McDan champions green shift in salt logistics


… proposes renewables and smart logistics

Dr. Dan McKorley, Executive Chairman of McDan Group, has urged the global salt industry to embrace a ‘green shift’ toward more sustainable transportation and logistics solutions, stating that is a key pillar toward a more environmentally friendly future for the sector.

Speaking at the International Conference on Advances in Salt and Marine Chemicals: Brine Mining, Purification and Resource Recovery (ICASMC 2024), where he served as the guest of honour at the valedictory session, Dr. McKorley proposed exploring the development of various sustainable transport solutions.

This includes electrifying transportation fleets, utilising renewable energy for logistics and implementing smart logistics systems to optimise routes and minimise carbon emissions.

These initiatives, he argued, are essential for ensuring the industry’s long-term sustainability and aligns with global trends toward decarbonisation.

“The transportation and logistics of salt are crucial factors in meeting demand efficiently and cost-effectively. Let us explore the development of sustainable transport solutions such as electrification of transportation fleets, utilisation of renewable energy for logistics, and the implementation of smart logistics systems to optimise routes and reduce carbon emissions,” he remarked.

This comes amid increasing environmental concerns over the transportation of the approximately 300 million metric tonnes of salt produced globally each year.

The conference brought together key stakeholders to discuss the future of the salt industry, with Dr. McKorley’s call to action heralded as important in integrating sustainability practices into the industry’s operations, paving the way for a more responsible and environmentally conscious future for salt production and transportation.

While highlighting the importance of sustainable transportation and logistics, Dr. McKorley also underscored the need for deeper collaboration and innovation across the entire salt industry.

Consequently, he proposed establishing a “global consortium of salt producers, distributors and pharmaceutical companies” to foster knowledge-sharing, streamline supply chains and mitigate potential shortages, particularly in the face of rising demand for pharmaceutical-grade sodium chloride.

Dr. McKorley expressed his belief that through collaboration, innovation and a commitment to sustainability, the industry can ensure its continued growth and contribute to a healthier planet.

The Executive Chairman of McDan Group further advocated for investing in research and development for automated mining, drone technology and advanced purification methods.

These advancements can not only improve efficiency and productivity, but also minimise environmental impact, contributing to a more responsible and sustainable industry.

Recognising the emergence of new salt sources from brine mining and recovery, Dr. McKorley called for partnerships with brine mining companies while ensuring sustainable practices.

He also encouraged exploring innovative applications for salt products beyond traditional markets, such as using salt for renewable energy storage or exploring its potential in biotechnology.

Dr. McKorley highlighted the “immense potential” of solar salt and marine chemicals technologies for sustainable production and resource recovery. He recommended supporting research and development efforts to improve the efficiency and scalability of solar salt production methods.

Additionally, he called for exploring the utilisation of marine chemicals for value-added products such as algae-based biofuels or pharmaceutical-grade compounds derived from marine sources.

Already, Electrochem Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of the McDan Group which was granted a 15-year lease to transform the Ada Songor Salt Concession, is estimating to produce one million metric tonnes of salt next year and two million by 2025.

Last year, the Minerals Income and Investment Fund (MIIF) mooted a potential GH₵300million investment in the Ada-Songor Salt project operated by Electrochem.

This conditional investment, requiring Electrochem to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), is expected to transform the 41,000-acre facility into Africa’s largest salt industrial complex.

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