Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga
By Chinazor Megbolu
As part of efforts to boost its productivity and also contribute to job creation in the country, Orange Drugs Limited (ODL) has concluded plans to up another factory in Onitsha.
Speaking during a press briefing in Lagos, the Plant Manager, ODL, Mr. Nwaorgu Henshaw said that the factory, which would be inaugurated on August 30, would accommodate 1000 employees on completion.
Presently, he said that the factory meant for soap manufacturing had about 200 employees.
He explained that the company that was initially known for goods distribution decided to start manufacturing as a result high cost of importation, adding that manufacturing in the country would not only create jobs, but would also make products affordable for consumers as well.
Henshaw also pointed out that the facility was to ensure that the firm continues to compete favourably in the industry and also retain its market share.
“Onitsha plant comprises of high technology and fully automated processing plant with twelve finishing lines. The concept is to produce locally the basic raw materials for soap noodles for our own internal consumption and sale to other companies in the same industry both within and outside Nigeria, “he said.
He also noted that the decision to diversify its business had given the company a competitive edge in terms of cost and quality of its product.
Henshaw, however, listed that the saponification process would comprise of: the tank farm, bleaching plant, boiler, water treatment plant, caustic dissolving unit, saponification crushers, spray type and two storage silos respectively.
He further maintained that the Onitsha plant was installed in April 2011, while test run was done in May 2012 with the firm’s technical team from Nigeria, Germany and Spain.
“The plant currently has the capacity to produce 5 tonnes per hour equivalent to 80 tonnes in 2 shifts per day (of 8 hours per shift). This is the phase currently being commissioned. The capacity per annum is estimated at 19,200 metric tonnes,” Henshaw said.