 2006

By Renée Bonorchis

On the face of it, it would be cause for concern if a company that is known to produce hexavalent chromium emissions moves into your already grubby town and sets up a plant within 2km of residential areas.

Hexavalent chromium, or chrome VI, the cancer-causing element that was thrust into the popular consciousness by busty environmental crusader Erin Brokovich, as played by Julia Roberts in a movie of the same name, is apparently the material that has got the residents of Richards Bay excited.

Residents and businesses in the area reportedly believe that their formerly sleepy seaside town, which has grown into an industrial hub, already has too much air pollution. Resistance to allowing the construction of Tata Steel's R750 million ferrochrome plant in Richards Bay is then understandable.

However, according to a Tata spokesperson, who could not be named due to Tata company policy, the pollution load in the air in Richards Bay is less than 50 percent of what is allowed in the regulations under the new Air Quality Control Act.

The spokesperson said 98 percent of the pollution in Richards Bay was caused by four companies: Mondi, Foskor, Hillside and Bayside Aluminium.

According to the building specifications, the emissions from the ferrochrome plant would contribute 0.01 percent to sulphur dioxide emissions. In the words of the Tata spokesperson: "We would be a flea on a camel's back."

And, according to the health effects study conducted by the CSIR, you would have a 1 in 1.6 million chance of contracting cancer if you lived in the plant for 35 years for 350 days a year and the plant was running on "upset conditions", or in extreme circumstances, which in any case usually only last a couple of minutes before the safety systems shut down the plant.

In South Africa the national average of contracting cancer is one in 500 000. The Tata spokesperson said residents had more chance of being hit by a car.
However, other businesses in the area are also claiming that the environment can't take any more heavy industry investment.

Could they be trying to keep out new, more modern plants because they would otherwise have to spend money on cleaning up their own acts by modernising and changing policies and processes?

Could there be some truth in the suggestion that the huck-huck caused by the construction of the Tata ferrochrome plant might have more to do with ill-informed, comfortable middle class suburbanites moaning about something they know nothing about?

Or could this globally recognised company, which is environmentally certified on an international basis, just be making stuff up? Hmmm...

Richards Bay

The industrial development zone (IDZ) in this port town in northern KwaZulu-Natal has big plans. The IDZ is negotiating 21 projects worth R6.3 billion that could create 1 300 jobs. Also on the cards are 62 projects worth R16 billion that could employ 4 600 people.

But the work that has been put into luring these investments to the region is being stymied by the high levels of air pollution, particularly sulphur dioxide and particulate emissions, caused by existing businesses.



The Richards Bay Clean Air Association, an industry-funded body of which local and provincial government as well as community organisations are members, has said: "No more dirty industry."

At least not near residential areas and not until existing businesses start cleaning up their act. It's unclear how much weight the provincial government will give to the association's views when it makes its decision on whether to grant Tata Steel the go-ahead for its smelter.

After all, sources say, Tata has indicated that if the ferrochrome smelter did not go ahead it would reconsider its other existing and proposed investments in South Africa.

But if KwaZulu-Natal does not give Tata Steel the green light it will send a very sobering message to the region to get its house in order. Perhaps that is what is needed to get Richards Bay to clean up. SE
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Finally...TATA have been given the go ahead for their plant! work will start in the next 2 weeks.
 

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any idea exactly where this plant will be located? I see google has updated the richards bay area so maybe someone could mark it up for us.
Ta
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I am not 100% sure on the site location.

Did u guys read a few weeks back about the plans to develop a container terminal in Richards Bay by 2012. also i read that there are R17billion in projects in the final stages of approval for the city. That is mamouth! No wonder it is the fastest growing place in the country
 

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Finally...TATA have been given the go ahead for their plant! work will start in the next 2 weeks.
Mike, has this started as noted inJuly?
Its a hell of a plce and very wild west. I lived there in 1998 before I left SA and it was a strange experience to see guys drinking red heart (rum) and water!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
LOL...i have mates that live up there. i personally have only been once way back in 1996, other times when u drive to st lucia or umfolozi u dont even see it. Been told the waterftont area has come to life and they are more than doubling the mall on the harbour. so that sounds good. but i have to see it to understand. my mates say it is rather backward still, with not many options with bars and restaurants...but it is more of a blue collar town

Regards TATA, yes they have started according to people up there. And they have already applied to expand their original plant by another 50%.

The plans for the Dry dock facilities are advanced and due for approval in Jan so work can start in Feb.
 

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dry dock has been banging around since I lived there, also the 2nd part of the coal terminal southern sands or something was due to start ages ago, also the casino would have been great but it was canned if i remeber it was also waterfront property. I stayed in the tuzi gazi waterfriont and it was fantastic
 

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Good for Richards Bay. The article also mentions plans for a R1.1 b waterfront for Durbs. Not sure if that's the Point Waterfront or Esplanade Waterfront they're talking about. Considering the way its phrased, seems to be a new waterfront as the Point Waterfront is beyond the 'consideration' phase.

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Richards Bay waterfront plan aims to hook tourists
June 7, 2007

By Sibongile Khumalo

Johannesburg - Richards Bay will soon have its own version of Cape Town's popular V&A Waterfront.

The Umhlathuze municipal council is planning to develop a multimillion-rand waterfront and marina to boost tourism and broaden its tax base.

City mayor Denny Moffat said recently: "The project has been on the cards for a number of years. We are taking maximum advantage of our coastal location and high demand for beach holiday apartments and recreational facilities."

The project, which is still in its initial phases, will spread over 100 hectares of land. Areas around Mzingazi Canal Steel Bridge, Alkanstrand and Pelican Island are part of the land to be transformed into luxury apartments, a hotel and a conference centre.

Moffat said the council would conduct environmental assessment because major sites of the proposed development fell under sensitive environmental regulations.

"This is going to be an enormous project, as we will be building a structure on water," he said. "There will also be dredging in some parts of the harbour. We want to change the perception that Richards Bay is only known as a port and industrial town."

Moffat said international companies had shown interest in the project, and tendering would be open to both local and foreign companies.

John Macfarlane, the Zululand Chamber of Business acting manager, was confident of the project's future contribution to the tourism industry in the province.

"It has been on the cards for a while," he said. "I'm glad that it is finally about to take off.

The Richards Bay coal terminal is undergoing a R1.1 billion expansion, which will increase its capacity to 91 million tons by June 2009.

Knysna in the Western Cape is one of the towns in the country with a popular residential marina. Durban is also considering its own R1.1 billion waterfront project.

http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=&fArticleId=3870543
 

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Those are good news Roman, but I'm crossing my fingures for the Durbs one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
if they are refering to the point waterfront its crappy journalism, cos it is well up and running way over R1,1billion at R4 billion so far.

If it is regards to the Vic embankment, then i'm impressed that its risen to s decent figure.

As for this dev, its great! richards bay needs to shed its industrial only image and embrace its port and fantastic location near the game parks and st lucia!
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
They are changing the name of the St Lucia world heritage site, for people get confused between it and the island of St Lucia in the carribean which is also a world heritage site. The town of St Lucia tho will keep its name
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
hey there and WELCOME to the forum. good to have new faces. As you live in Richard's Bay and East London you are a very welcome addition for we really dont keep too up to date with all that is going on in those places, maybe you could share some info with us.

Regards the oil refinery in RB, this is the first i'm actually hearing of it. It would be a great additional investment for the area in addition to the massive industrial investments that are taking place, which are well over R25billion in investments now.
 

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Thanks, well here's some detail about the refinery in R Bay






The first official steps towards the proposed R43-billion oil refinery in Richards Bay have been taken in controversial circumstances.

In August last year, the Zululand Observer announced plans by Drako Oil & Energy Corporation to build the refinery, which would be the largest single construction project ever undertaken in South Africa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
R43 billion?? Gee, that makes all the Coega investments look more pathetic than they actually are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
This is all the info i have managed to find on the Oil project:

1) DRAKO Oil and Energy in R54m Richards Bay property deal
http://www.myproperty.co.za/news/1839/DRAKO_Oil_and_Energy_in_R54m_Richards_Bay_property_deal.html


RE/MAX of Southern Africa has concluded one of the largest industrial property deals on the KZN coastline when DRAKO Oil and Energy purchased a 600 ha site close to the Port of Richards Bay. The R54-million deal was finalised this month by Richards Bay-based RE/MAX Marine broker owner, Trudy van der Vlies, according to a group press release.

DRAKO Oil and Energy’s initial brief was to locate 1 500 hectares of coastal terrain on which to develop the first of three new refineries planned for South Africa. Finding 1 500 ha of open land, according to the release, turned out to be problematic as there was just nothing available.

“This was undoubtedly the most challenging and rewarding task I have had in my 13 years of being a property broker. Sourcing the required land for a project of this magnitude took close to a year-and-a-half”, comments van der Vlies.

“We eventually sourced 600 ha of prime industrial terrain close to the Port of Richards Bay. DRAKO Oil and Energy are in negotiations with Portnet (Ports Authority) to lease a further 230 ha”, says van der Vlies.


2) Business Watch March 29, 2007
http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=554&fArticleId=3754459

In the pipeline is Drako Oil's well publicised plan to spend R41 billion building a new oil refinery in Richards Bay by 2010, but there appear to be no firm developments to indicate this investment will happen by then.

The department of minerals and energy is also doubtful that the project is viable.

Nhlanhla Gumede, the deputy director-general in charge of hydrocarbons and energy planning at the department, said: "Richards Bay is an ecologically sensitive area. It would be difficult to justify a crude oil carrier coming into the port."

According to the Southern African Birding website, the estuary at Richards Bay is one of South Africa's largest, and despite industrialisation at the port there is still a vast population of resident and migrant water birds.

With the likelihood that Sasol's plans, which are still being considered, will be built only between 2012 and 2014 and the probability that Drako Oil will not be able to tide us over from 2010, South Africa is looking at increasingly larger quantities of refined fuel imports.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
The last article posted is most funny. They say Richards Bay is environmentally sensitive and crude oil ships would be so bad for the area, but its ok for other ships and the masses of industry that already exists? hmmm, me guesses is they unhappy that there will be even competition for sasol...
 
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