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Afrox appoints Karen Oliver as nonexecutive director

By: Matthew Hill     7th January 2008 Africa's biggest gases and welding products producer, Afrox, on Monday said that it had appointed a new nonexecutive director named Karen Oliver. 

Chemical manufacturer sells equity stake in BEE deal

By: Christy van der Merwe     7th January 2008 South African food acid, placticiser and anhydride manufacturer Isegen on Friday announced its conclusion of a black-economic empowerment (BEE) transaction, where Imbewu Capital partners acquired a 15% stake in the company. 

Pollution busting could earn fertiliser firm R60m/y

By: Christy van der Merwe     14th December 2007 Diversified chemical services provider Omnia, is "well on track" with it's registered clean development mechanism (CDM) project, the ‘Envinox' clean air plant, which is expected to be complete by January 2008. 

Astrapak says interim figures overstated, shares plunge

By: Matthew Hill     13th December 2007 Packaging firm Astrapak took a nearly 5% tumble on Thursday after it said that it had overstated its figures for the six months ended Feburuary 2007, with earnings 9,3% lower than previously reported.  

Unbundled Barloworld unit lists as Freeworld Coatings, eyes Asian markets

By: Christy van der Merwe     3rd December 2007 Monday signified a new start for the recently unbundled Barloworld coatings division, as the company listed as Freeworld Coatings on the main board of the JSE. The decorative, automotive and industrial coatings manufacturer, of which former mining boss Bobby Godsell is the chairperson, has... 

AECI headline EPS to fall by bewteen 48% and 53%

By: Matthew Hill     28th November 2007 Chemicals and explosives firm AECI would report headline earnings a share for the 2007 fiscal year that were 48% to 53% lower than the previous year, owing to gains from a disposal and a pension fund employer surplus account in financial 2006, it said on Wednesday. 

AECI to retrench hundreds as it closes unprofitable Sans Fibres units

By: Matthew Hill     28th November 2007 JSE-listed chemicals group AECI will be closing three of its SANS Fibres businesses, leading to it retrenching some 850 people, it said on Wednesday. 

SA launches two nanotechnology innovation centres

By: Christy van der Merwe     26th November 2007 A milestone in the Department of Science and Technology's (DST) nanotechnology strategy was reached on Monday, as two nanotechnology innovation centres (NIC) were launched at the CSIR in Pretoria, aiming to make science work for society. 

Green opposition could put paid to Indian group’s Tanzania soda-ash plans

By: John Muchira     23rd November 2007 A proposal by Indian multinational Tata Chemicals to construct a soda ash-extraction and -processing plant at Lake Natron, in Tanzania, hangs in the balance following intense opposition from environmental conservationists. 

CTL’s carbon footprint a key challenge, Sasol admits

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2007 South African petrochemicals group Sasol has identified global climate change as a ‘principal strategic challenge' in its ability to deploy coal- and gas-to-liquids technologies globally, group environmental expert Fred Goede said on Monday.  

Barloworld to unbundle and list shares in paint unit early next month

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2007 Restructured industrial brands and logistics group Barloworld confirmed on Monday that it would unbundle its shares in its coatings unit, known principally for the Plascon brand, and list the company on the JSE in early December. 

Diversified industrial player sees public offering as next step in growth plan

By: Leandi Kolver     16th November 2007 JSE-listed flooring and chemicals company Safic Holdings is currently expanding its focus in an attempt to become a niche but dominant player in all its current markets.  

SA reviews duties on chemical, aluminium and textile inputs

By: Terence Creamer     7th November 2007 A comprehensive review of tariff protection on certain upstream industrial inputs - including chemicals and plastics, textile for apparel and clothing, and aluminium - has been launched by the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac). 

Growth ready

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2007 A philosophy of the 'whole being greater than the sum of the parts' has already had a profound influence on the performance of Sasol's South African energy cluster and has also strengthened the ability of business to respond to a surge in demand for its products, cluster head Dr Benny Mokaba avers. 

Seeing opportunity beyond immediate skills threat

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2007 Possibly more than any other South African company, Sasol, which has been built on the unique application of science and technology, is reliant on having the right skills at the right place and at the right time. 

Chemicals enabling capture of full FT value

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2007 Despite a fall-off in the percentage contribution from Sasol's chemicals businesses to group turnover and earnings over the last few years as the synfuels business rides high on strong oil prices, the head of the group's chemicals cluster insists that the twin fuels and chemicals strategy remains... 

At what cost, lower prices?

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2007 In recent years, much ink has been spilt (this publication being no exception) over the potential employment benefits that could flow from more competitively-priced basic materials, particularly carbon steel. 

Packaging group mulling other rigid-plastics prospects following R90m investment

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2007 Leading business personality Cyril Ramaphosa - who some still believe could make a late entry into the increasingly fraught contest for leadership of the African National Congress - might have described himself as a "failed politician" at a Mondi Packaging South Africa (MPSA) factory... 

Fire-damaged facility recommissioned, upgraded

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     5th October 2007 Resin manufacturer Rolfes Chemicals have invested about R1,5-million in computer software, the company announced at the re-commissioning of its chemicals plant in Alberton, in Gauteng, last week. 

Lonrho buys stakes in Zimbabwe telecoms, chemicals firms

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     2nd October 2007 African investment firm Lonrho has acquired an 80% stake in offshore company Blueberry International Services for $5,45-million in cash.  

Sasol opens chemical-solvents sales office in China

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th September 2007 Petrochemicals giant Sasol on Wednesday announced that it had opened an office in Shanghai to market its chemical solvents in the country. 

Sasol chief travels with SA delegation to China

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th September 2007 Synthetic fuels producer Sasol CEO Pat Davies has accompanied South Africa�s Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on her visit to China, Engineering News Online has learnt. 

'Failed politician' Ramaphosa stresses social dimension of R90m packaging investment

By: Terence Creamer     25th September 2007 Leading business personality Cyril Ramaphosa - who some still believe could make a late entry into the increasingly fraught contest for leadership of the African National Congress - might have described himself as a "failed politician" at a Mondi Packaging South Africa (MPSA) factory... 

Rolfes boosts earnings 62%, still acquisitive

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     19th September 2007 AltX-listed manufacturing and technology company Rolfes Technology Holdings reported an operating profit of R30,6-million for the year ended June, which is a 42% increase from the previous year. 

Sasol says gas-to-liquids problem 'solved', but project cost to rise by $50m 

By: Terence Creamer     10th September 2007 South African energy group Sasol claims to have substantially overcome the technical problems afflicting its high-profile Oryx gas-to-liquids (GTL) joint venture, in Qatar, success at which is viewed as vital to proving a technology that could offer a serious alternative transport-fuel source. 

Sasol considers Free State, Waterberg sites for new coal-to-liquids plant  

By: Mariaan Webb     10th September 2007 Sasol's proposed new coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant, which would significantly increase much-needed inland refining capacity in South Africa, would either be built in the Free State or in the Waterberg, in Limpopo, executive director Benny Mokaba confirmed on Monday.  

Business wants industrial policy implementation to be accelerated

By: Terence Creamer     3rd September 2007 The South African business community is displaying none of the reticence partially attributed to it in reports following the release, by Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa, of the National Industrial Policy Framework (NIPF) in early August, and would, in fact, like to see its... 

Omnia buys chemicals firm Zetachem for R206m

16th August 2007 Specialist chemicals services group Omnia has acquired Zetachem, which supplies speciality chemicals and chemical management systems to the water treatment and pulp and paper industries, for R206-million in cash. 

AECI in talks with several potential partners for speciality fibres unit

By: Mariaan Webb     3rd August 2007 South African chemicals firm AECI was in talks with 'a number' of interested parties to find strategic partners, or owners, to add value to all or part of its speciality fibres business Sans Fibres. 

Black economic empowerment gaining pace, survey shows

By: Matthew Hill     2nd August 2007 Local auditing firm KPMG said on Thursday that 90% of the companies in its 2007 black economic empowerment (BEE) survey had an empowerment strategy in place, 10% up from last years figures, but there were still obstacles preventing economic gains flowing through to the vast black majority. 

Mbeki identifies scaled-up local manufacture as top priority

By: Terence Creamer     29th July 2007 Large-scale value-added local manufacture had been identified as a top priority for the next two years, the President Thabo Mbeki said on Sunday, in his report back to the media on the outcomes of the mid-year Cabinet Lekgotla.He also revealed that embattled Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi... 

Industrial chemicals workers agree to 8% pay hike

By: Nelendhre Moodley     27th July 2007 A wage agreement by trade union Solidarity and the South African Chemical Workers Union (SACWU), and employers in in the industrial chemicals sector, on Friday averted a possible strike, the unions said. 

Empowered chemicals firm targets 30% efficiency improvement

By: Nelendhre Moodley     27th July 2007 South African chemical company Safripol expects to increase efficiency in the short term by some 25% to 30%, with "small investments" to decrease bottlenecking and improve technology, Safripol CE Joaquin Schoch said on Thursday afternoon.  

Sasol under pressure as it confirms 'prolonged' gas-to-liquids ramp-up

By: Terence Creamer     26th July 2007 Petrochemicals group Sasol confirmed on Thursday that its “back-up solution” for its underperforming Oryx gas-to-liquids (GTL) joint venture, in Qatar, was likely to take until the middle of 2008 to develop, but stressed in a newsletter that “these events are not expected to... 

Sasol boosts 3yr capex plans to R65bn

By: Mariaan Webb     26th July 2007 Petrochemicals company Sasol is stepping up its capital expenditure programme, with some R65-billion earmarked for expanding and enhancing its operations. Capex amounted to R12-billion in the 2007 financial year, which was R2-billion lower than forecasts, but the company planned to more than... 

Workers in the glass manufacturing sector threaten strike

By: Nelendhre Moodley     26th July 2007 Following a wage negotiation deadlock between workers in the glass sector and employers on Tuesday, a strike certificate was issued to employers in the glass sector of the chemical industry on Wednesday afternoon. 

Chemicals firms, unions in last-ditch talks to avert strike

By: Nelendhre Moodley     24th July 2007 Wage negotiations, between the industrial chemicals sector and employee representatives, on Wednesday will determine whether industrial strike action would follow early next week, trade union Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said. 

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