A ROYAL visit has been announced to mark the 50th anniversary of British Salt.

The Duke of Kent will be visiting Middlewich on Tuesday, June 25 as the company makes its biggest ever investment in a single project since the plant was opened in 1969 by Prince Philip.

Winsford Guardian:

British Salt was opened in 1969 by Prince Philip

A ground breaking £7.2 million state of the art boiler plant is being installed and is set to become operational in March 2020.

Two new boilers will each produce 45 tonnes of steam every hour, the same as the existing ones, but they will be more environmentally friendly.

The company employs 100 people in Middlewich and 20 in Northwich.

A British Salt spokesman said: "The new boilers will be the best available technology and produce less than half the Nitrogen oxide emissions and will be much more efficient, reducing gas used to produce steam and therefore the carbon footprint of the plant.

"They will help future proof the business and improve the reliability of the production plant."

Winsford Guardian:

A heat exchanger

The boilers will be located in a new building with a new flue stack lower than the current one.

Around 95 per cent of water used to produce salt is re-used and rainwater is collected to top up water required.

The steam is used to produce salt from brine extracted from the Warmingham brine fields.

The plant will generate heat and electricity for the company's 24-hour production process.

Some £25 million has been invested in the plant over the past five years, supported by Tata Chemicals Europe.

A new borehole has been developed to meet the growing demand for high purity salt.

The brine purification plant is being replaced and a new state of the art packing facility installed as the company increases its export market.

The evaporation plant heat exchangers are being replaced.

Winsford Guardian:

British Salt management proud to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the company

Ladan Iravanian, general manager of British Salt, said: “Our Cheshire salt reserves will last for the next 300 years – so we have a strong resource base upon which to build a sustainable future.

"Looking ahead to the future, we’ve also made great strides in terms of new product development. We’ve continued to innovate and meet the demands of the market by introducing new products.

“The next phase of the British Salt pack line investment is scheduled for completion before the end of our golden anniversary year, along with the implementation of the final phase of the brine purification plant renewal.

"This unprecedented level of investment demonstrates Tata Chemicals’ commitment to the British Salt business in order to deliver excellence throughout all areas of its manufacturing processes and to provide an unparalleled portfolio of diverse products.”

British Salt supplies more than 50 per cent of the UK's salt and has produces more than 30 million tonnes since production started 50 years ago.