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KARACHI: With an estimated cost of $ 300 million, HubPaK Salt Refinery is going to set up the ‘world’s single largest salt manufacturing site’ covering 150,000 acres of land in Balochistan province.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ismail Sattar told Business Recorder that financial close of the project would be achieved within the next few months, as other prerequisites have already been finalized.

He expects the plant would begin production by mid of the Financial Year 2023.

“Our target is to produce 24 million tons annually and once in production it will make Pakistan the third largest producer of salt in the world and the second largest exporter as the 24 million tons will all be exported. The annual export target is $1 billion,” Ismail said.

He said some big reputable and important foreign partners have join hands with him in this project. This mega investment would help provide jobs to the economically vulnerable residents of Balochistan province. Hub-salt has been engaged in this particular business since 1984. Hub plant, Ankerio plant Tharparker, Mukhai plant Tharparker and Kalabagh salt mines Punjab are already functional.

The total annual production of Hub plant is around 3,00,000 tons, Ankerio 300000 and Mukhai 2,00,000 tons. He said the total annual industrial demand of Pakistan approx is around 4 million tons, and the Hub Salt is catering around 19 percent market demand.

Hub salt is currently being exported USA, Australia, Japan, UAE, Europe and South Korea, he said.

He urged the government to reduce the energy prices for the manufacturing sector. “The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) should sit with us to device a long-term strategy.”

Meanwhile the Hub Salt officials at Tharparker informed a visiting group of media persons that plants at Ankerio and Mokhai have an installed capacity of 2,000 tons per day of up-gradation and harvesting capabilities of up to 10,000 tons per day.

They said the Ankerio plant is installed with the latest, state of the art harvesting and upgrading machinery, making it the most modern and advanced salt plant in the region.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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