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Competition Commission prohibits chemicals merger

By: Henry Lazenby     24th January 2012 The Competition Commission on Tuesday prohibited the proposed acquisition of chemicals company Cellulose Derivatives by Senmin International. The commission said the merger was essentially the same transaction it previously prohibited in February 2009. 

Small farmers in big industry earn consistent income

By: Schalk Burger     20th January 2012 Smallholders, with less than 50 ha in Malaysia, are earning a steady income from the production of palm oil, which is linked to the large-scale, corporate industry manufacturing oils, cosmetics components, biofuels, natural fertilisers and soaps, says Malaysian Minister of plantation industries... 

AECI to buy BEE consortium’s 25.1% stake in AEL Mining

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     24th November 2011 Chemicals and explosives company AECI said on Thursday that it would buy the 25.1% stake in its explosives business, AEL Mining, which an empowerment consortium owns. The acquisition would result in the exchange of 4 678 667 new AECI shares to the consortium, which is led by Kagiso Tiso and the... 

PetroSA appoints new CEO 

By: Henry Lazenby     24th November 2011 Nosizwe Nokwe has been appointed as the new CEO of State-owned PetroSA, the company announced on Thursday. Nokwe, who will take up her new position on March 1, will be PetroSA’s first female CEO, bringing with her a significant amount of managerial experience in the petrochemicals sector. 

Sasol cuts FY synfuels production outlook

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd November 2011 South African petrochemicals group Sasol has revised its 2012 production volume forecast at Sasol Synfuels to between 7-million tons and 7.2-million tons from an initial 7.3-million tons. This is on the back of three-weeks of industrial action in July, and a gasifier incident at the Secunda West... 

Omnia posts higher earnings, R1.4bn nitric acid plant on track

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd November 2011 JSE-listed chemicals producer Omnia on Tuesday reported a marginal increase in headline earnings for the six months to the end of September, boosted by higher demand from its agriculture and mining divisions on the back of stronger commodity prices. The company said its chemicals division was... 

Rolfes graduates to JSE main board

By: Henry Lazenby     21st November 2011 South African diversified chemicals manufacturer Rolfes Technologies on Monday moved from the AltX to the JSE main board with an initial market capitalisation totalling R320-million, CEO Erhard van der Merwe said. Just after Van der Merwe blew the JSE’s ceremonial silver kudu horn, signifying... 

Sasol to spend R40bn over next two years; unveils new cobalt catalyst plant

By: Henry Lazenby     11th November 2011 South Africa’s Sasol said it would spend would spend R40-billion on local projects over the next two years, as the petrochemicals giant unveiled its new R1-billion cobalt catalyst manufacturing plant in Sasolburg on Friday. The new cobalt catalyst manufacturing plant, owned by Sasol Synfuels... 

Wine purification technology lowers chemicals requirement

     11th November 2011 Following government’s approval of the use of ultraviolet light energy for liquid purification in oenological practices, acceptance of turbid liquid photopurification company SurePure’s technology has gained momentum among local winemakers. 

Sappi eyes bigger slice of chemical cellulose market

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     10th November 2011 Paper and packaging group Sappi said it would be looking to explore opportunities to expand its chemical cellulose business and grow its current market share of about 15%, CEO Ralph Boëttger said on Thursday. His comments come as Sappi announced a $170-million investment to convert the kraft... 

Alstom offers insight into its latest carbon-capture solutions

By: Schalk Burger     4th November 2011 Transport infrastructure, power generation and transmission giant Alstom has developed a number of solutions to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new and existing power plants and is in the process of validating these solutions at commercial-scale to enable power plants to safely store... 

IDC to invest in paint manufacturer ChemSpec

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     31st October 2011 A specific issue and rights offer, part of a recapitalisation strategy, would see State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) become an equity partner in listed paint and coatings manufacturer Chemical Specialities (ChemSpec). The IDC has taken up 75-million shares in the JSE-listed... 

SA bio-tweet concept bags international awards

     28th October 2011 A team of South African students from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) have been selected as one of the top three finalists in the European regional finals of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, in Amsterdam, for their “bio-tweet” biological machine... 

Texan contractor to construct tetramerisation plant

     21st October 2011 Texas-based engineering, procurement and construction management company S & B Engineers and Constructors has been awarded a contract by South African energy and chemicals group Sasol to construct its ethylene tetramerisation plant at Lake Charles, Louisiana 

Local companies reluctant to revise safety measures

     14th October 2011 Science-based products and services company DuPont reports that 35% of South African companies whose employees are exposed to chemicals on a regular basis, are reluctant to review and improve their safety measures. 

Dow expands African footprint with new Algeria, Ghana offices

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th October 2011 NYSE-listed Dow Chemical Company said on Wednesday that it was expanding its footprint in Africa by opening offices in Algeria and Ghana. Dow chairperson and CEO Andrew Liveris said it was the right time to invest in Africa, which has produced consistent economic growth rates over the past ten... 

Sappi says cogeneration a strong feature of cost reduction plan

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     4th August 2011 South African paper manufacturer Sappi is “aggressively” pursuing restructuring and cost reduction plans, with cogeneration featuring strongly, CEO Ralph Boëttger said on Thursday. The JSE-listed company, which posted a third-quarter loss, said high input costs remained a challenge. 

AECI eyes bigger move into Brazil, also keen on Nigeria expansion

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     26th July 2011 Acquisitions would play a key role in chemicals and explosives company AECI’s growth strategy, with Brazil and Nigeria key focus areas, CEO Graham Edwards said on Tuesday. In an interview with Engineering News Online, he said that acquisitions worth about $150-million "may be" in the pipeline in... 

AECI in R1.2bn BEE deal, half-year earnings rise

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     26th July 2011 Chemicals and explosives company AECI has entered into a R1.2-billion broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) transaction comprising permanent employees and a community trust that would fund educational and developmental initiatives. The JSE-listed group, which delivered a stronger... 

Waste offenders face stiff penalties, but enforcement capacity questioned

By: Eleanor Seggie     22nd July 2011 While the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, No 59 of 2008 brings with it abundant opportunities and regulatory tools, it also introduces severe criminal liability for directors and companies.  

Rolfes in R47m deal to buy 70% of AgChem

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     12th July 2011 JSE-listed diversified technology group Rolfes said on Tuesday it had entered into a R46.7-million transaction that would see it acquire 70% of AgChem, a manufacturer of products for the agricultural sector. The acquisition would enable Rolfes to enter the agrichemicals sector and secure more... 

Freeworld earnings down but Kansai ownership opens new markets

By: Loni Prinsloo     24th June 2011 JSE-listed Freeworld Coatings, which was recently taken over by Japanese group Kansai Paints, on Friday reported a drop in earnings for the half-year ended March 31, 2011, but said the company was well positioned for an economic upturn. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and... 

Multimaterial 3D printer could help accelerate prototyping  

By: Eleanor Seggie     17th June 2011 Injection-moulding solutions company DemaPlasTech has been appointed as sole Objet distributors for Israeli-based three-dimensional (3D) printing innovations company Objet Geometries’ range of 3D printing products, for Africa, including the Connex multi-material‐based 3D printer – a first for the... 

AECI to lodge land disposal tax appeal in ConCourt

By: Loni Prinsloo     6th June 2011 Chemicals company AECI has lodged an application with the Constitutional Court to appeal a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling last month that the proceeds of property sold by one of its subsidiary companies should be taxed as income. AECI formed a realisation company, Founders Hill in 1993, to which... 

New rock, concrete breaking solution eliminates noise, gases, flying rock and vibration shockwaves 

By: Eleanor Seggie     3rd June 2011 Nondetonating technology developer Green Break Technology’s (GBT’s) patented nondetonating safety power cartridge is set to make a significant impact in the explosives and mechanical breaker markets and presents a shift in mining economically. 

Black-owned firm buys Merck SA’s pharmaceuticals operations

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     27th May 2011 International pharmaceutical and chemical company Merck South Africa has sold its Merck Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (MPM) operations. 

Chemicals group signs Responsible Care commitment

     27th May 2011 Chemicals giant DuPont Sub-Saharan Africa has become the latest member of the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (Caia) to sign the Responsible Care public commitment.  

US researchers find high levels of methane contamination in wells near fracking sites, but think-tank doubts accuracy of study 

By: Eleanor Seggie     27th May 2011 A study by Duke University (Duke) researchers has found high levels of leaked methane in well water collected near shale-gas drilling and hydrofracking sites, reports ScienceDaily.  

Flow chemistry validation aimed at improved ARV production

By: Schalk Burger     20th May 2011 Research-based pharmaceuticals developer iThemba Pharmaceuticals has sent one of its scientists, Dr Darren Riley, to the University of Cambridge to validate the use of a new production technique, called continuous flow chemistry, in ultimately producing frontline HIV medicines for South Africa,... 

Israel backs clean-energy goals with policy, laws and R&D

By: Eleanor Seggie     13th May 2011 Israel aims to reduce coal-generated power to about 40%, increase the use of natural gas to 40%, and have 20% of power generated by renewable sources by 2020, says Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor Director General Sharon Kedmi.  

New quality standard important step to establishing a local biofuels industry – SABS

     22nd April 2011 The publication of new South African National Standard SANS 833, entitled ‘Biodiesel production – Quality management – Producer requirements’, is an important step towards creating a local biodiesel industry. 

New galvanising facility incorporates environmental enhancements

By: Eleanor Seggie     1st April 2011 Galvaglow, a newly launched hot dip galvanising facility, claims to embrace energy and environmental efficiency enhancements. The Krugersdorp plant includes a full wet scrubber system, which extracts harmful gasses, neutralising them rather than releasing them directly into the atmosphere, says... 

Aggressive chemicals-resistant pump introduced

     18th March 2011 Equipment supplier Air & Vacuum Technologies reports that it has introduced a new chemicals-resistant pump to the Southern African market. The new Minichem pump, from UK-based original-equipment manufacturer Flotronic Pumps, is intended for customers which need to transfer aggressive chemicals... 

Chemically inert fibre used in propulsion solution

     18th March 2011 Wind propulsion technology developer SkySails has applied fibre manufacturer DSM Dyneema’s proprietary ultrahigh molecular-weight polyethylene fibre, reputed to be one of the strongest known synthetic fibres, to create a sustainable propulsion solution, in the form of towing kites for the... 

Chemicals sector to show moderate growth

By: Henry Lazenby     18th March 2011 The South African chemicals industry is expected to grow by about 0,5% to 1,5% above the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) during this year, industry analyst Frost & Sullivan reports. In his 2011 budget speech, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan outlined that real GDP growth is projected to... 

Company ramps up biodiesel catalyst manufacturing capacity

     18th March 2011 International chemicals company BASF has announced its intention to build a second sodium methylate production plant in South America. The plant will be located in Argentina, and will be designed to produce about 60 000 t/y of the chemical. 

Demand for SA fertilisers set to grow

By: Henry Lazenby     18th March 2011 The South African chemicals sector, mainly comprising fertilisers, base chemicals and petrochemicals, is expected to experience slower growth this year, risk analysis firm Coface reports. Coface industry analyst Johan Coetzee says that the fertiliser industry experienced a relatively profitable... 

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