Soap Manufacturing as Supplement

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Source: The Guardian (Nigeria)

Soap is very useful in our daily lives as a personal care product, and almost inevitably in every household and corporation. The soap industry falls under the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, which represents one of the largest industries worldwide. It is mainly characterized by companies that supply low-cost products that are in constant high demand, even more so, with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

According to a research report, aggregate output from local soap industry is about 650,000 tonnes per annum. With the ban on soap importation, this translates into a demand and supply gap of more than 250,000 tonnes yearly.

The soap market in Nigeria is estimated to be about N18 billion and it is estimated that over 800,000 tonnes of toilet and laundry soap are produced yearly (NBS). This is based on a conservative estimate of weekly consumption of one tablet of 75g per person of laundry and bath soap. This demand is driven by population growth, disposable income and consumer trend.

With Nigeria’s population of over 200 million coupled with projected growth rate of 10%, translates into ever-increasing demand for soap daily, and a must-use in every home. We expect the manufacturing sector to benefit immensely from the on-going switch to locally-manufactured goods, and incentives by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Soap is a traditional washing compound made from the saponification of oil fats and caustic alkali. The two vital raw materials needed for the production of bar soap are palm oil and caustic soda. Consequently their importance in the production of cleaning agents cannot be overemphasized.

The core machines used for bar soap manufacturing include, oil refinery, boiling pot, amalgamator plodder/extruder cutler eyelet and sealing machines.

The production process follows the sequence below:
* Bleaching – the process of refining the palm to meet production standard. It usually takes one hour duration per batch.
* Saponification – mixture of the refined palm oil with caustic soda and heated to form intermediate products known as soap pellets.
* Amalgamator – at this stage, soap pellets are combined with fragrances and other materials, which are blended homogenously in the amalgamator. This process takes about 45 minutes for the substance to generate the desired output.
* Extruder – the resultant mass from the amalgamator is then passed through an extruder, which brings out long log soaps.
* Eyelet – will determine the shapes of the bar soaps.
* Cutting – at the stage, the soap are ready to be cut into different sizes as specified by the company.
* Sealing & packaging – is the final stage in the process. The finished products are packed in cartons, sealed and moved to the warehouse for storage and dispatch.


The envisaged factory can make products available to customers through distributors in major market places. Also the use of sales representatives/marketing is imperative. Furthermore advertising will play a major role in consumer awareness of the products.

The promoter(s) should be experienced in Industrial Chemistry, management and supervisory skills.

Manpower requirement

A total of 10 staff is required in the short-term operations of the plant. They are Skilled Worker -4; factory workers – 5; and Security Operative – 1
Estimated start-Up Cost: N13.5million for a reasonable output capacity
Potential net profit: N4.5 – N5million per annum

Source of Funding: Bank of Industry loan
This profile, or any similar one, can be developed into a bankable proposal for any interested investor.  

For more information, contact any of the offices of The Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria.

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