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South African in the Mars mix as race to the Red Planet heats up

By: Dylan Slater     24th March 2017 It is 2031 and the next space race has started with the launch of the largest-ever interplanetary space rocket and spaceship carrying four carefully selected astronauts on a mission to establish a human settlement on Mars – a planet that is about 225-million kilometres away. Heading for the... 

Electric vehicle battery plant construction project, Poland

By: Sheila Barradas     24th March 2017 The project entails the construction of a 41 300 m3 electric vehicle battery plant. 

New concrete pump exhibited at expo in Las Vegas

     24th March 2017 Construction equipment supplier Putzmeister - as a member of heavy machinery manufacturer SANY Group - exhibited a new truck-mounted concrete pump with a 47-m, five-section boom at this year’s Construction Expo (Conexpo), held from March 7 to 11, in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

South African in the Mars mix as race to the Red Planet heats up 

By: Dylan Slater     24th March 2017 It is 2031 and the next space race has started with the launch of the largest-ever interplanetary space rocket and spaceship carrying four carefully selected astronauts on a mission to establish a human settlement on Mars – a planet that is, on average, 225-million km away.  

Metair sees 7% drop in profit, signs supply agreement with Daimler

By: Irma Venter     23rd March 2017 Manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components, Metair, has secured a multiyear supply agreement, from 2018 onwards, for the supply of enhanced flooded start/stop batteries to German car maker Daimler, in Europe, says MD Theo Loock. Speaking in... 

Agriculture department prefers 'measured approach' to poultry industry crisis

By: African News Agency      23rd March 2017 The department of agriculture preferred a more measured approach to dealing with the crisis in the South African poultry industry as opposed to the “trade war” with the European Union proposed by the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu), MPs were told on Wednesday. “As a department our view that... 

BMW SA invests in new warehouse, X3 production to start in 2018

By: Irma Venter     22nd March 2017 BMW Group South Africa (BMW SA) will, over the next two years, invest R400-million in a new regional distribution centre (RDC) and the expansion of its Midrand headquarters. The R400-million investment is in addition to the R6-billion injection, announced in November 2015, to prepare the... 

New British factory turns London's black cabs green

By: Reuters     22nd March 2017 The Chinese-owned maker of London's black cabs opened a new factory in central England on Wednesday to produce electric taxis which it also hopes to sell overseas for the first time to cities keen on the famous brand and concerned about pollution. The London Taxi Company plant near the city of... 

ArcelorMittal consortium submits top bid for Italian steel plant

By: Reuters     20th March 2017 ArcelorMittal, the world's top steelmaker, and Italian processor Marcegaglia have offered €1.6-billion ($1.72-billion) to buy Italy's troubled Ilva steel plant, outbidding a rival consortium, three sources said on Friday. The rival group that includes India's JSW Steel bid €1.2-billion for the... 

Anglo's billionaire investor puts mining on cusp of M&A era

By: Bloomberg     17th March 2017 Anil Agarwal’s surprise move into Anglo American suggests the mining industry may be on the cusp of a new wave of deals. For years, Anglo has been the subject of takeover speculation and during the worst of the commodities crisis it seemed on the verge of a breakup. It spent last year getting... 

German coal mine to be reborn as giant pumped hydropower battery

By: Bloomberg     17th March 2017 A coal mine that powered German industry for almost half a century will get a new lease on life when it’s turned into a giant battery that stores excess solar and wind energy. The state of North-Rhine Westphalia is set to turn its Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine into a 200 MW pumped-storage... 

Brexit – let it be

By: Riaan de Lange     17th March 2017 Having taken evasive action, leaving the tourists on the streets of London by escaping down a small passage way - an alley if you will - our group of seven-odd walkers ended up in front of a vintage store front - 13 Masons Yard, St. James’ to be exact. We are not off the unbeaten track, anything... 

Fishing company to join JSE to enhance its global expansion

     17th March 2017 Fishing and food company Sea Harvest Group confirmed that it plans to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) by the end of March. According to the group, its success in recent years has led it to consider itself well positioned for “organic and acquisitive growth.” 

Impact of Opel sale on South Africa not immediately clear

By: Irma Venter     17th March 2017 General Motors (GM) and Peugeot-Citroen (PSA) has announced the sale of GM’s Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary and GM Financial’s European operations to the PSA group, in a transaction valued at €1.3-billion and €0.9-billion, respectively. With the addition of Opel/Vauxhall, which generated revenue of... 

Lack of reliable power supply hinders Africa’s growth – trade commission

By: Nadine James     17th March 2017 Despite an uptick in planned power-generation projects, it is still fair to say that Africa lacks reliable power supply, which has prevented the continent’s economies from developing in line with their potential, says Austrian Trade Commission Advantage Austria.  “The effects of the lack of... 

Partnership aims to build 25 fly farms a year

By: Irma Venter     17th March 2017 Austria-based engineering group Christof Industries has partnered with waste-to-nutrient company AgriProtein to build up to 25 fly farms a year. AgriProtein rears fly larvae (on an industrial scale) on organic waste and harvests the larvae to make natural, high-protein animal feed products.  

Gold seen climbing as Yellen sets scene for negative rates

By: Bloomberg     16th March 2017 Gold will rise after the Federal Reserve pledged to stick to its gradual pace of tightening as negative real interest rates deepen and weigh on the dollar, according to  Wayne Gordon, executive director for commodities and forex at UBS Group AG’s wealth management unit. The Fed raised rates by a... 

Anglo's future thrown in question as billionaire grabs stake

By: Bloomberg     16th March 2017 In its 100-year history, Anglo American Plc has endured commodities booms and busts, South African apartheid and bitter boardroom disputes. Now the British mining giant is threatened by the ambitions of Anil Agarwal, an Indian scrap-metal trader turned billionaire mining tycoon. In a surprise... 

Expect more oil price volatility over the coming months – Vitol

By: Kim Cloete     15th March 2017 A continuing massive stock overhang could contribute to more volatility in the oil price over the coming months, says energy and commodities company Vitol global analyst Simon Warren. He told delegates at the yearly conference of the African Refiners Association (ARA), in Cape Town, that despite... 

Royal HaskoningDHV Engineering Inspiring Healthcare through Innovation

     15th March 2017 7 March, 2017 World leaders in Healthcare Engineering, Consulting Engineers Royal HaskoningDHV presented a paper entitled ‘Inspiring Healthcare through Innovation, Western Lessons - African Application’ at the South African Federation of Hospital Engineering (SAFHE) and the Clinical Engineering... 

South Africa's Engen to ship gasoil to Singapore in rare move – sources

By: Reuters     15th March 2017 South African petroleum company Engen is set to export a gasoil cargo to Singapore, according to trade sources and shipping data. The company has provisionally booked the Torm Horizon to transport 35 000 t of gasoil to Singapore from Durban, shipping fixtures showed. 

Trade between South Africa, UK to remain unaffected by Brexit

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     13th March 2017 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies met with UK Trade Policy State Minister Lord Mark Price on the sidelines of the inaugural Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting, last week, and reiterated that there will be no interruption in the trade between South Africa and the UK as a result of the... 

Despite headwinds, Oppenheimer sees business aviation picking up again

By: Keith Campbell     10th March 2017 Business aviation can and does play an important role in supporting certain key industries in parts of the world that are under-serviced by scheduled commercial airline operations. In Africa, the best example of this is the mining sector. “The role of this type of aviation in supporting mining in... 

Die-caster prepared for next growth cycle in industry

     10th March 2017 An increasing number of car parts such as engine blocks or structural parts are being manufactured from aluminum using high-pressure die casting, says die-casting technology supplier Bühler Die-Casting. 

Early signs pointing to recovery in foundry industry 

By: Simone Liedtke     10th March 2017 With the foundry industry having been under pressure last year owing to very low levels of economic growth, the drought and continuing import leakage, the South African Institute of Foundrymen (Saif) believes that signs to date this year point towards some form of industry recovery. 

Forging market for automotive application to be valued at $56-billion by 2022

     10th March 2017 Market research company Zion Market Research has published a new report highlighting that the global steel forging market for automotive applications was valued at $41.77-billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $56-billion in 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% between... 

Frankfurt Airport seeks to increase its business with South Africa

By: Keith Campbell     10th March 2017 Germany’s number one international airport, Frankfurt, is seeking to increase its two-way air cargo trade with South Africa. This was highlighted at a media briefing at the recent 2017 Air Cargo Africa conference in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, by Fraport AG’s executive board member and... 

Glycol ether market worth $10-billion by 2024

     10th March 2017 A market research report titled ‘Glycol Ether Market: Global Industry Analysis and Forecast, 2016–2024’ compiled by American market research company Persistence Market Research (PMR) concluded that the glycol ether market, currently worth about $6-billion, is expected to exceed a value of about... 

Rukwa coal-to-power project, Tanzania

By: Sheila Barradas     10th March 2017 Edenville Energy has appointed a consultant mining engineer to oversee the mining development and efficient operation of the project. 

Status change for Kenya airport opens way for direct flights to the US

By: John Muchira     10th March 2017 Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has been granted Category 1 status by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), paving the way for airlines to operate direct flights between JKIA and airports in the US. This followed a meticulous assessment by the FAA and other US agencies. 

Impact of Africa on South Africa’s economic performance ‘underestimated’ – IMF 

By: Terence Creamer     9th March 2017 Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is currently the main destination for South African exports and its influence on the economic performance of South Africa is being “underestimated by many commentators”, International Monetary Fund (IMF) senior resident representative in South Africa Dr Montfort Mlachila... 

Echo Polska posts solid maiden results

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th March 2017 In its first half-year since listing on the JSE, international real estate investment trust Echo Polska (EPP) has posted distributable earnings of €34-million, while declaring a dividend per share of €0.31, 2.2% ahead of its forecast. "We are building a national champion that leverages its scale... 

Lepidico looks at Portuguese options

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     9th March 2017 Takeover target Lepidico has signed a binding term sheet with Grupo Mota over the Alvarrões lepidolite mine, in Portugal. Under the terms of the agreement, Lepidico will spend a minimum of €250 000 on exploration and drilling at Alvarrões over an 18-month period. Exploration will include the... 

Platinum demand declines, but still outstrips supply for sixth consecutive year

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th March 2017 This year is expected to be the sixth consecutive year that global platinum consumption has outstripped supply, with a predicted total supply decline of 4% overshadowing the anticipated 6% decrease in demand. Following a “mixed” 2016, the World Platinum Investment Council’s (WPIC’s) latest... 

Ascendis notes growth through acquisitions, will remain acquisitive

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th March 2017 Health and care brands group Ascendis Health increased its revenue by 66% to R3.1-billion in the half year to December 31, as the business significantly increased international sales following two major acquisitions in Europe. This included the acquisitions of Cyprus-based pharmaceutical... 

Strong outlook for recovering ferrochrome industry – Merafe

By: Martin Creamer     8th March 2017 Ferrochrome and chrome ore prices recovered from rock bottom in the first quarter of last year to levels twice and four times higher respectively in 2017, a year in which a shortage of electricity supply has ceased to be a constraining factor, ferrochrome company Merafe reports. Despite market... 

Cartrack reaches 600 000 subscriber milestone

By: Anine Kilian     7th March 2017 Fleet management, vehicle tracking and telematics technology management company Cartrack officially reached over 600 000 active subscribers globally in February. The figure reflects strong, consistent growth over the past year, and a 20% year-on-year increase in subscriber numbers. 

Two investor groups vie to buy Italy's Ilva steel plant

By: Reuters     7th March 2017 Italy's Ilva steel group has received bids from two consortiums for its loss-making plant in southern Italy, it said on Monday, two years after the state took it over to save thousands of jobs and clean up the polluted site. The first bid came from ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker,... 

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