Tunisia: Alkimia Troubles

Due to the hindrances that the chemical company Alkimia suffered because of production interruptions, their annual shipments of STPP declined last year 42.76% over the previous year, passing from 143,397 tonnes to 82,076 tonnes. From this last figure, 78,577 tonnes were shipped for export and only 3,499 tonnes were sold for the local market. STPP, sodium tripolyphosphate, is a raw material used mainly in the manufacture of detergents in powder.

The year 2011 was marked by a significant number of forced interruptions of production units following the strikes and social movements in the industrial zone of Gabes and the lack of phosphoric acid. Several renewals and maintenance have been made, namely the replacement of the elevator unit U-600 and the repainting of the entire plant with the breakdown of damaged concrete.

Under pressure from the trade union confederation, the company was forced to abandon the use of subcontracting and embarked on a logic of the entire tenure of the workforce, or 224 workers, over a period of three years.

Despite all the difficulties, Alkimia generated at the end of the year a net profit of 7.467 million dinars, and this mainly due to the significant decline in purchases of supplies consumed going from 129.019 million dinars in 2010 to 94.010 million dinars at the end of 2011.

Ste Chimique Alkimia SA operates a plant in Zone Industrielle de Ghannouch in Gabes, Tunisia, and has a 55% stake in Societe Kimial SPA, based in Annaba, Algeria and a 100% stake in Alkimia Packaging, which is engaged in packaging and marketing of soda ash in Tunisia and North Africa. The main shareholders of the Company are Groupe Chimique Tunisien, with a 39.1% stake and IMER Company, with a 22.12% stake.

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