Tata faces eco lobby on Tanzania soda ash project

13 August 2007 15:34  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--India’s Tata Chemicals will conduct a fresh consultative meeting to help it abide by environmental standards following protests over its plans to develop a soda ash plant near Lake Natron in Tanzania, a company source said on Monday.

According to recent media reports, conservation groups were outraged over the proposed soda ash factory as it threatens the survival of the entire East African population of lesser flamingos.

Tata Chemicals, the world’s third largest soda ash producer, is mulling a 500,000 tonne/year soda ash plant at the site, which it plans to commission by the end of 2010.

"The company is presently in the due diligence stage for the project and would prepare reports in line with the present environmental standards," the company spokesperson said.

"The Tanzanian location for the soda ash plant is suited due to its low cost of production and availability of feedstock," the source said.

Tata Chemicals and Tanzania’s National Development Corp (NDC) set up a unit called Lake Natron Resources to implement the project.

Lake Natron has high concentration of sodium carbonate and attracts large number of flamingoes. If it is damaged, conservationists say there is no evidence that the birds would breed successfully elsewhere.


By: Isha Jha
+65 6780 4359



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