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Chemicals

Sasol to build 6 000-t/y TEAL plant in Germany

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th June 2010 Petrochemicals group Sasol has approved the construction of a 6 000-t/y purified triethyl aluminium (TEAL) production unit at its Olefins & Surfactants (O&S) plant, in Brunsbüttel, in Germany. The new unit, which was expected to come on stream early in 2012, would enable Sasol to further benefit... 

Omnia sees rebound after rand, commodity turmoil hit 2010 earnings

By: Christy van der Merwe     9th June 2010 Chemicals, explosives and fertiliser group Omnia on Wednesday released what MD Rod Humphris said "clearly wasn't a particularly pleasing set of results", with full-year earnings plunging by 89%. However, Humphris said that the JSE-listed company looked forward to a stronger year ahead. 

Cracking the sour service challenge

28th May 2010 South Africa’s national minerals technology institute Mintek has developed a unique laboratory facility for testing the susceptibility of alloys to corrosion and hydrogen-induced cracking under the conditions known as ‘sour service.’ 

Polyurethane product 
producer expands its 
service offering

By: Eleanor Seggie     28th May 2010 South African polyurethane product producer Uretech is expanding its service offering to local and foreign markets.  

UV-cured corrosion protection products enter local market

By: Eleanor Seggie     28th May 2010 Chemical and aerosol manufacturer Specialised Maintenance Products (SMP) reports that it is the first Southern African distributor of the SolarTech ultraviolet- (UV-) cured product range, which provides seamless protection against corrosion, abrasion and other aggressive environmental conditions.  

Freeworld Coatings interim profit down 29%

By: Loni Prinsloo     26th May 2010 Decorative and performance coatings company Freeworld Coatings on Wednesday reported a slight increase of 1% in first-half revenue to R1,38-billion, compared with the second half of its last financial year. However, profit dropped by 29% to R80-million, from R112,8-million a year earlier, while... 

New book defends role of DDT in fight against malaria in Africa

By: Dennis Ndaba     21st May 2010 Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM) has released a book with important new insights into the debate on environmentalism and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) one of the best-known synthetic pesticides, the widespread use of which has been found to be extremely damaging. 

Omnia confident market can bear 140% nitric-acid scale-up

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2010 Chemicals, explosives and fertiliser group Omnia is confident that the market risks associated with a new R1,4-billion nitric-acid and ammonium-nitrate investment have been minimised, and that the plant's full nameplate capacity of 1 000 t/d will be absorbed over the next five to ten years -... 

Sasol to build R1,9bn ethylene purification plant

By: Chanel de Bruyn     21st April 2010 Petrochemicals group Sasol’s board of directors has approved the construction of a R1,9-billion ethylene purification unit at its Sasol Polymers plant, in Sasolburg. Construction on the plant would start in October. 

Growing need to understand flooring principles

9th April 2010 The Cement and Concrete Institute’s (C&CI’s) one-day industrial flooring training course is gaining popularity as more designers, specifiers and contractors feel the need to understand the underlying principles of concrete industrial flooring.  

New flooring solutions 
offer resistance

By: Eleanor Seggie     9th April 2010 Chemical group BASF Construction Chemicals’ new flooring products range from oil-resistant primers to hygienic and abrasion-resistant flooring systems, says BASF business segment manager Sue Posthumus. 

South African chemicals industry takes steps to measure emissions 

By: Lindsey Berry     9th April 2010 The Responsible Care initiative developed by global chemical industry body The International Council of Chemical Associations, which aims to encourage the reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by chemical companies, has been launched in South Africa by the Chemical and Allied Industries’... 

Petroleum company 
appoints distributor

19th March 2010 South Africa-based petroleum products marketer Engen Petroleum has appointed chemical marketer and distributor the Chemicals & Marketing (C&M) Company as the official distributor of Engen’s full range of lubricants and selected chemical products in Malawi.  

Local company takes 
delivery of new tanker

19th March 2010 Timber preservative and fire retardant protection product company Arch Wood Protection South Africa has taken delivery of a new tanker. 

Poor rail infrastructure weighs on chemicals sector

By: Eleanor Seggie     19th March 2010 One of the biggest challenges facing the chemicals sector is the deficiency in South Africa’s rail infrastructure, says Chemicals Sector Expert Advisory Committee (CSEAC) chairperson Dr Tshenge Demana.  

New carbon footprint guidelines for chemicals industry

By: Eleanor Seggie     19th March 2010 The Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) will be releasing a carbon footprint guideline document later this month, as part of its Responsible Care initiative.  

Eastern Cape incubator tackles quality control for SMEs

By: Eleanor Seggie     19th March 2010 Quality control in the products produced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remains a challenge, but chemical technology incubator Chemin has various strategies in place to tackle this issue. 

High-profile projects under way in SA

19th March 2010 Several high-profile projects that are in operation in South Africa, set to improve the country’s fuel and chemical reserves, electricity generation and petrochemical transport.  

AECI earnings down 16%, expects upturn in 2010

By: Loni Prinsloo     23rd February 2010 JSE-listed chemicals and explosives firm AECI's headline earnings fell by 16% to R370-million in the 2009 financial year, from R443-million a year earlier, the group reported on Tuesday. Revenue declined by more than R2-billion to R10,7-billion, owing to significant volume declines, despite the... 

Omnia may mothball Rustenburg phosphoric acid plant

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th February 2010 JSE-listed chemical services group Omnia on Friday reported that its fertiliser division would start a process to evaluate the possible mothballing of its phosphoric acid plant, near Rustenburg, which would affect 160 workers. The company would aim to complete the evaluation by the end of April,... 

Liquefied petroleum gas use may increase during FIFA World Cup

By: Eleanor Seggie     29th January 2010 Nonprofit organisation, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of South Africa (LPGSASA), is expecting a large number of vendors who will be supplying food to spectators in the various theme parks during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, to be using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) appliances.... 

Nitrogen gas generation available on site

By: Eleanor Seggie     29th January 2010 The Intaka Tech nitrogen gas generation system (GGS) from engineering company Intaka Tech, a division of the Intaka Group, enables owners to continuously produce nitrogen (N) gas on site at quantities ranging from 1 t/m to 639 t/m.

The N produced is dry, is from 99,5% to 99,9% pure and can be... 

Africa’s focus shifts to gas turbines

29th January 2010 As a mitigating strategy to the current power crisis on the African continent, power project developers have shifted their focus towards gas turbine-powered power solutions, says growth partnership company Frost & Sullivan. The technology offers a rapid solution and can easily operate on... 

Limiting risks when insuring chemicals

29th January 2010 The golden rules when insuring chemicals are to buy as much as one can afford and to accept as little risk as possible, by passing on as much risk as possible, says Alexander Forbes Risk Services client services senior manager Jan Hattingh. To achieve this, the company advises that [chemical... 

New multigas detector goes wireless

By: Eleanor Seggie     29th January 2010 Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) Africa has launched the new Altair 5 multigas detector that can detect up to six gases simultaneously and is preprogrammable in 18 different language choices, including Chinese.

The gas detector has a high-resolution colour display, which can be seen in sunlight.... 

Geochemicals company introduces one-stop 
service

By: Petronel Smit     29th January 2010 Geo-chemical samples management and transportation company MBV Mineral Investments (MBV) has eliminated the need for multiple suppliers by introducing a one-stop service for the management and transportation of geochemical samples to the mining and exploration sector. 

New plastic film for pharmaceuticals industry

22nd January 2010 Chemical group BASF reports that a new plastic film, for which a patent has been applied, will protect its pharmaceutical excipient polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) even better against the penetration of atmospheric oxygen and thus against oxidation. “With this product, BASF will be able to offer... 

New waste management plan for plastics industry 

By: Eleanor Seggie     22nd January 2010 One of the challenges currently facing the plastics industry is developing a new waste management plan, which is concerned with how best to avoid landfilling and also with carbon and water footprints, says Plastics Federation of South Africa (PFSA) executive director David Hughes. The National... 

New project aims to improve black pipe resin 

By: Eleanor Seggie     22nd January 2010 Polypropylene and high-density polyethylene manufacturer Safripol, is undertaking a new project to improve the black pipe resin used to make high-density polyethylene, says Safripol research and development director Mike Gradwell. A new international standard, ISO 4427-1:2007 stipulates the... 

a.b.e Construction Chemicals CEO to step down

By: Chanel de Bruyn     11th January 2010 The CEO of AltX-listed a.b.e. Construction Chemicals, Stan Stacey, would resign from his post at the end of January. The company would make further announcements regarding a successor in due course.  

Sasol to spend R8,4bn to double wax production

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st December 2009 Petrochemicals group Sasol would invest R8,4-billion to double its hard wax production in South Africa by 2014. Sasol Wax would increase its wax production capacity at its Sasolburg site by about 40% by 2012, before further increasing capacity in a second phase, which was currently expected to... 

Omnia to return to profitability in H2, says CEO Humphris

By: Chanel de Bruyn     30th November 2009 With a “much improved” outlook for JSE-listed diversified and specialist chemical services group Omnia Holdings, MD Rod Humphris expects the group to return to profitability in the second half of the 2010 financial year. Profit for the six months ended September 30, 2009, fell 127% to a net loss... 

Sasol seeks to improve competition compliance systems

By: Chanel de Bruyn     27th November 2009 South African petrochemicals group Sasol has committed itself to further enhance its competition law compliance processes and systems, saying it had mandated its executive management to do so. The company noted in a statement at its annual general meeting on Friday that the board of directors... 

Sasol looks to commercialise SA-developed chemicals technology in the US

By: Terence Creamer     12th November 2009 Energy and chemicals group Sasol said on Thursday that it had initiated basic engineering in the US for the first commercial installation of its proprietary ‘Tetramerisation' technology ­- a process, which was developed in South Africa, for reacting four ethylene molecules to produce one octene... 

Chemicals 
cluster experiences demand 
destruction

By: Lindsey Berry     23rd October 2009 The chemicals cluster of petrochemicals giant Sasol had experienced “demand destruction” in the past year, said CFO Christine Ramon, at the group’s annual financial results presentation in Rosebank, in central Johannesburg, last month. 

Chemicals giant seeks to add the ‘human element’ to the periodic table

By: Darren Parker     2nd October 2009 To mark its fiftieth year of business in Africa, international chemicals heavyweight Dow officially launched its Human Element (Hu) campaign in Africa at the end of September, based on the idea that the only element missing from the scientific periodic table is the human element. 

Sasol to boost cogeneration capacity to 50%, sees higher synfuels output

By: Chanel de Bruyn     25th September 2009 Sasol CEO Pat Davies was comfortable that the petrochemicals group’s Synfuels operation, in Secunda, would see a better performance going forward, while the group was also planning to increase the amount of own-generated electricity to 50%. Sasol was aiming to produce a sustainable baseline of... 

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