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Chemicals

Logistics company invests in facilities

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     19th July 2019 Logistics company Bidvest Panalpina Logistics (BPL) has implemented several large-scale infrastructure development plans at its KwaZulu-Natal-based operations. This includes building a new state-of-the-art chemicals and general cargo warehouse in Mobeni, Durban, and taking over premises in... 

AECI realignment projects offer long-term benefits

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th July 2019 As a result of the strategic realignment projects completed by it in June, JSE-listed explosives and specialty chemicals group AECI expects to report a 22% year-on-year decrease in headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended June 30. HEPS were likely to be between 357c and 376c... 

Total South Africa achieves Level 1 BBBEE rating

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th July 2019 Petrochemicals company Total South Africa has achieved a Level 1 broad-based black economic empowerment rating. Total has since 2003 implemented a dedicated transformation strategy, which includes 52% black ownership, skills development programmes, preferential procurement, enterprise and... 

Compressors to play important role in new nitrophosphate plant

12th July 2019 Diversified technology provider Johnson Controls’ Sabroe compressors, which power a custom-build ammonia chiller plant, will play an important role in diversified chemicals group Omnia’s newly operational R670-million nitrophosphate plant in Sasolburg. Omnia lead process engineer Kripal Daby... 

Additional air compressor installed at pharmaceuticals company

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     12th July 2019 Air compressor products distributor and solution provider Tru Compressor Solutions assisted pharmaceutical company Union Swiss in installing an additional 132 kW oil-free air compressor at its facility, in Boksburg, last month. Union Swiss needed a new oil free compressor owing to the fact that... 

Additional air compressor installed at pharmaceuticals company
INCREASED AIR FLOW By supplying 3 inches of piping with a header it will increase the flow of air to the customers plant

Sasol opens new alkoxylation plant in China

By: Schalk Burger     11th July 2019 JSE-listed chemicals and energy multinational Sasol has launched its new alkoxylation plant, in Nanjing, China. The plant would expand Sasol's current alkoxylation capability to about 150 000 t/y, the company said in a statement this week. 

Aspen terminates talks with potential European partner

By: Reuters     5th July 2019 South African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare said on Friday it had terminated talks with a potential partner in Europe, after announcing in March a strategic review of its European and domestic commercial pharmaceuticals businesses. "Shareholders are advised that Aspen is now in a position to explore... 

Company will host a masterclass at IFAT Africa 2019

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     28th June 2019 The IFAT Africa 2019 conference is scheduled to be held at the Gallagher convention centre, in Gauteng, from July 9 to 11.   QFS will share an overview of its involvement in various projects in the industrial and municipal sectors. It will also showcase water treatment and odour control... 

Company will host a masterclass at IFAT Africa 2019
STOPPING THE STENCH Odour control is a process that involves the treatment of odorous gas in heavily built-up areas that have become a nuisance to local residents, who live in the surrounding areas near wastewater treatment plants.

Omnia to restructure as it seeks to reduce overextended balance sheet 

By: Schalk Burger     25th June 2019 Diversified chemicals group Omnia will, over the next two years, focus on improving the profit margins of its companies’ services and products, ensuring that its assets and investments deliver value, as well as on pursuing international expansion of intellectual property-based businesses that... 

Omnia posts full-year loss on mix of negative drivers

By: Reuters     25th June 2019 Omnia Holdings, a South African chemicals and fertiliser maker, reported a full-year loss on Tuesday as a volatile currency, droughts, changes in the mining industry and difficult global trading conditions dented its business. The company, which also produces explosives, posted a headline loss... 

Omnia flags full-year loss

By: Reuters     14th June 2019 South African chemicals and fertiliser maker Omnia Holdings said on Friday it expected to report a full-year loss as drought, a volatile currency, changes in the mining industry and difficult global trading conditions weighed on earnings. The firm said the headline loss per share, the main profit... 

DTI forges ahead with product standardisation task

By: Mamaili Mamaila     14th June 2019 Following Mining Charter III’s call to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to develop a “Standardised Coding and Product Identification System in the Mining Supply Chain” whereby products can be identified using a unique name and code, the department has established a multistakeholder... 

DTI forges ahead with product standardisation task
INDUSTRY GROWTH The DTI looks forward to exchanging lessons and experiences to unpack challenges and identify solutions for growth across the manufacturing sector

Union attacks Necsa board, claiming retrenchments and privatisations planned

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th June 2019 The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) asserted on Wednesday that it had “reliably learnt” that the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (Necsa’s) board was proposing to retrench 400 employees and perhaps sell public assets. These proposals were part of a... 

Union attacks Necsa board, claiming retrenchments and privatisations planned
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An aerial view of Necsa’s Pelindaba complex, west of Pretoria/Tshwane

Environmental organisations take Highveld pollution matter to court 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th June 2019 Environmental justice group groundWork and community organisation Vukani Environment Justice Movement in Action have launched “landmark litigation”, demanding that government clean up the air in the Mpumalanga Highveld. GroundWork and Vukani on June 7 served papers to the High Court, asking that... 

Environmental organisations take Highveld pollution matter to court

Looking back at invention of the Periodic Table as world marks 150th anniversary

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th June 2019 It all started with alchemy. Of course, the ancient world had had some practical knowledge of chemistry, and had seen some advances in the applied chemistry, long before the emergence of alchemy. The distant roots of chemistry are probably to be found in Bronze Age (roughly 3 300 BC to 1 200BC)... 

Looking back at invention of the Periodic Table as world marks 150th anniversary

Solutions provider releases new admixture for variable aggregates

By: Cameron Mackay     7th June 2019 Construction chemicals and solutions provider Mapei South Africa released the new Dynamon MS 100 acrylic-based admixture product earlier this year for use in concrete where there are variable-quality aggregates. The admixture prevents variations in the quality of aggregates, particularly in... 

Solutions provider releases new  admixture for variable aggregates
AGGREGATE MITIGATION The Dynamon product was developed to mitigate the effects of poor-quality aggregates

Havenstein to succeed Humphris as Omnia chair

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th June 2019 JSE-listed chemicals company Omnia Holdings has announced the retirement of its chairperson Rod Humphris, who had served on its board for 20 years. Humphris will retire from the board in September during the company’s annual general meeting, but has decided to step down as chairperson with... 

Havenstein to succeed Humphris as Omnia chair
Photo by Creamer Media
Omnia outgoing chairperson Rod Humphris

Oil giants' chemical lifeline threatened by plastic-trash crisis

By: Bloomberg     6th June 2019 As the world strives to wean itself off fossil fuels, oil companies have been turning to plastic as the key to their future. Now even that’s looking overly optimistic. The global crackdown on plastic trash threatens to take a big chunk out of demand growth just as oil companies like Saudi Aramco... 

South African medicine dispensing system wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th June 2019 For the first time since its inception in 2015, a South African electrical engineer has won the Royal Academy of Engineers’ 2019 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Thirty-one-year-old Neo Hutiri and his team won R463 000, or about £25 000, for developing Pelebox – a smart locker system... 

South African medicine dispensing system wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation
South African electrical engineer Neo Hutiri wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

Second Lake Charles facility reaches beneficial operation

By: Nadine James     3rd June 2019 Petrochemicals company Sasol on Monday said the new ethylene oxide/ ethylene glycol (EO/EG) production facility at its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), in Louisiana, in the US, had reached beneficial operation. The EO/EG unit is the second of seven LCCP production facilities to come on stream. 

Aspen Pharmacare completes divestment of nutritionals business to Lactalis

By: African News Agency      3rd June 2019 Drugs company Aspen Pharmacare said on Monday it had completed the divestment of its nutritionals business to the Lactalis Group for €740-million on May 31. "The estimated net cash inflows from the transaction, after payment of transaction related taxes, the buy-out of minority shareholders and... 

Company advances health and safety in petrochemicals industry

31st May 2019 Cold-cutting techniques developed by demolition contractor Jet Demolition have introduced a new benchmark for health and safety in the petrochemicals industry - a highly volatile and hazardous work environment. 

Sector shows decline despite strong market growth

By: Mamaili Mamaila     31st May 2019 Although the local chemicals sector has recently been characterised by strong market growth, it has shown a consistently weak performance, with its contribution to total manufacturing output having declined significantly over the past ten years, says the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)... 

Sector shows decline despite strong market growth
Photo by Bloomberg
RAW MATERIALS Domestic chemical firms face multiple challenges such as access to appropriately priced feedstock, as well as large volumes of raw chemical materials that continue to be imported and are subject to exchange rate fluctuations

Imported chemicals hamper growth of sector

By: Mamaili Mamaila     31st May 2019 The impact of imported chemicals from countries such as China and India, has had a major detrimental impact on the local chemicals sector, says specialty chemicals supplier, Active Chemicals and Solutions director David Grimsley. “Similar to the textiles and retail food industries, where the... 

Imported chemicals hamper growth of sector
Photo by Bloomberg
UNINSPIRED There is a low motivation to build new factories as the chemicals supplier market is shrinking

Valves supplier to launch new products

By: Mamaili Mamaila     31st May 2019 South African thermoplastic valves supplier Astore Keymak is engaged in research and development activities with its suppliers to launch new FIP industrial valves for chemical applications every second year. “For aggressive chemical applications, such as sulphuric acids and hydrochloric acids,... 

Valves supplier to launch  new products
HIGHLY COMMITTED Astore Keymak remains committed to technology and solutions for the chemical, petrochemicals and industrial space

Bigger staff complements company’s growth strategy

By: Mamaili Mamaila     31st May 2019 Multinational specialty chemicals producer Clariant hired 2 142 new employees in 2018 – an increase of 8%, compared with that of the previous year – to support its profitable growth strategy. The ratio of 689 women and 1 453 men is also more equal than that of 2017. 

Bigger staff complements company’s growth strategy
JONATHAN CHETTY The way in which specialist chemicals companies and their clients innovate, collaborate and operate does not “change overnight”

Omnia Holdings to undertake R2bn rights offer

By: Reuters     30th May 2019 Omnia Holdings said on Thursday it would undertake a rights offer of R2-billion in a bid to cut debt. Omnia, which raised funds for two acquisitions and the construction of a new fertiliser plant, said last month it had agreed to restructuring talks with creditors. 

Firm invests heavily in expansion

24th May 2019 In March this year, multinational pharmaceutical, chemical and life sciences company Merck Group announced its plans to invest €150-million over the next four years, at its manufacturing site at Aubonne, in Switzerland, to expand manufacturing capacity for its biotech medicines. The facility... 

Firm invests heavily  in expansion
PILL PLETHORA Investing heavily in its Swiss manufacturing plant will allow Merck to increase its medicinal output

Partnership introduces digital tracking device

24th May 2019 Pharmaceuticals manufacturer Orion Corporation and digital therapeutics company Propeller Health announced a partnership to connect the Easyhaler line of inhalers for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to Propeller Health’s digital medicine platform. The partnership will... 

Partnership introduces digital tracking device
WAITING TO EXHALE The sensor which will be applied to an inhaler will be app enabled to allow for accurate data collection

New listing approved for pharmaceuticals giant

24th May 2019 Global multinational specialty pharmaceuticals company Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited announced that the company has been approved for a secondary listing on stock exchange facilitator A2X Markets with effect from April 1, 2019. “We continually strive to identify ways to increase value for our... 

New listing approved  for pharmaceuticals giant
GENERIC GENIUS Through Aspen’s research and development, a cheaper more attainable generic anti-retroviral treatment is available globally

Pumps manufacturer plans further growth after acquisition

By: Halima Frost     24th May 2019 Following the acquisition of South Korea-based sanitary pump manufacturer JEC Pumps, pump specialist Verder Pumps intends on proliferating its global reach over the next five years, predominantly in the medical and pharmaceuticals industry. JEC Pumps has a sizeable market share in the European... 

Pumps manufacturer plans further growth after acquisition
STICKY STUFF The JEC brand of pumps is not only hygienic but also capable of pumping a variety of viscous liquids

Sasol’s Lake Charles project to cost up to $12.9bn 

23rd May 2019 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the latest increase in the cost estimate for Sasol’s Lake Charles Chemicals project, in the US, and why the project is important to Sasol. 

Sasol’s Lake Charles project to cost up to $12.9bn
Sasol’s Lake Charles project to cost up to $12.9bn

Sasol to accelerate $2bn asset disposal plan as capex on US project leaps by another $1.3bn 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd May 2019 Energy and chemicals group Sasol, which announced another large increase in the capital cost of its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP) being built in the US, will accelerate its $2-billion noncore asset disposal programme and will used the proceeds to deleverage its balance sheet. Joint... 

Sasol to accelerate $2bn asset disposal plan as capex on US project leaps by another $1.3bn
Photo by Creamer Media
Joint presidents and CEOs Bongani Nqwababa and Stephen Cornell

Aspen sells Australian prescription portfolio to Mylan

By: Reuters     20th May 2019 Aspen Pharmacare said on Monday that Mylan had exercised an option to buy Aspen's portfolio of prescription and over-the-counter products in Australia for A$188-million ($130-million). In December, South Africa-based Aspen said its wholly owned subsidiary incorporated in Mauritius, Aspen Global... 

Inaugural event to highlight local manufacturing capabilities

By: Halima Frost     17th May 2019 The first Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo (LME), which aims to highlight the capabilities of local manufacturers and, subsequently the ability to export, will be held from May 21 to 23, 2019 at the Expo Centre Nasrec, in Johannesburg. The expo will be hosted by the South African Capital... 

Inaugural event to highlight local manufacturing capabilities
CENTRE OF ATTENTION The inaugural Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo is set to feature more than 130 exhibitors

Vivo performs well in Q1 on the back of added Engen business

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th May 2019 African fuel retailer Vivo Energy had a “strong start” to this year, with volumes for the first quarter having increased by 7% year-on-year to 2.4-billion litres. CEO Christian Chammas said in a statement on Tuesday that volume growth had resulted from good underlying growth in Vivo’s existing... 

Ascendis to sell biosciences businesses for R480m

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd May 2019 Ascendis Health has entered into agreements with a consortium comprising RMB Ventures Seven, Nedbank Private Equity and certain members of the management of the Ascendis Biosciences division for the sale of various businesses under its Biosciences division for R480-million. A strategic review of... 

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