Construction of R4, 5 billion plant at Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone finally taking off

Media Release 

3 December 2020

Richards Bay – The Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone Company SOC Ltd together with Nyanza Light Metals (Pty) Ltd are thrilled to announce the appointment of Grinaker-LTA (G-LTA), as the company that will design and construct the top structure for Nyanza Light Metals’ Technical Services Centre in Phase 1F of the RBIDZ.

Nyanza Light Metals (Nyanza), a chemical manufacturing company established in 2011, which has begun the process of building its 80,000 tons per annum (tpa) titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment manufacturing plant in the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ), 170km north of Durban in South Africa. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment, a US$20 bn a year market, is a fine white powder used to provide whiteness and opacity in the manufacturing of products such as paints, industrial coatings, plastics, papers, inks, foods, medicines (i.e. pills and tablets) as well as most toothpastes.

Though South Africa (RSA) is the second largest producer of titanium dioxide mineral sands and slags in the world after Australia, accounting for about 22% of the 7 million tons global production, it is an importer of all value added titanium products such as the TiO pigment and hardly has any local titanium value addition industries.

The project will be rolled-out in two phases, the first phase being for the construction of a Technical Services Centre which will house a semi-production plant with an investment value of R130 million and the second being the main production plant, accounting for the total investment value of R4,5 billion. At peak production the main production plant will produce over 80,000 tons per annum of titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment as well as other Nano-titanium related products from titaniferous slags.

The duration of the construction of the Technical Services Centre is anticipated to be twelve (12) months. The semi-production plant will operate for a year to allow the completion of the pre-construction engineering for the main commercial plant. The semi-production plant will employ about 100 people during construction phase and create an estimate of sixty (60) permanent jobs post-construction.

The appointment of Grinaker-LTA (G-LTA) heralds the start of the first phase of this unique and significant project which will enhance Richards Bays’ position as the Titanium Capital of the African Continent. G- LTA has commenced work leading towards the construction of the Technical Services Centre. 

The scope is a turnkey project with site establishment and equipment mobilisation.

G-LTA is a pioneering multi-disciplinary construction and engineering company with a high performance and efficient delivery track record having won various awards in the construction and engineering sector. The G-LTA delivers its exceptional capabilities in the following global sectors: civil engineering, building construction as well as mechanical and electrical engineering.

It is a condition of the contract that G-LTA will subcontract a proportion of the work to subcontractors in the King Cetshwayo District which have the necessary skills and experience to participate in the project. 

This ensures participation of local businesses and people at large.

We are very motivated to witness this breakthrough. This project is one other that we have been harnessing for some time now to ensure that this day is realised, not only for the benefit of the RBIDZ but for the people that we have to serve’. ‘The project has been strongly supported by the provincial and national government equally’. 

The uniqueness in it will bring the major boost to the economy and further create much needed employment opportunities with a spiral of skills transfer and innovation as well as the value chain benefits to our people remarked RBIDZ Acting CEO, Simangele Ngcobo.

Nyanza Light Metals CEO, Donovan Chimhandamba said, “The appointment of Grinaker-LTA is a significant and quality milestone achieved.

Though for now they are focused on the heart and centre of our operations, which is building the Technical Services Centre, we are happy as Nyanza to have them advise on the broader issues around the main plant. 

We have no doubt of the quality they will deliver and look forward to working with them”.

Grinaker-LTA, which today is 100% black-owned and managed has over 100 years of experience in construction, mechanical and electrical engineering within specialized industrial plants such as the one being built by Nyanza Light Metals. 

As expressed by the Group Managing Director, Bheki Mdlalose, “We are very excited to be associated with RBIDZ and Nyanza Light Metals on this flagship project. We deem the appointment key to our strategy for the region; a pertinent opportunity for us to bring our world class expertise to the development of the zone and further add towards its competitiveness.’

‘This project came at a time where there has been a sharp decline in the construction sector and an increase in unemployment, particularly within Richards Bay’.

The success of this project, our shared values and sustainable strategy will help us look beyond business as usual: to deliver value by doing things differently, to rethink our options and infuse our experience with a deeper understanding of partnerships and collaboration. Our strategy targets areas where positive societal impact can grow in tandem with our business, in ever more innovative ways’. “We look forward to the journey ahead.”


Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone and Nyanza Light Metals (Pty) Ltd

Choice Sihiya – +27 84 207 5823 (RBIDZ Communications)

Nyanza Light Metals

Joy Mupariwa - +27 73 195 3492 (Communications)


Simphiwe Shazi - +27 82 854 8638 (Corporate & Business Development Executive)


The RBIDZ is an organisation made up of real people, with a real dedication, and passion to effect real change in South Africa. This commitment and energy is apparent in all dealings with not only each other but with potential investors too.

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