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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Noncommunicable diseases present African pharmaceutical industry with a $40bn opportunity

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2017 The growing incidence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) across sub-Saharan Africa, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory disease, in addition to infectious and parasitic illness, will present the pharmaceutical industry in Africa with a business opportunity of... 

Rolfes posts strong interim results

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th February 2017 Chemicals group Rolfes on Monday reported a R37-million increase in operating profit to R97-million for the six months to December 31, while its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation also increased by 58% to R103-million. The strong performance came on the back of its... 

Pockets of resilience, but SA’s manufacturing outlook remains fragile

By: David Oliveira     17th February 2017 South Africa’s manufacturing sector is expected to grow by 0.5% this year and by 1.2% in 2018, according to data from economic analysis and forecast provider FocusEconomics. Financial institution Barclays’ latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released earlier this month indicates that the... 

Pockets of resilience, but SA’s manufacturing outlook remains fragile

Automotive industry to achieve international standards with new gas

     10th February 2017 Honouring its commitment to the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, specialty chemicals and gas company A-Gas South Africa will be phasing out commonly used high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in its product range. 

Circumventing the challenges of impaired drug tests

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th February 2017 There is a need for testing methods that do not cross-react, especially when employees are HIV positive, says drug and alcohol testing equipment and accessories company Alco-Safe. “. . . people who are HIV positive are not obligated to disclose their HIV status, and rightly so. However, it does... 

Circumventing the challenges of impaired drug tests
INACCURATE TEST RESULTS Antiretroviral medication can affect the outcome of drug tests

Outstanding achievements earn company chemicals industry award

     10th February 2017 Imperial Logistics group company Freightmax has been awarded the Responsible Care Haulier Award by the Chemicals and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA). This annual award recognises companies in the South African chemicals industry for outstanding achievements in health and safety, resource... 

Outstanding achievements earn company chemicals  industry award
PRESTIGIOUS AWARD Freightmax operations director Shaun Barker (left) and national SHERQ manager Alvin Pillay (right) with the Responsible Care Haulier Award

Company celebrates success in gas markets

     3rd February 2017 Engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services company Fluor Igoda Projects is celebrating ten successful years of undertaking capital projects in the oil, gas and chemicals markets in South Africa. 

Company celebrates success in gas markets
RISHAD KHAN Fluor Igoda Projects has long-standing relationships with many refineries and has also developed a solid platform to support the bulk fuels storage and logistics network

Concern regarding standard disposable cylinders

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd February 2017 Speciality chemicals and gas supplier A-Gas highlights its concern regarding disposable cylinders being used as packaging to import hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and in some cases, flammable hydrocarbons (HCs), into South Africa. 

Concern regarding standard disposable cylinders
CYLINDER LEGALITIES Chris Phillips explains that there are currently no legalities around the banning of disposable cylinders, however A-Gas continues to lobby the DEA on this topic

Indaba to build on momentum in the African mining sector

     3rd February 2017 Following the increasingly brighter global outlook for the mining industry and optimism from the investment community, the Investing in African Mining Indaba (IAMI) 2017 will lead with the theme: ‘Leveraging the next wave of growth: How can you invest in African mining to make long term... 

Resources demand exceeds global expectations

     3rd February 2017 African growth is currently exceeding global expectations, and with this comes an increase in demand for products, fuels and resources, says Southern Africa Compressed Gases Association (SACGA). 

Smarter portfolio choices and lower costs could drive higher returns in 2017

     3rd February 2017 The resource exploration industry has a good chance of achieving double-digit returns in 2017, as smarter portfolio choices and lower costs are already paying off, says analytics business Wood Mackenzie exploration VP Dr Andrew Latham. 

Smarter portfolio choices and lower costs could drive higher returns in 2017
Photo by Bloomberg
EMERGING EXPLORATION THEMES Some of the emerging exploration themes in 2017 include exploration for pipe gas opportunities near undersupplied markets

UK outlines 'modern industrial strategy' vision

By: Keith Campbell     3rd February 2017 On January 23, British Prime Minister Theresa May formally unveiled what is officially described as “proposals for a modern Industrial Strategy”. That same day her administration published a 132-page Green Paper entitled “Building Our Industrial Strategy”. (Green Papers are effectively the same... 

Innovative powder based solution limits water evaporation 

By: David Oliveira     27th January 2017 The opening of water conservation solutions provider WaterSavr South Africa (SA) in November last year has seen the introduction of an important technology to the local fight to conserve water, which could prove to be a boon for government and farmers. WaterSavr, a proprietary technology... 

Innovation, outward-looking approach will bolster industry growth

By: Nadine James     20th January 2017 The plastics converter industry needs to alter its mindset and look for innovative solutions while becoming more outward-looking to experience real economic growth, says industry body Plastics SA. Plastics SA chairperson Bernhard Mahl describes real growth as “thousands of tons of plastics,... 

Innovation, outward-looking  approach will bolster industry growth
OFF LINE Over the past five to ten years, the local plastics industry has stagnated, hovering between producing 1.3-million tons and 1.4-million tons of virgin material a year

Adcock Ingram sells stake in Ayrton

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th December 2016 The Ghana Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the sale of South African pharmaceuticals manufacturer Adcock Ingram’s 53% interest in Ghana-based pharmaceuticals company Ayrton Drug Manufacturing. Adcock Ingram noted in June that it would sell this stake to Dannex, another... 

WHO approves INSTI HIV self-test for African market

By: Sane Dhlamini     2nd December 2016 The INSTI HIV self-test (INSTI) manufactured by Canadian company bioLytical Laboratories will soon be available for the African market after getting the nod from the World Health Organisation (WHO). This comes after the WHO released new guidelines on HIV self-testing to improve access to and... 

WHO approves INSTI HIV self-test for African market

Considerable growth opportunities for sustainable environmental management

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd December 2016 With the drive to a greener economy and sustainable management of the environment, specialist cleaning service provider Spill Tech is well positioned for considerable growth in the Western Cape owing to its rapid spill response service concentrating on hazardous waste, says Spill Tech chairperson... 

Considerable growth opportunities for sustainable environmental management
WASTE MANAGEMENT Opportunities introduce new waste technologies, as the future of the spillage response will move toward more environment-friendly methods

BASF appoints new South Africa MD, country cluster head

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     1st December 2016 International chemicals company BASF has appointed Benoit Fricard South Africa MD and Southern Africa country cluster head. He joined the organisation in 2002 and most recently held the position of BASF South America performance materials director. 

Omnia H1 profit down 11% y/y amid drought, plant breakdown

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th November 2016 South African chemicals producer Omnia on Tuesday reported that negative impacts on its agriculture division, including the drought and a breakdown at its Nitric Acid 2 complex, have seen its gross profit decrease by 11% year-on-year to R1.5-billion for the six months to September 30. The... 

Omnia H1 profit down 11% y/y amid drought, plant breakdown

Company promotes ecofriendly production processes

By: Sascha Solomons     25th November 2016 As a means of protecting the environment, nonwoven geotextile manufacturer Fibertex uses chemical-binder-free products and production processes to manufacture Fibertex geotextiles, which are made of virgin polypropylene (PP) material. Fibertex South Africa CEO Clive Hitchcock comments that virgin... 

Company promotes ecofriendly production processes
CLIVE HITCHCOCK Nonwoven geotextiles play an important role in diverse sectors

Exclusive rights for wastewater treatment acquired

By: Sascha Solomons     25th November 2016 Angolan oil and gas services company Friburge has acquired the exclusive rights to provide waste treatment solutions using wastewater treatment company Nature Oil and Gas’s technology in sub-Saharan Africa. The waste treatment solutions are on-board solutions to treat wastewater, or slops,... 

Exclusive rights  for wastewater treatment acquired
WASTE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS Friburge provides waste treatment solutions that are on board and can be flushed regularly with water or chemical to clean them of debris and built-up residue

Sasol unveils R1.1bn polypropylene expansion project 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st November 2016 Petrochemicals group Sasol on Monday inaugurated its C3 expansion project, which enables it to expand Secunda Chemicals Operations polypropylene production by 103 000 t/y to just over 625 000 t/y. The R1.1-billion, Secunda-based project was lauded as a major capital investment in tough economic... 

Sasol unveils R1.1bn polypropylene expansion project
Sasol CEO Stephen Cornell speaks on the launch of the new C3 expansion project. Cameraperson: Nicholas Boyd Editing: Vincent Pestana

Company experiences growth despite difficult environment

     4th November 2016 Valve distributor TTV Fluval Group of companies is celebrating 18 years of success in the South African market, further illustrated and encapsulated by this year’s numerous successfully completed projects resulting in a total invoicing for valves and actuators amounting to more than R180-million.... 

Company experiences growth despite  difficult environment
SUBSEA VALVES Some of the valves supplied to national oil company PetroSA’s Mossel Bay FO Fields for R60-million

Nutraceutical firm Go Life seeks AltX listing

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     2nd November 2016 Mauritian-listed nutraceutical company Go Life International is seeking an inward listing on the JSE’s AltX, following the acquisition earlier this year of the remaining 78% interest in Go Life Health Products. Go Life will list on the AltX this month, subject to JSE approval. Go Life... 

Dis-Chem to start trading on JSE

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th October 2016 After announcing its decision to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) earlier this month, South African pharmacy group Dis-Chem on Friday revealed that it expected to start trading on the JSE’s main board on November 18, under the food and drug retailers sector. The JSE has granted... 

Industry body calls for elimination of lead in road marking paint

By: Nadine James     28th October 2016 Paint manufacturers organisation South African Paint Manufacturing Association (Sapma) executive director Deryck Spence has approached the national standards authority South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) to request that it reformulates specifications for the use of lead pigments in road... 

Industry body calls for elimination of lead in  road marking paint
DANGERS UNDERFOOT Friction caused by vehicles tyres erodes the lead paint, which could result in pedestrians or drivers inhaling minuscule amounts of lead particulates

Rolfes boasts higher profit across all divisions in Sept quarter

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th October 2016 JSE-listed chemicals group Rolfes has, as a result of restructuring initiatives undertaken since July, lifted the profit of its water division by 84.2% to R3.5-million. Speaking to Engineering News Online on Thursday, Rolfes CEO Lizette Lynch said the company took a number of steps to... 

Accéntuate wraps up big fraud case against employee

By: Irma Venter     21st October 2016 Accéntuate has wrapped up the fraud case that saw R70-million disappear at the JSE-listed flooring, water and chemicals specialist. CEO Fred Platt says the guilty party – a director at its East London operation – has been charged and found guilty of fraud and theft. Sentencing is imminent. In... 

CSIR high-throughput screening system to accelerate local malaria research

By: Schalk Burger     21st October 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Biosciences unit is using an automated robotic liquid handling system to dramatically increase the throughput of its screening for viable medical compounds as part of its research into malaria in its human-hosted stages. The Janus machine,... 

Lake Charles is value accretive in the long term

     21st October 2016 Despite the announcement in August revising the cost estimate of its Lake Charles chemicals project (LCCP) by about $2.9-billion, South African petrochemicals giant Sasol remains confident that the project is value accretive to shareholders in the long term. The project, located adjacent to... 

Lake Charles is value  accretive in the long term
LAKE CHARLES Sasol's Louisianan chemicals project is adjacent to its current chemicals operation

Robotic tank floor eliminates risks

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st October 2016 Oil, gas and petrochemicals services provider A.Hak Industrial Services (A.Hak) will introduce a Robotic online storage tank floor inspection service in South Africa before the end of this year. This new technology eliminates the need for storage tanks to be decommissioned for lengthy periods for... 

Robotic tank floor eliminates risks
PRODUCT MODIFICATION A.Hak can now inspect furnace tubes as small as 3” in diameter

Strong operating performance to continue in 2017

     21st October 2016 South African petrochemicals giant Sasol CFO Paul Victor announced last month that despite the anticipated oil and currency price volatility, the company expects its strong operating performance to continue next year. Speaking at Sasol’s annual results presentation on September 12, Victor pointed... 

Strong operating performance to continue in 2017
SASOLBURG PLANT Sasol CFO Paul Victor stated that the outlook for 2017 remained reasonably positive

Sasol espouses multi-asset virtues of $11bn US project amid cracker rivalry

By: Terence Creamer     10th October 2016 The skyline associated with Sasol’s $11-billion ethane cracker project in Lake Charles, Louisiana, is starting to change fundamentally as the plant’s large steel structures are installed on a portion of the vast 890 ha site, where the South African energy and chemicals group is creating a new... 

Sasol espouses multi-asset virtues of $11bn US project amid cracker rivalry
Photo by Sasol
Aerial view of Lake Charles chemicals project

New blending method may slash energy needed to produce bioethanol-enriched petrol by up to 40%

By: Schalk Burger     7th October 2016 A simple gasoline-ethanol blending method will reduce the energy required to produce a bioethanol-enriched gasoline mix by between 17% and 40%, and can potentially be applied to other biofuel blends. Three South African scientists, Dr Neil Stacey and Aristoklis Hadjitheodorou of the University of... 

Monitoring the use of pool pumps results in greater efficiency

By: Sascha Solomons     30th September 2016 Pool maintenance and renovations company Pool Busters notes that monitoring pool pumps can lead to greater savings. “Using a pool pump that is popular in the market and readily available doesn’t guarantee savings or effective use. If a pool pump is selected on its availability at a lower price,... 

Monitoring the use of pool pumps results in greater efficiency
PUMPING EFFICIENTLY Monitoring the use of pumps results in longer lasting and cost effective pump use

Pharmaceuticals giant to launch SA’s first biotech manufacturing facility

     23rd September 2016 Global pharmaceutical company Cipla announced in July that its proposed biotech subsidiary, Cipla BioTec South Africa (CBSA) will invest just over R1.3-billion into the country's first biotech manufacturing facility, used for the production of biosimilars, and located in KwaZulu-Natal. Cipla’s... 

Ascendis focuses on international growth

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th September 2016 Despite its results being impacted by offshore acquisitions and its headline earnings per share (HEPS) dropping 30% to 56c in the year ended June 30, health and care company Ascendis Health still reported a 41% increase to R613-million in normalised earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation... 

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