MEYOMESSALA, Cameroon—Construction of Corrie MacColl Ltd.'s new Sudcam factory is complete and operations are under way.
The $16 million facility now serves the company's rubber plantations in Cameroon and initially is producing concentrated latex, the company said.
"The factory is poised to supply the European and North American dipping industry (gloves, condoms, balloons), as well as specialty product makers (automotive, household and industrial applications)," Corrie MacColl said in a statement revealing competition of the project.
"This is a great achievement by our team here in Sudcam. COVID-19 presented numerous obstacles to overcome but the team persevered and have produced a fantastic result," Sudcam plantation CEO Jimmy Francis said in a statement.
The new facility has an annual production capacity of 37,500 metric tons of concentrated latex and TSR CV/L grades.
Production started Jan. 15.
"Corrie MacColl is now uniquely positioned to supply the Western Hemisphere with specialty grades of natural latex, being the only producer of concentrated latex in Africa," the company said.
The firm's factories in Cameroon now have a combined latex capacity of 53,000 metric tons taken from 31,000 hectares of rubber trees at the Hevecam and Sudcam plantations.
Latex production from these farms is expected to rise from 10,000 metric tons this year to an estimated 60,000 metric tons per year starting in 2030 and beyond "as our trees mature and come into production," the company said.
The new site includes 100 kilowatts of solar power, recycles 100 percent of its effluent water and harvests rainwater.
The new facility will rely on company owned trees at the Sudcam plant as well as production from nearby farmers. The Sudcam plantation in Meyomessala has about 4.7 million trees planted. But because it takes years for rubber trees to start producing, processing at Sudcam is only now starting to ramp up production.
Before the opening of the new facility, output from Sudcam was sent to the company's Hevecam plantation for processing.
Most of the output from Sudcam will remain in liquid latex form to supply, but some of the material will be transformed into dry rubber, the company previously said.
Corrie MacColl also is creating an extension of its Ohio-based Momentum Technologies Laboratories to be located on site. The natural rubber and latex lab will help with equipment selection, training and certification efforts.
"Bringing together a factory and an on-site laboratory provides the advantage of a full-service offering as well as a strategic center for R&D," Francis said.
Halcyon Agri Corp. Ltd., parent to Corrie MacColl, purchased the Cameroon plantations in late 2016.