The natural rubber processing activity has experienced strong growth in the country in recent years. Installed capacities, estimated at 530,000 tons in 2017, have increased to more than 1.4 million tons in 2023.

The “LOETH” plant in Soubré, in the western region of Côte d'Ivoire, was inaugurated on Thursday, October 26, 2023 by Mr. Emmanuel Tra Bi, Director General of Industry, on behalf of Dr. Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Trade , Industry and Promotion of SMEs.

This plant, established by the African Rubber Planting Society (SAPH), has a production capacity of 60,000 tonnes of rubber per year, bringing the number of the company's plants to six, with a total capacity of 275,000 tonnes of rubber. rubber per year. According to the expansion project, the capacity of this plant is expected to double in the coming years, reaching 120,000 tons per year. According to Mr. Emmanuel Tra Bi, “the entire Nawa region benefits from the creation of 400 direct and indirect jobs and business opportunities for companies in the city of Soubré.”

Accelerating the transformation

The government of Côte d'Ivoire has established clusters, including agribusiness, where important reforms have been implemented to accelerate the production and transformation of various agricultural raw materials in the country. This includes cocoa, cashew, natural rubber and food products such as rice, corn and soybeans, for which support and specific incentive measures are provided to actors in supply chains with the aim of improving competitiveness. of industrial companies and promote the local transformation of these products.

Regarding natural rubber, the government has set the goal of starting a new phase of value chain development to ensure the first transformation of all natural rubber production before the end of 2024 and achieve a second transformation by generate greater added value. To achieve this, the authorities have adopted specific fiscal measures to encourage investments in the natural rubber processing sector. A group of 13 companies has signed the agreement, which will allow the transformation of an additional volume of 400,000 tons of rubber for the first 15 signatory companies, which have already managed to process 480,000 tons before the deadline.

Thanks to the energetic measures taken by the government, the rubber processing activity has experienced strong growth in the country. Thus, installed capacities have gone from 530,000 tons in 2017 to more than 1.4 million in 2023.

As part of a regional ambition

Mr. Pierre Billon, General Director of SIFCA, thanked the Michelin company, a world leader in tires and partner of the group through SIPH for many years, for its strong support to SAPH in the pursuit of continuous improvement of its performance . «The creation of this impressive plant was not an option, but a necessity. The need to provide industrial assets that match the production effort made by Ivory Coast farmers for many years,” he added.

Despite dismal global prices, shareholders of SIPH, SIFCA and Michelin considered it unacceptable that farmers' production was exported without adding value. With this LOETH plant, SAPH has once again contributed to making Côte d'Ivoire more competitive in the global natural rubber market, where it now occupies third place in production. The industrial capacities of the LOETH plant in Soubré and other ongoing industrial projects across the country should allow Côte d'Ivoire to process all of its domestic production.

Article source:business news africa