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August 16, 1996:


The famous Azraq oasis in the Jordanian desert has been the traditional site of salt production for centuries. Salt is produced there from underground brine by solar evaporation. The traditional production method results in a salt that has a high sulphate content.

In 1986, the Jordan Salt Refinery in Azraq was established. The two stage salt washing process implemented there was never able to cope with the sulphate in the salt despite excessive losses during the processing. The result was an unsatisfactory refined salt quality and customer complaints.

Krebs Swiss approached the Jordan Salt Refinery and offered their help. After inspection of the facilities and investigation of the salt, Krebs Swiss proposed to undertake the modernisation of the salt refinery and implement a new method of salt production in the solar saltworks.

In less than one year from the contract between Jordan Salt Refinery and Krebs Swiss, the salt washing plant was completely revamped, converted into a state-of-the-art, two stage SALEX-M salt purification process and restarted. During the modernisation, the production was stopped only for 3 weeks. It is now working continuously, around the clock, producing high purity salt.

The following table shows the results of the performance test carried out jointly by Krebs Swiss and the Jordan Salt Refinery.
Azraq raw salt Washed salt before conversion Refined salt after conversion to SALEX-M process
Ca wt% 0.350 0.135 0.023
Mg wt% 0.050 0.012 0.007
SO4 wt% 3.600 1.840 0.050
NaCl wt% 94.273 97.210 99.777

These results clearly illustrate the supremacy of the SALEX salt purification technology over conventional salt washing processes.

The converted SALEX-M plant employs the latest innovation of Krebs Swiss known as HYDREX-3. This new technology achieves record high operating efficiencies. HYDREX-3 is available for establishment of new and improvement of existing salt purification plants worldwide. Further fields of application of HYDREX-3 technology include improvement of product purity and yield from crystallisation plants for common salt and other crystalline materials, industrial mineral processing and benefication etc.

SALEX is an advanced salt purification technology that finds application in solar saltworks, in chloralkali and soda ash plants, in salt mines and in refined table and cooking salt production. SALEX plants have been successfully completed or are being implemented in Portugal, Spain, France, Pakistan, India and in several countries of the Middle East.

Krebs Swiss is an independent firm of chemical engineering contractors and consultants, active in the field of salt processing, chloralkali production and membrane separation. Krebs Swiss worldwide reputation is based on 50 years of experience gained in over 200 projects executed in all continents.