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Sulphur Powder Making Plant


1.         Product Description: Sulphur powder is widely used in agricultural insecticide and fungicide in dust form or in the form of wet table sulphur in spray mixture along with other insecticides.  Sulphur powder is also used in the manufacture of fertilizers, rubber vulcanization, medicines, and explosives and in the manufacture of other chemicals.  Sulphur powder is applied as insecticide in crops like tobacco, rubber, groundnuts, chilies, cumin seeds, etc.

2.         Rationale: The Amhara Region is predominantly an agricultural region where productions of crops play a very dominant role in the economy of the Region.  The predominance of this sector will continue for the coming 15 to 20 years.  All the chemical requirements of the agricultural sector of both the region and of the country are imported.  Every year tens of thousands, of tons of insecticides, pesticide, etc are imported to the country and the share of the Amhara Region is about one-fourth of the national requirement.  Given the importance of the agricultural sector at the national and regional level, it is economic wisdom to facilitate the modernization and development of this sector by supplying the necessary inputs for the sector.  One essential input of the sector is the sulphur powder whose uses are indicated above.  Establishing a sulphur powder making plant is one step forward to improve the development of the agricultural sector at the national and Regional level.


3.         Market Potential:  The need of insecticides and pesticides in the country and also in the Amhara Region can be visualized from the size of land devoted to the production of crops.  In countries where modern agriculture is being practiced, the amount of chemicals needed for crops is enormous.  In 2005, total cultivated land in the country was estimated to be 9.811 million hectares of which about 0.9 million hectares was provided with pesticide chemicals.  This was only nine percent of the total cultivated land.  To improve the productivity of agriculture, more fertilizers and more pesticides and other chemicals are needed.  Up to now the limited use of agro-chemicals is caused by the perinneal shortage of foreign exchange.  To improve the supply of agro-chemicals to the country’s agricultural sector, one option would be to produce the essential chemicals here at home.  And the demand for the major chemical inputs is sufficient to absorb the production volume of medium size agro-chemicals such as sulphru powder.


4.         Source of Raw Material:  The main raw material is crude sulphur containing 80% fines with lumps up to 10’’ size.  There are possibilities of securing the raw sulphur at home.


5.         Process & Technology:  The process of manufacturing sulphur powder requires simple equipment mainly size reduction and material handling equipments.  The size reduction equipment mainly used are jaw crusher and the Raymond mill.  The other accessories are feed hopper, a bucket elevator and screening equipment.  The raw sulphur is feed into the hopper of the jaw crusher where it is crushed to the feed size required by the crushing roll mill.  The crushed material coming out of the jaw crusher is to be fed to the roll mill for further grinding.  (In sulphur grinding, there is a danger of explosion.  Two important factors basically determine explicability.  These are concentration of dust in the air, and particle size of the dust.  Various steps are taken to prevent dust explosion and these are included in the equipment.  They are (a) reduction of the air present in grinding system and (b) use of inert gas. 


Main plant and machinery include roller mill equipped with double cone separators, exhaust fans, syclone collector and other accessories, jaw crusher, bucket elevator, feed hopper and roller feeder, storage tanks, miscellaneous equipments and accessories.


6.         Estimated Investment:  For a plant which will produce 10 metric tons per day of sulphur powder, the estimated investment will be:-

n  Building/Shade 500m2 at Birr 1500/m2 = Birr           750,000

n  Plant and Machinery                                    = Birr     500,000

n  Working Capital                                           = Birr  1,500,000


7.       Benefits: Promotes the development of the agricultural sector of the Regions economy, saves foreign exchange and regional financial resources, introduces new skills and technology, utilizes the natural resource of the region, potential of export.

8.       Location:   Near raw material site or Combolcha.