AFROX - PRESS RELEASE - AFROX ANNOUNCES R100 MILLION EXPANSION PLAN Release Date: 17/11/2004 11:30:01 Code(s): AFX
AFROX - PRESS RELEASE - AFROX ANNOUNCES R100 MILLION EXPANSION PLAN
AFRICAN OXYGEN LIMITED
SHARE CODE: AFX
17 NOVEMBER 2004
AFROX ANNOUNCES R100 MILLION EXPANSION PLAN -THE 77 YEAR OLD GASES OPERATIONS
CENTRE AT GERMISTON TO RECEIVE A COMPLETE UPGRADE
"Confidence in the future," is how African Oxygen Limited (Afrox"s) chief
executive, Rick Hogben, describes the decision to make a R100 million investment
in the expansion of Afrox"s gases operations centre in Germiston. This project,
which was announced today, will start immediately and will enlarge what is
already the biggest gas production, cylinder filling and distribution centre in
the southern hemisphere, and the largest filling site in The BOC Group, which is
Afrox"s global parent.
Hogben says, "This R100 million is an investment for the next 10 to 20 years.
It will place Afrox at the forefront of global filling technology, and ensure
that we have world-class facilities necessary to meet customer demand. We
utilised best practices globally in designing and planning the upgrade in
Germiston, which will take three years to complete. This is a firm statement of
Afrox"s confidence of the South African economy and the wider customer bases
that we service."
The gases operations centre is core to Afrox"s business. It manufactures,
produces and beneficiates the entire range of industrial, medical and special
gases. It also fills and delivers over 1,3 million cylinders a year with 312
different products such as special gas mixtures, industrial and medical gases
and it supplies over 50 percent of the compressed gases produced in this
The scope of the investment includes:
* an improved logistics layout to address the present congestion.
Some 40 vehicles travel more than 1,6 million kilometres per year
transporting product to over 3 500 Afrox customers.
* a world-class nitrous oxide facility to meet increased demand for this
* a world-class medical filling facility
* a world-class test station
* office and building upgrades and enhanced security.
On completion the centre will offer world-class products, shorten lead times in
the production of mixes and scientific gases, streamline logistical integration
between Afrox and customer sites, and will effect savings through increased
efficiencies and productivity.
"The expansion and improvement project at the gases operations centre is one of
several growth and expansion projects over the next three years," says Hogben.
"Following extensive research into our customer profiles and requirements, we
have plans to expand our carbon dioxide plant capacity, introduce new offers
such as safety products, refrigerants and fire suppression services, and we
intend to focus on organic and geographic growth in the 16 African countries in
which we operate."
Afrox has met the welding, cutting and gases needs of customers in South African
and sub-Saharan Africa for 77 years - from the advanced process-oriented
requirements of the large fabricator, to the varied product line-up required by
the small user and DIY enthusiast. The company has some three million gas
cylinders in circulation and also supplies customers with bulk product which it
transports by road tankers, pipeline or from on-site plants.
The gases operations centre was established in 1927 and over the past years has
been continually upgraded to meet increased business. The site currently has a 5
star NOSA rating and an ISO 9001 listing, but an ISO 14000 listing will be
sought during 2005. The modernisation of the centre is part of Afrox"s strategy
to continue to offer world-class quality products and services to its customers.
Issued by African Oxygen Limited
Contact Chris Fieldgate 011 490 0430 or 082 495 1481
Ros Beart 011 490 0712
Date: 17/11/2004 11:30:04 AM Supplied by www.sharenet.co.za
Produced by the JSE SENS Department