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Omnia and Nalco announce water & process treatment joint venture



Protea Chemicals, a division of the Omnia Group based in South Africa and Nalco, the world’s leading water treatment and process improvement company based in Illinois, USA, today announced the formation of a joint venture, Nalco Africa, that will provide an extensive range of water and process treatment services to the African market.

Commenting on the joint venture, Omnia MD, Rod Humphris said: “This joint venture will enable Omnia to assist its clients to significantly reduce their environmental impact using Nalco’s industrial water and process treatment technologies. This partnership with the leading global water and process services company complements our existing chemicals business and demonstrates our continued commitment to growing our business through proactive management of South Africa’s scarce water resources in the critical area of water improvement.”

Nalco uses an award-winning, patented 3D TRASAR® cooling water automation technology to reduce industrial water use. Since its introduction in 2004 this technology has saved more than 596 million cubic meters of water worldwide.

The utilisation of Nalco’s Air Protection Technologies provides cost-effective, engineered solutions for the control of nitrogen and sulfur oxides (NOx /SOx), carbon monoxide, mercury and particulates. This technology helps companies to increase combustion efficiency and reduce energy costs.

These water and air technologies represent a small element of the extensive range of services and products which will be available under the new business, Nalco Africa. Services will include treatments for the mining sector; refinery and petrochemical sector; pulp and paper industry; food and beverage market and broader industrial water and effluent treatment applications.

Commenting on the joint venture, Erik Fyrwald, Nalco Chairman and CEO, said: “Africa is an important growth market and we believe that Nalco and Protea Chemicals are a perfect fit. The total accessible market in the region is estimated at more than US$400 million per year and is expected to grow significantly over the next 10 years. We will be in a unique position to combine our technologies and expertise to provide advanced products and services. This is a great opportunity to bring together our expertise and experience in the water, energy and air sectors, our global research facilities, and a well-respected partner who understands the needs of the industrial services market in Africa.”

The Boards of Directors of both companies have approved the joint venture, subject to meeting the necessary regulatory approvals and conditions, and it is expected to begin operating in the first quarter of 2010.


About Protea Chemicals

Protea Chemicals is the Chemical Division of the Omnia Group, a diversified and specialist chemical services company, a well known manufacturer and distributor of specialty, functional and effect chemicals, and polymers in Africa. It has a presence in every sector of the broader chemical distribution market, with an extensive branch network in Africa.

About Omnia

Omnia Group is a diversified, specialist chemical services provider listed as Omnia Holdings Ltd on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with business interests balanced across chemical, mining and agricultural markets. The Group’s business model, which leverages its intellectual capital and technology, differentiates it from commodity chemical companies.

The Group’s three businesses (chemical, mining and agriculture) continue to provide high value, customised solutions built on a continually expanding knowledge base. Omnia’s unique business model places it at the forefront of the chemical services industry and involves matching customer needs to product innovation and application expertise to add extraordinary value to its customers businesses.

For more information visit

About Nalco

Nalco is the world’s leading water treatment and process improvement company, delivering significant environmental, social and economic performance benefits to our customers. We help our customers reduce energy, water and other natural resource consumption, enhance air quality, minimize environmental releases and improve productivity and end products while boosting the bottom line. Together our comprehensive solutions contribute to the sustainable development of customer operations. Nalco is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. More than 11,500 Nalco employees operate in 130 countries supported by a comprehensive network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and research centers to serve a broad range of end markets. In 2008, Nalco achieved sales of more than $4.2 billion. For more information visit

For more information contact: Omnia (011) 709 8850

Rod Humphris, MD; Delwin Eggers, FD

Issued by Brunswick: (011) 502-7400

Anne Dunn 082 448 2684

Rachel Quigley 082 317 4180