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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Aspen secures €3.4bn credit line

By: Reuters     17th May 2018 Aspen Pharmacare, Africa's biggest generic drugmaker, said on Thursday it had secured a €3.4-billion ($4-billion) credit facility for refinancing debt at three of its subsidiaries. Aspen, which has operations in 50 countries, said the facilities were 70 percent oversubscribed and would be used... 

Some inroads made after ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan - Davies

By: Kim Cloete     15th May 2018 Ramping up production in the automotive sector, resuscitating the ailing tooling industry and boosting the clothing, textiles, leather and footwear industries are among successes the government has listed in its review of ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (Ipap). Despite a... 

Some inroads made after ten years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan - Davies

Transnet to review tenders, expand petrochemicals capacity at East London port

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th May 2018 More than 100 attendees representing 97 companies have shown a keen interest in the Port of East London’s plans to recommission an existing tank in the port for handling of liquid bulk and to introduce a liquid bulk terminal through a 25-year port concession awarded to a private entity, says... 

Transnet to review tenders, expand petrochemicals capacity at East London port
East London port manager Sharon Sijako

Platinum surplus to widen; fuel cells seen as key driver for future demand

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th May 2018 The platinum market will move further into oversupply this year, as production from South Africa remains flat and demand is forecast to contract by 2.5%, the latest Johnson Matthey platinum group metals (PGM) market report states.  

Platinum surplus to widen; fuel cells seen as key driver for future demand

SA pharmaceuticals group expanding its French operations

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th May 2018 South African pharmaceuticals group Aspen is planning to invest €100-million in its French manufacturing operation in the coming years. This will be in addition to the investments totalling €55-million made from 2015 to 2017. Aspen has two operations in France – a manufacturing site at... 

Edge platform adds industrial strength to software applications

By: Schalk Burger     11th May 2018 Critical availability specialist company Stratus Technologies has launched an edge computing device that provides high availability for software applications used in industrial environments, such as mines, factories and processing facilities says Stratus Technologies consultant head Greg... 

Decorative concrete market looking good

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     11th May 2018 Decorative concrete solutions can raise the aesthetic value of both new projects and renovations, and construction chemicals company Chryso Southern Africa is participating in the market to supply such solutions for aesthetic and practical applications, company CEO Norman Seymore tells... 

Decorative  concrete market looking good
LUMINESCENT LUMINTECH This technology contains particles that are incorporated into the concrete skin and glow in the dark

African fuel giant Vivo Energy attains secondary listing on JSE

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th May 2018 Downstream petroleum company Vivo Energy on Thursday attained a secondary listing on the main board of the JSE.  

Transnet, Sapia sign MoU to strengthen liquid fuels supply chain

By: Simone Liedtke     8th May 2018 State-owned Transnet and the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate to strengthen the liquid fuels supply chain and ensure security of supply in South Africa.  Through this MoU, both parties will focus on transforming... 

Aspen opens R1bn high containment facility in Port Elizabeth

By: Simone Liedtke     7th May 2018 Pharmaceutical company Aspen on Monday officially opened its R1-billion high containment facility, which further cements the company’s position as a private investor in the South African pharmaceuticals industry. The facility, correctly called a high containment suite, is one of six production... 

Aspen opens R1bn high containment facility in Port Elizabeth
Photo by Dylan Slater
(Left to Right) Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies, Aspen group CE Stephen Saad and Aspen capability manager Branson Bosman

UCT engineers design device to improve the quality of life of asthma sufferers

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd May 2018 Local biomedical engineers at the Medical Devices Laboratory at the University of Cape Town (UCT) have designed a device they hope will alleviate the issues associated with asthma-suffers, especially the elderly and children, who are unable to activate their asthma pumps due to the force required... 

Syrian storm puts SA in uncomfortable company

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th April 2018 On April 7, Douma, in Syria, was subject to what appears to have been a chemical weapons attack. The Syrian Government has an independently-established (by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW) record of using chemical weapons in the current civil war, and against... 

NCPC-SA hosts green chemistry awareness workshop

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th April 2018 As part of a global initiative, the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA), in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale University, hosted a workshop on green chemistry, in... 

NCPC-SA hosts green chemistry awareness workshop
Prof Paul Anastas Yale University, Ndivhuho Raphulu National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa and Dr Alufelwi Tshavhungwe Department of Science and Technology

South Africa may ask pharma firms for fee to clear drug review backlog

By: Reuters     9th April 2018 Drugmakers in Africa's largest pharmaceutical market may be asked to pay a "backlog fee" to help clear a pipeline of medicines waiting years for approval, according to a proposal being considered by South Africa's new industry regulator. Delays for hundreds of medicines have kept the latest... 

SNC-Lavalin awarded R3.3m Sasol contract

By: Anine Kilian     5th April 2018 Project management company SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a R3.3-million contract for a detailed engineering package to provide Sasol with an emergency shutdown (ESD) system replacement in Secunda.   

Upgrade of shiploaders at Durban harbour completed

30th March 2018 Consulting engineering solutions provider Bosch Projects has recently completed the upgrade of two shiploaders at the Durban harbour. The shiploaders have been used to load sugar onto vessels at the South African Sugar Association’s sugar terminal for over 50 years. 

Upgrade of shiploaders at Durban harbour completed
DURBAN HARBOUR The shiploaders needed to be refurbished in line with Transnet’s upgrade of berths at Maydon Wharf

World’s largest oxygen production plant inaugurated at Sasol Secunda

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th March 2018 Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa on Monday inaugurated French gas company Air Liquide’s €200-million air separation unit (ASU) at chemicals and energy group Sasol's Secunda plant, in Mpumalanga. The ASU is the biggest oxygen production unit in the world, with a capacity of 5 000 t/d... 

World’s largest oxygen production plant inaugurated at Sasol Secunda

SoE invites partners to help it supply essential medicine in Southern Africa

By: Schalk Burger     14th March 2018 State-owned pharmaceutical company Ketlaphela Pharmaceutical has released an expression of interest through which it is “seeking suitable experienced pharmaceutical companies or consortiums to partner with in order to supply essential medicines to South Africa and the region at large.” The... 

SA’s radioisotope producer restarts production

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th March 2018 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) announced on February 21 that its subsidiary company, NTP Radioisotopes, had resumed production. Necsa shut down operations at NTP in late November due to non-compliance with safety protocols at the radioisotope producer, a step with which the... 

Domestic drugs manufacturing could benefit from increased local demand

By: Dylan Slater     9th March 2018 The South Africa pharmaceutical manufacturing industry is “well positioned” to assist in contributing to the economy with an increase in local manufacturing, which needs to be driven by a decrease in importing drugs and consequent increase in local manufacturing, says local procurement lobby... 

Global industry leaders to address World Petrochemical Conference

9th March 2018 Global chemicals, refining, and oil industry leaders and experts will be among those to address the World Petrochemical Conference (WPC) 2018 taking place at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston, in the US from March 19 to 23. The thirty-third annual WPC will welcome more than 80 speakers and 1... 

Global industry leaders to address  World Petrochemical Conference
DIVERSE ATTENDANCE There will be 1 300 attendees from more than 40 countries at this year’s World Petrochemical Conference

Conference to shed light on CO2-based production technologies

9th March 2018 The sixth edition of the international Carbon Dioxide as Feedstock for Fuels, Chemicals and Polymers conference will take place in Cologne, Germany in mid-March. More than 200 industry and research experts are expected to attend the symposium. Organiser, independent institute Nova-Institute, has... 

Conference to shed  light on CO2-based  production technologies
CAPTURED CARBON-DIOXIDE It is only a matter of time before carbon dioxide is an important feedstock of the chemicals and energy industries

Analysers provide optimised refinery operations and quality

9th March 2018 Specialised engineering company RTS Africa Engineering’s Hy-Optima 2700 hydrogen analysers optimise refinery operations, products and quality. The basic process of refining crude oil involves heating the crude oil in a column and the condensates are drawn off at different levels to produce –... 

Analysers provide optimised refinery operations and quality
METICULOUS MONITORING There are up to 23 points in an oil refinery where the level of hydrogen needs to be very accurately monitored

BP and Renault Sport Racing strengthen strategic relationship

9th March 2018 Multinational petroleum company BP has extended its sponsorship of multinational automotive manufacturer Groupe Renault’s motorsport division Renault Sport Racing. BP will continue its support of Renault Sport Formula One Team for at least the next five years and explore new opportunities to... 

BP and Renault Sport Racing strengthen  strategic relationship
TUFAN ERGINBILGIC BP is looking forward to its continued relationship with Renault Sport Racing

Energy company launches new product, expands operation

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th March 2018 Independent energy company SA Oil made its new brand of fuel, Accelerate Special Gasoline, available to the market last month. This follows the response to a product trial, which ran between 2016 and 2017, where it was made available in limited quantities and “enthusiastically accepted among... 

Energy company  launches new product,  expands operation
GARY PULLEN SA Oil is entering the agricultural market, with a client-centric service offering

Mintek to develop technologies to selectively recover PACs

9th March 2018 Geochemical and metallurgical analysis company Mintek is currently conducting a project called Pacman for which the aim is to separate valuable metal and unreacted material from waste during ferrochrome production. The project is run by Mintek’s pyrometallurgy and minerals processing divisions.... 

Mintek to develop  technologies to selectively recover PACs
MARKUS ERWEE Mintek wants to develop technology that could be used by communities around smelters

Rope access company using new technology at petrochemicals giant

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th March 2018 Rope access solutions provider Skyriders Access Specialists has started using the Elios drone, from Swiss drone manufacturer Flyability, at a large petrochemicals company, in Mpumalanga. “Skyriders is at the forefront in terms of using drones in tandem with rope access services; they complement... 

Rope access company  using new technology at petrochemicals giant
DYNAMITE DRONES The collision-tolerant drones can enter confined spaces indoors and ensure that conditions are safe and adequate for the rope access team to inspect

Spending on innovation in industry inadequate

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th March 2018 The private sector is not investing enough money and resources in innovation in the chemicals and petrochemicals industry, says thermoplastic products supplier Astore Keymak business development director Malindi Nkambule. “One of the greatest challenges facing the industry is the lack of product... 

Spending on innovation in industry inadequate
MALINDI NKAMBULE The chemicals and petrochemicals industry is in a fairly good state in relation to the challenges being faced

Transport company awarded contract for Africa’s largest oil refinery

9th March 2018 Transportation service provider Mammoet has been contracted to provide heavy lifting and transport solutions for a new multibillion-dollar oil refinery in Nigeria. In January, Mammoet and Nigerian multinational industrial conglomerate Dangote Group signed the contract for the project during... 

Therapeutic brands help lift Aspen Pharmacare's H1 profit

By: Reuters     8th March 2018 South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare said on Thursday first-half earnings rose 26%, buoyed by a strong result from therapeutic focused brands and positive performance of the pharmaceutical business in its home market. Aspen, which counts developed Europe as its biggest revenue generator, has been... 

Long-suffering SA manufacturing sector hoping to reap Ramaphosa dividend

By: Dylan Slater     2nd March 2018 Prior to the Valentine’s Day resignation of now former President Jacob Zuma, popular industry sentiment pointed towards a better year in terms of manufacturing and gross domestic product (GDP) on the back of a recovering commodities market.  

Long-suffering SA manufacturing sector  hoping to reap Ramaphosa dividend

Omnia acquires Oro Agri for $100m

By: Simone Liedtke     1st March 2018 Chemical manufacturing company Omnia Group has agreed to acquire 100% of the ordinary shares of Oro Agri SEZC and 52% of the ordinary shares of Oro Agri South Africa (SA), which is not already owned by Oro Agro SEZC, for $100-million. Omnia will fund the transaction through existing available... 

Ascendis launches strategic review, headline earnings increase to R535m in H1

By: Simone Liedtke     1st March 2018 Pharmaceutical company Ascendis Health has initiated a strategic business review to create a sustainable market position for itself and to accelerate organic growth following the completion of several acquisitions locally and offshore since the company's listing in 2013. The review is expected to... 

Ascendis launches strategic review, headline earnings increase to R535m in H1

AECI posts record HEPS for FY17

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th February 2018 Explosives and specialty chemicals group AECI on Tuesday reported its highest recorded headline earnings per share (HEPS) to date, at 959c, for the financial year ended December 31. HEPS were up 17% year-on-year, while earnings a share increased by 22% year-on-year to 900c. 

AECI posts record HEPS for FY17
Photo by Duane Daws
AECI CEO Mark Dytor

Accéntuate aims for recovery as political power changes hands

By: Irma Venter     23rd February 2018 Flooring, water and chemicals specialist Accéntuate experienced a tough six months to December 31, 2017, with the company moving from a R3.5-million profit in the same period in 2016, to a loss of R1.78-million. Accéntuate said on Friday that its business had suffered on the back of depressed... 

Nuclear corporation, and country, hit hard by safety shut of radioisotope maker

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 The safety compliance failures at NTP Radioisotopes, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), has created a crisis within the parastatal and for the country’s nuclear medicine community and its patients. Necsa shut down operations at NTP in... 

South African nuclear group in tight financial situation, but optimistic about recovery

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is currently facing financial pressures, confirms the State-owned group’s Chief Executive, Phumzile Tshelane to “Engineering News”. “At the moment, Necsa is under financial stress, because [subsidiary] Pelchem is loss-making and we need to... 

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