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The Soda Ash Business through the Decades.

Founded 74 years ago, ICI Pakistan Limited has a rich history that predates the formation of Pakistan itself. The origins of the Company's soda ash plant date back to 1929 when R. A. Banks - an engineer from Alkali Division, UK - visited India to investigate the possibility of producing alkali in India. His analysis was favourable, indicating that a plant with a nameplate capacity of 18,000 tons per annum (TPA) or 18 kilotons per annum (KTPA) could in fact be set up in the area. Thus, in 1944, the first unit of the Soda Ash plant came online. The rest, as they say, is history.

Since its inception, the Soda Ash Business of ICI Pakistan Limited has consistently endeavoured to build on its successes and expand the scale and scope of its operations. As a result, over the years, the Business has evolved into an icon of Pakistani industry. The Company's keen focus on sustainable growth, as embodied by its brand promise, Cultivating Growth, is also reflected in the investment made in the Khewra community over the decades, with long-running healthcare and education programmes thriving alongside newer initiatives.

The Soda Ash Business has remained a supplier of choice, consistently producing quality soda ash, an integral raw material for various industries. The wide range of applications of soda ash includes the making of glass, detergents and paper. The food-grade variant of soda ash, sodium bicarbonate (popularly known as baking soda) is used for cooking and baking, as well as finding industrial use in tanneries, textile production and water purification. The importance of soda ash is in the production of vital necessities, and therefore it is important in everyday life and this cannot be understated.

In addition to being the largest soda ash producer in the national market, the Soda Ash Business has also made significant inroads into exports, particularly in Afghanistan and India. Along with its growing reach and scope, one of the most critical factors in the Business's success is its consistency; for the Soda Ash Business, a key component of delivering enduring value to customers is keeping a steady supply of this vital raw material available to customers, enabling them to run their own businesses smoothly, without hindrance or delay.

The Business continues to go from strength to strength. In 2015, the Board of Directors of the Company granted their approval for a two-phase capacity expansion project at the soda ash plant at an investment of USD 90 million. On the completion of phase one of this project, ICI Pakistan Limited has successfully expanded its capacity by 75 KTPA, more than the previous nameplate capacity of 350 KTPA. Prior to this, the last expansion, undertaken in 2007, increased the plant's nameplate capacity by 50 KTPA.

Following this latest expansion, the soda ash plant is now a 425,000-ton (or 425 KTPA) site and plans to increase the nameplate capacity to 500 KTPA within the next few years. The capacity enhancement will yield improved productivity and efficiency rates, and speaks volumes about the Company's desire to make Pakistan self-reliant vis-a-vis its requirement for soda ash. It also reflects the Company's goal to strengthen its status as a regional player by exporting soda ash, and reserving valuable revenue for the national exchequer. It is through this relentless pursuit of modernisation, innovation and expansion that ICI Pakistan Limited enjoys the status of the largest soda ash player in the market.

The Company's intent to remain a partner of choice is evident in the path it is paving for the future, aspiring to continue being a meaningful part of customers' lives and constantly striving to create value for its stakeholders.
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Publication:Slogan
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 31, 2018
Words:660
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