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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Chemicals personnel undergo skills training

By: Dylan Slater     20th March 2015 Chemicals production staff from chemicals company a.b.e. Construction Chemicals recently underwent a 12-month training programme, provided by the Institute for Quality Education Training and Development, to further their skills sets, the company tells Engineering News. 

Event puts petroleum industry in the limelight

By: Dylan Slater     20th March 2015 The fifth Petro.t.ex exhibition and conference, which is supported by the 20 petroleum corporations that are members of the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia), will take place at Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, from May 20 to 22, as part of the South Africa Industry &... 

Fire system maintained at petro depot

By: Dylan Slater     20th March 2015 Since rope access company Skyriders signed a contract with a large petrochemicals depot in 2013, a team of the company’s technicians has been maintaining the plant’s deluge fire sprinkler system, with work completed on 30 structures on site. 

Fire system  maintained at  petro depot
SPRINKLER INSPECTION A skilled rope-access team from Skyriders is tasked with ensuring that a deluge fire sprinkler system is ready to deal with any fire at a petrochemicals plant

Industrial-strength cleaners harmful to human health

By: Dylan Slater     20th March 2015 The increasingly prevalent use of cleaning products marketed as having industrial-strength cleaning properties – especially in the household goods market – does more harm than good to human health and the environment, claims bio-cleaning solutions company Green Worx Cleaning Solutions. 

Industrial-strength cleaners harmful to human health
NEW INITIATIVES Green Worx Cleaning Solutions has launched initiatives aimed at making men’s restrooms more pleasant

Learning centre boosts subjects requirements

     20th March 2015 International petroleum refiner and marketer Chevron South Africa (SA) – which retails under the Caltex brand locally – opened a science learning centre on October 20, 2014 at Bosmansdam High School, in Bothasig, Cape Town. 

Learning centre boosts subjects requirements
EXPLOITING NEW FACILITIES Bosmansdam High School grade 11 learner Shane Klaaste conducting an experiment in the new science centre

Low oil price results in improved petrochemicals demand

By: Dylan Slater     20th March 2015 The recent decline in global oil prices is not only prompting supply chains to destock their petrochemical inventories but is also sowing the seeds for better economic conditions, lower petrochemical prices and improved global petrochemical demand, says information and analysis company IHS Chemical. 

Low oil price  results in improved petrochemicals demand
OIL DEPENDENT With oil serving as the marginal production cost and price-setter for many chemicals, a decline in the oil price typically leads to lower product prices

Oil-free compressors ideal for chemicals, petrochemicals sectors

By: Dylan Slater     20th March 2015 South Africa’s chemical and petrochemical industries contribute substantially to the country’s economy, hence the importance of petrochemical companies maintaining proactive maintenance and good-quality equipment to ensure sustainability and productivity, says compressor and generator rental... 

Oil-free compressors  ideal for chemicals,  petrochemicals sectors
REMOTE MONITORING Rand-Air uses an iAccess platform to remotely montior compressor efficiency and maintenance

Pumps specialist highlights need to mitigate AMD in SA

     20th March 2015 Owing to the current acid mine drainage (AMD) crisis in South Africa, which is contributing to the country’s clean natural resources becoming scarcer, mines are being forced to look at ways to enhance their processes and to recycle and treat their water before reintroducing it to the environment,... 

Pyrolysis for tyre recycling gains traction in SA 

By: Dylan Slater     20th March 2015 Using pyrolysis to recycle used vehicle tyres is gaining popularity in South Africa, with the first fully functional pyrolysis plant, at Gauteng-based tyre recycler Milvinetix’s premises already operational. 

Pyrolysis for tyre recycling gains traction in SA
TYRE RECYCLING Milvinetix is using a development grant to improve its tyre recycling facilities

Stagnant chemicals industry close to shrinking

By: Dylan Slater     20th March 2015 International executive search firm Odgers Berndtson describes the current state of the South African chemicals and petrochemicals industry as stagnant, if not diminishing, says energy, consumer and technology specialist for sub-Saharan Africa Guy Lundy, a partner in the firm’s Cape Town office. 

Stagnant chemicals industry close to shrinking
GUY LUNDY Industry needs to work more closely with research institutions and universities to encourage and support local research and development

Versatile blocks prevent chemical contamination

     20th March 2015 To eliminate the possibility of chemicals powders cross contaminating and subsequently corroding its supplies, chemicals, plastics, packaging materials and mining and construction products distributor The CHC Group South Africa (SA) recently installed precast concrete infrastructure products... 

Versatile blocks prevent chemical contamination
CHEMICAL POWDER SEGREGATION Alfablocs are used to separate chemical powders to mitigate cross contamination

Industrial holdings group restructures amid tough economic climate

By: Schalk Burger     13th March 2015 JSE-listed industrial group KAP Industrial Holdings delivered robust interim results, owing to active restructuring of its divisions, cost-savings measures, improved efficiencies and the implementation of new technologies in its industrial division. The group also reduced its gearing ratio from... 

Sasol to cut capex by as much as R22bn as part of ‘lower-for-longer’ oil response plan

By: Terence Creamer     9th March 2015 Energy and chemicals group Sasol aims to save between R13-billion and R22-billion from “capital portfolio phasing and reductions” over the coming 30 months as part of a larger R30-billion to R50-billion cash-conservation programme launched in response to an expectation of a “lower-for-longer” oil... 

Sasol to cut capex by as much as R22bn as part of ‘lower-for-longer’ oil response plan
Photo by Duane Daws
Sasol CEO David Constable

Gas company provides CO2 to remineralise AMD

By: Dylan Stewart     6th March 2015 Gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2), provided by gas products and services company Afrox, has been successfully integrated into a water treatment system at coal miner Optimum Coal’s water reclamation plant near Hendrina, in Mpumalanga. The system treats acid mine drainage (AMD) during the... 

Gas company provides CO2 to remineralise AMD
Photo by Duane Daws
IMMINENT IMPOSITION Acid mine drainage poses a serious threat to parts of South Africa's water supply

Property sale, speciality chemicals division provide impetus for AECI 

By: Ilan Solomons     24th February 2015 The completion of the bulk surplus property sale of a 2 300 ha Heartland property in Modderfontein to Chinese investment company Shanghai Zendai and a “record performance” from the speciality chemicals cluster were key to the growth of JSE-listed speciality chemicals and explosives group AECI’s... 

Property sale, speciality chemicals division provide impetus for AECI
To watch a video in which AECI CEO Mark Dytor discusses the group's performance in 2014 and aims for the year ahead. Camera work and editing: Nicholas Boyd

BASF exposing stakeholders to sustainability practices as it celebrates 150th anniversary

By: Schalk Burger     20th February 2015 Germany-based chemicals giant BASF, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last month, is using its anniversary year to collaborate with all stakeholders and expose them to sustainability practices across the value chain. BASF VP and South and sub-Saharan Africa business centre head Joan Maria... 

BASF exposing stakeholders to sustainability practices as it celebrates 150th anniversary
JOAN MARIA GARCIA GIRONA BASF’s co-creation activities for its 150th anniversary year will focus on urban living, food and smart energy challenges

Necsa develops new process to produce a key modern industrial gas

By: Keith Campbell     20th February 2015 The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is expanding its technology portfolio of speciality gases. (Necsa subsidiary Pelchem has long been renowned for its production of fluorochemicals, including gases and acids.) Not only is the group adding production capabilities for a new... 

Sasol says Louisiana cracker stress tested for ‘extreme scenarios’

By: Terence Creamer     3rd February 2015 South African energy and chemicals group Sasol insists that it has “stress tested” the $8.9-billion ethane cracker and derivatives complex it is currently building in the US against a number of parameters and that the project’s economics remain “robust, even under extreme scenarios”. Speaking to... 

Sasol says Louisiana cracker stress tested for ‘extreme scenarios’

Home-grown bioremediation process turns harmful industrial sludge into fertilisers

By: Schalk Burger     30th January 2015 Petrochemicals giant Sasol, which typically incinerates its waste sludge streams or sends them to hazardous waste sites, is increasing its use of composting to treat these streams at its Secunda plant, in Mpumalanga, reducing transportation and disposal costs, as well as air pollution. Composting... 

Home-grown bioremediation process turns harmful industrial sludge into fertilisers

Home-grown bioremediation process turns harmful industrial sludge into useful fertilisers

By: Schalk Burger     30th January 2015 Petrochemicals giant Sasol, which typically incinerates its waste sludge streams or sends them to hazardous waste sites, is increasing its use of composting to treat these streams at its Secunda plant, in Mpumalanga, reducing transportation and disposal costs, as well as air pollution. Composting... 

Home-grown bioremediation process turns harmful industrial sludge into useful fertilisers

Afrox Ebitda to drop, restructuring expected to improve margin in future

By: Tracy Hancock     29th January 2015 Afrox expects its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) before any restructuring costs for the year ended December 31 to be between R792-million and R836-million, 5% to 10% less than the previous year’s R880-million. This decrease, Afrox explained on Thursday,... 

Afrox Ebitda to drop, restructuring expected to improve margin in future

Sasol to delay investment decision on Louisiana GTL plant 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th January 2015 Energy and chemicals group Sasol will delay making a final investment decision on a proposed 96 000 bl/d gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in the US state of Louisiana, as the group announces plans to cut costs in response to lower international oil prices. Sasol on Wednesday said it was formulating a... 

Sasol to delay investment decision on Louisiana GTL plant

Godfrey Gomwe joins AECI board

     12th January 2015 South African explosives and specialty chemicals group AECI has appointed Godfrey Gomwe as nonexecutive director, effective January 31.  

Godfrey Gomwe joins AECI board
Godfrey Gomwe

Chemicals company grows market around Medupi

By: Pimani Baloyi     12th December 2014 Johannesburg-based chemical manufacturer Reba Chemicals attended this year’s Lephalale Mining Expo, hosted by Mining and Technical Exhibitions (MTE), to establish partnerships that can expand the company’s reach in the area. Reba Chemicals MD Freddy Motau told Engineering News at the expo, which... 

Chemicals company grows market around Medupi
Photo by Bloomberg
INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS Reba Chemicals exports its products to Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Mozambique

Sasol moving to commercial scale with industrial sludge bioremediation

By: Schalk Burger     27th November 2014 Petrochemicals giant Sasol’s industrial sludge bioremediation project will move into full commercial scale over the next two years to treat its 200 000 t/y of industrial sludge. The project made use of aerobic composting to convert sludges from Sasol’s Bioworks water treatment plants in Secunda... 

Sasol moving to commercial scale with industrial sludge bioremediation

Nersa to decide on new fuel storage facility by mid-Dec 

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th November 2014 South Africa will know by mid-December whether it would get a new independently owned and operated liquid fuels storage and distribution facility at the Eastern Mole of the Port of Cape Town. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) was currently mulling all the outcomes and... 

Nersa to decide on new fuel storage facility by mid-Dec

Omnia expecting future benefit from new underground mining product, H1 profit lower

By: Leandi Kolver     25th November 2014 Specialised chemicals provider Omnia was expecting to see financial gains from its new underground charging unit, which enables it to take its emulsion into the underground mining space, during the next financial year, MD Rod Humphris said on Tuesday. Speaking at a presentation of the group’s... 

Omnia expecting future benefit from new underground mining product, H1 profit lower
Photo by Duane Daws
Omnia CEO Rod Humphris

Five mineral value-chains prioritised in South Africa’s draft beneficiation plan 

By: Terence Creamer     21st November 2014 The Mineral Beneficiation Action Plan (MBAP), which is currently in draft form, should be finalised by the end of March 2015, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has confirmed. The department is leading the drafting process, which also involves the National Treasury, the Economic... 

Five mineral value-chains prioritised in South Africa’s draft beneficiation plan
Photo by Duane Daws
Steel among the five resource value-chains being prioritised

International molecular symposium to promote research commercialisation

By: Schalk Burger     21st November 2014 The seventh International Symposium on Macro- and Supramolecular Architectures and Materials (MAM) will reinvigorate the link between academia, industry and international partners to stimulate the application of local research and growth of the economy, says science council Mintek Research and... 

Syngenta unveils expanded formulation, fill and packing plant

By: Zandile Mavuso     14th November 2014 Global agribusiness company Syngenta officially unveiled the expansion of its Brits Formulation, Fill & Packaging Plant (FF&P) site in the North West last week, which added an automated herbicide filling line to its sit 

Sasol pursuing flexible US cracker funding plan to leave GTL headroom 

By: Terence Creamer     12th November 2014 In a reversal of traditional foreign-investment flows, an African company is poised to make the largest-ever capital investment into the southern US State of Louisiana, with a second, even bigger, investment under investigation. JSE-listed energy and chemicals group Sasol is poised to invest... 

Sasol pursuing flexible US cracker funding plan to leave GTL headroom
The existing Lake Charles facility where Sasol already has a 455 000 t/y operational ethane cracker

Plastics-to-diesel plants to power grid-independent electricity plants 

By: Schalk Burger     7th November 2014 Small-scale plastics-to-diesel plants can be used by communities and in cooperation with municipalities to derive value from waste plastics, says Plastic Diesel cofounder and entrepreneur Deon Bester. With the help of a research partner in New Zealand, the plant has been developed from 2012 to... 

Plastics-to-diesel plants to power grid-independent electricity plants
PLASTICS TO DIESEL DEMONSTRATION The demonstration plant converts oil-containing plastics to diesel and multifuel

UP evaluating indigenous plants for cosmetic, medicinal use

By: Schalk Burger     31st October 2014 Scientists at the University of Pretoria (UP) Plant Science department are researching the medical and cosmetic applications of indigenous plant species traditionally used for ailments among the more than 100 indigenous South African medicinal plants already documented. UP medicinal plant science... 

UP  evaluating indigenous plants for cosmetic, medicinal use
Photo by Bloomberg
BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE COSMETICS UP plant scientists are exploring the cosmetic and medicinal applications of more than 100 indigenous plants used in traditional remedies

Africa ripe for agrochemicals growth 

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th October 2014 Africa’s underdeveloped agrochemicals market has presented AECI’s agrochemical solution business, Nulandis, with a double-digit growth opportunity to cement its place in the agriculture sector, particularly within the smallholder farmer industry. This emerged at AECI’s investor day, held in... 

Africa ripe for agrochemicals growth

Company expands offering to hydrocarbon processing and petrochemical sectors

     24th October 2014 JSE-listed speciality chemicals group African Explosives and Chemical Industries’ (AECI’s) wholly owned water, energy and air solutions subsidiary ImproChem recently expanded its technology offering and market reach to provide water, energy and air quality management solutions to hydrocarbon... 

Company expands offering to hydrocarbon processing and petrochemical sectors
EXPANDED OFFERING ImproChem concluded the purchase and integration of Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant’s African water treatment business on July 1

Realignment of operational focus and practices drives success 

By: Ilan Solomons     24th October 2014 Last month South African energy and chemicals group Sasol highlighted at its full-year financial results briefing for the year ended June 30 that the organisation intended to continue improving operational efficiencies in line with its group-wide change programme. Speaking at the company’s head... 

Realignment of operational focus  and practices drives success
Sasol president and CEO David Constable discusses the state of Sasol's operations at the company's financial results announcement function, in Johannesburg

New coverall range launched for industry

By: Mia Breytenbach     17th October 2014 Local specialised protective-clothing manufacturer Charnaud introduced its new Aci-Flam and Metal-Safe ranges of protective clothing to industry last month. Charnaud supplies products and specialised footwear to industries dealing with, for example, hot-metal smelting, firefighting, shaft... 

New coverall range launched for industry
INDUSTRY FIRST The Metal-Safe personal protective garments are made from Lenzing FR, antistatic, high-strength synthetic and other fibres

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