Salt which is popularly called ‘White Gold’ is said to be a universal commodity. Apart from salt being used for cooking, it has other myriad uses such as preservation, production of plastic products, oil refining and production, as component in animal feed production, in processing and manufacturing and the petrochemical industry. Salt is a valuable commodity which can be a major addition to Ghana’s export products.
Currently, Ghana produces about 200,000 tonnes of salt per year but potentially, Ghana has the capacity to produce an estimated 3.0 million tonnes per year. Salt production in Ghana is produced in the crudest of forms by crystallising sea-water near lagoons through solar energy and wind evaporation methods. Importantly, salt from Ghana is adjudged to be one of the best on the market and therefore attracts the highest price per tonne.
There is a huge market for salt in the West-Africa sub-region and internationally. In the West-Africa sub-region, Nigeria potentially presents the biggest export market.. Currently, Nigeria imports $4.5 billion dollars worth of salt annually and consumes about 60% of the total salt produced in the West-Africa sub-region. The sad irony is that, Nigeria imports most of her salt from Brazil, European Union, Saudi Arabia and India.
If Ghana can build her salt industry, then the huge Nigerian market will be there for the taking. With better planning and a new strategic thinking, there is no reason why Ghana cannot capture about 40% of the Nigerian market over a five year period and this will potentially rake in nearly $2 billion dollars per year.
Salt production forms partly the basis for the chemical industry and if Ghana is to develop a chemical industry we cannot afford to overlook the salt industry. Salt forms an integral input in oil production and since Ghana began oil production by 2011, we need to begin to strategise and look at ways to increase salt production because, in a couple of years time, there will be a huge demand for salt domestically which may dramatically increase the price of salt domestically.
Not only will salt production on a large scale generate employment opportunities for thousands of Ghanaians but, increase revenue to the District Assemblies and national government respectively through local and corporate taxes and finally, generate huge foreign exchange through export of processed salt.
As a by-product of water desalination our machines produce salt, we anticipate that a 100 kWh machine will be able to produce 280kg of salt per day / 102.2 tonnes per year.