Investing in Quality Soap Manufacturing, Packaging

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Godwin Uba
The importance of establishing manufacturing industries in Nigeria cannot be over emphasised. Through the establishment of manufacturing industries, jobs will be created, there will be increase in GDP, generate products for local consumption as well as export market to generate foreign exchange.

Despite the epileptic supply of electricity in the country, there are some investments in this area that have high consumption rate that the turnover rate can withstand with any overhead costs. Soap production (both Laundry and bathing soap) is an essential commodity used in every household, industries and institutions. It is used to keep the environment clean. Dry cleaners and industrial cleaners apply soap in washing and sanitation practices.

There are different brands of laundry soap (both bar and tablets) in the Nigerian market today. However, not all of them possess the quality that the general public wanted. Only few of the products are of the required standard, and the quantities available in the market cannot meet the growing demand. It becomes imperative that more serious investors are needed in this business of production of high quality soaps. Research has indicated that the supply is still far from the demand, considering the huge market and the rapid increase in population of Nigeria.

Raw Materials Requirements
This project is considered worthwhile because all the raw materials are locally available. Also, the required technologies are locally made and the required human resources are also available. The raw materials required are basically vegetable oil, perfumes, caustic soda, salt or soda ash and water. These are all available in all major Nigerian markets.

Plants and Machinery
Requirements: The machinery and equipment include mixer boiler, measuring tanks, moulds, soap slicing machine, stamper, cutter, plastic container, jars, hydrometer and scales. These machines are fabricated locally. There is also imported machinery. The choice and selection is left to the investor, and on the size of the investment.

Production Capacity:
The plant under consideration is to produce between 250 cartons per day and each carton will contain about 30 pieces of bar soap. Tablet soap measuring between 3’’ x 2’’, 15’’ x 12’’ The machines for the soap are locally available. These machineries have been tested and found to be very reliable, standard and durable and will be made available to prospective investors on request.

Production Technology:
The entire production process consists of three simple steps. These include the cold, semi-boiled and fully boiled processes.
Production process involves first and foremost, making of caustic soda and soda ash solution using dry clean plastic containers, measured in specific concentration using the hydrometer.

Secondly, the solutions are reacted with a chosen vegetable oil. The third stage is to add sulphuric and foaming agent. The resultant liquid soap is then allowed to congeal into solid soap using cooling moulds.

For detailed information contact the writer. Whatever method of production that is applied, the final product is cut into slabs in the form of bars form tablets. The trade mark of the manufacturer is then engraved on the products. The products are then wrapped and packed into cartons for the marketing.

Note that packaging is very important. Therefore there is need to ensure that quality packaging is maintained with very attractive packs.

Financial Analysis:
The project can be started on a small scale.
For a medium and fairly large laundry soap production plant, the total cost for start-up is between N10.7million and above, depending on the proposed location
Projected financial benefits are attractive and realistic. At full capacity, the proposed medium scale production plant will produce 250 cartons of soap (both tablets and bar) per day.

Operating for 250 working days a total of 62,500 cartons is to be produced in the year. At a factory price of about N900 per carton, market selling price of about N1200 per carton, a total of over N56.2 million sales revenue is to be recorded I the first year of operation. Gross Profit of over N56.2 million is to realize in the same first year of operations.

Cost Estimates
(N’000)
Preliminary expenses            300
Prepaid rent for two years     2,500
Plant & machinery                5,300
Furniture & fittings                250
Working Capital                  (N’000)
Raw materials (2 month)     2,000
Packaging                           1,500
Labour                                1,200
Operating costs (1 month)   1,800
Total                                 10,750

For details on preparation of comprehensive & bankable feasibility studies/ report, sourcing & installation of quality & durable machines, Recruitment & Training, Sourcing of Investment funds please contact the writer
Uba can be reached via 08023664368 or ubagodwin@yahoo.com