R2,6bn in new investments for Coega SEZ

07 August 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201915687

Commerce & Trade
Food & Beverage
Import/ Export
Property – Commercial & Industrial
Special Economic Zones

THE Coega Development Corporation (CDC), operator of the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Nelson Mandela Bay, announced recently that it had secured an additional 18 new investors in the 2018/19 financial year (FY).

According to Ayanda Vilakazi, Head of CDC Marketing, Brand and Corporate Communications, these new investments totalled R2,6 billion against a target of R693 million for the 2018/19 FY. New signed investments committed to Coega’s aquaculture development zone represented the largest share of investments signed in the 2018/19 FY following an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval little over a year ago.

Investments for the CDC’s aquaculture development zone came in at R848 million and represented almost a third of the R2,6 billion investments secured. The private sector aquaculture investment projects included an abalone farm and a land-based aquaculture farming facility.

In the metals sector, investments with a combined value of R760 million were signed which represented a third of the total investments secured by CDC in the past financial year.

The investments were for a copper smelting plant and a heavy engineering plant for steel rail wheels. The third top performing investment sector was energy where an investment of R362 million was secured from a Chinese firm involved in the manufacturing of solar photovoltaic cells.

The remaining investments were secured in automotive, chemical engineering, food and beverages, manufacturing and recycling industries with a total combined investment value of R580 million.

These included:

  • Two investments in agro-processing with a combined investment value of R302 million respectively for a citrus cold storage warehouse, container depot and packhouse, and another investment focused on processing artichokes and other high-value crops;
  • Two investments in the automotive sector: a commuter bus assembly plant (R130 million), and a power bike assembly facility (investment value: undisclosed);
  • Two investments in chemical engineering: a manufacturing facility for biodegradable cleaning and related project (R40 million), and a biological active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing facility (R76 million);
  • Three investments in the food and beverage manufacturing sector comprising a sugar-based confectionary production facility (R600 000), and two investments valued at R32,5 million by an existing CDC tenant operating in the retail salt market;
  • An investment by a logistics sector firm involved in providing goods and services in the freight movement industry (financial value: undisclosed);
  • Two investments in a fiber-optic cabling manufacturing, and a PVC compound production facility (financial values: undisclosed), and
  • A tyre recycling facility (financial value: undisclosed).

In the 2018/19 FY, 18% of new investments originated from China while the remaining investments emanated from South African firms.

“On an international level, the Coega SEZ remains a preferred investment destination for Chinese FDI flows and new greenfield investments in Africa. Coega will have three operational Chinese investors, including global Fortune 500 company BAIC, towards 2022,” said Vilakazi.

“Based on the new investments signed in the past financial year, our conservative estimations are that in excess of 2 073 jobs will be created,” he said, adding that this would certainly boost the 7815 people who are already working at Coega SEZ.

Commenting on the establishment of the aquaculture development zone, Vilakazi said the CDC had received Phase 1 funding for earthworks to develop road and basic infrastructure.

“In addition, we are undertaking a feasibility study for the cultivation of Atlantic Salmon a popular species for commercial fishing.”

In relation to agro-processing, Vilakazi noted that current tenants were busy with several expansions, and that the CDC continues to remain committed to looking at programmes and solutions to expand value chains for agro-processing sectors within a 120-kilometer radius.

“Another promising venture which we are busy investigating relates to the cultivation and processing of high-value products from cannabis for pharmaceutical industries,” he said.

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