Pelchem launched the 3rd and 4th phases of the Multipurpose Fluorochemical Pilot Plant (MFPP) at Pelindaba on 5 December 2013. These two units are focussed on producing fluoro-organics and metal fluorides.
Phases 1 and 2 of the MFPP were launched in June 2012 to produce commercial scale samples of fluoropolymers and perfluoro liquids based on Pelchem patented technology processes. Phases 3 & 4 will extend the facility’s capability to produce new high value specialty fluorochemical products. The MFPP as part of the Fluorochemical Expansion Initiative (FEI) supports the country’s fluorochemical industrial development program.
Fluorspar (CaF2), the raw material feeding into the fluorochemicals industry is a naturally occurring fluorite mineral. South Africa has some of the largest resources of fluorspar in the world and is determined to become a significant player in this sector. The country plans to increase local beneficiation of its fluorspar reserves through the establishment of a number of fluorochemical production facilities. These facilities will target both commodity fluorochemicals used in the steel, petroleum, automotive and aluminium industries and advanced speciality chemicals used in the electronics, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and other industries where there is a growing demand for high performance chemicals and materials.
The MFPP is expected to play a critical role in converting the technology developed in the laboratory into viable commercial projects. Demonstrating laboratory developed technology on a larger scale to attract commercial investors and potential customers. Both local and international investors will be targeted for investment. The pilot plant is multi-product enabled and is designed to produce virtually any type of fluorochemical product.