Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

1 February 2013

Namibia: YDM, Namibia's Only Steel Drum Manufacture

Relatively still new in the market considering the fact that operations started only in November 2011, Yellow Drum Manufacturing(YDM) has made a remarkable contribution to business performance figures as they can now source steel drums locally.

Situated in Arandis, the Yellow drum Manufacturing is the only steel drum manufacture in the country which specialise in the manufacturing of drums for the uranium, petroleum and paint industries.

Before the company was established, all drums were imported from South Africa which in turn had a direct effect on the cost structure of importers.

This week, Economist made it a priority to catch up with the Marketing Director of the Yellow Drum Manufacturing Company, Robert de Villiers who said that the Company has made a significant contribution to the local economy.

De Villiers said, "manufacturing these steel drums locally, is in line with Vision 2030, whereby the economy will be boosted by exports as our markets protrude Namibia, as well as strengthen the economy by providing more jobs."

With no competition besides that from outside the borders, de Villiers confidently said that although they are still new in the market, "sales are relatively good."

He said that although they do not export any drums at the moment, the drums are of high quality and with the potential capacity to produce over 600,000 drums per annum, they are capable of supplying clients outside Namibia.

de Villiers said current demand is within their expectation as they are still young and continuously growing. "At the moment, supply depends largely on the demand and we are fortunate to be in a position whereby we can easily meet the demand as we have necessary machinery and raw materials."

The company imports its primary raw material, steel plate from South Africa whilst the rest of the materials are purchased locally. "We are in the process of looking at the possibility of producing all our raw materials locally, but essentially most of our resources are proudly sourced locally."

With regard to any challenges that the company could be facing in industry, de Villiers said the start up phase was the only major challenge as the plant required machinery and raw materials of high costs.

For this year, the company targets to produce 23,000 drums which de Villiers said is within their reach as the heavy duty drum continues to be in very high demand due to the fact that uranium mines order in bulk.

The manufacturing plant employs ten people which according to de Villiers are from previously disadvantaged groups.

Yellow Drum Manufacturing makes 210L (closed lid and removable lid) steel drums, primarily used for industrial storage and transport purposes. The volume of the drums are approximately 210L, height - 88cm, internal diameter - 57cm and are waterproof.

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