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Chemicals

Omnia resumes dividends after strong financial year performance

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 7 hours ago Diversified chemicals group Omnia had a strong performance for the 2021 financial year, enabling it to resume dividends and return over R1-billion to shareholders, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and general economic and sector challenges. Throughout the pandemic, JSE-listed Omnia... 

Orbitulum saw popular across various industries

By: Claire O'Reilly     18th June 2021 Industrial and electronic products importer and distributor Actum’s Orbitalum GF saw range, designed for cold cutting and bevelling, is becoming increasingly popular in the food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals, industries for automated applications where hygiene is essential, says Actum CEO... 

Orbitulum saw popular across various industries
ORBITALUM GF SAW Orbital pipe cutting machine used in food and beverage, and pharmaceutical, industries

Large methane leak detected over South Africa coal mining region

By: Bloomberg     16th June 2021 A cloud of methane was detected by satellite near coal mines in South Africa, drawing attention to a lesser-known environmental risk that comes from using the dirtiest fossil fuel. The potent greenhouse gas — methane traps roughly 84 times more heat than carbon dioxide in its first two decades in... 

Large methane leak detected over South Africa coal mining region

Partnership eyed for vaccine rollout acceleration in Africa

By: Donna Slater     15th June 2021 World Bank president David Malpass and his senior management team, comprising Dr Axel van Trotsenburg and Dr Makhtar Diop, have met with the African Union’s Covid-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (Avatt) to discuss modalities for a partnership that will accelerate vaccine deployment to Africa.... 

Partnership eyed for vaccine rollout acceleration in Africa

Sasol receives tribunal’s go-ahead for ASUs sale

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th June 2021 The Competition Tribunal has approved JSE-listed petrochemicals group Sasol’s intended sale of 16 air separation units (ASUs), in Secunda, to Air Liquide Large Industries South Africa, which designed and installed the plants alongside Sasol over the years. The tribunal had carefully considered... 

Fluor repositions South African unit to support energy transition drive 

By: Terence Creamer     14th June 2021 Global engineering and construction company Fluor, which has been closely associated with South Africa’s liquid fuels and chemicals industries since the 1960s, has restructured its South African operations to align with the unfolding transitions under way in the energy and mining sectors. Fluor... 

Fluor repositions South African unit to support energy transition drive
Fluor South Africa GM Bill Langenbach

Producers under pressure

By: Halima Frost     11th June 2021 South Africa’s concrete and cement additive suppliers are under severe production pressures, owing to a global shortage of many of the primary raw materials used in the chemicals industry essential to produce concrete and cement admixtures, says additives and admixtures specialist Chryso Southern... 

Producers under pressure
IN THE MIX Admixtures and additives used in the manufacture of cement is is short supply globally

Repair solution used across industries

By: Cameron Mackay     4th June 2021 Pump systems and complementary pump products provider Mechanical Rotating Solutions (MRS) provided an emergency repair solution for a Pretoria-based cement manufacturer’s conveyor belt at the end of last year, showcasing the “versatility of Belzona-engineered coatings”. MRS CEO Franscois... 

Repair solution used across industries
COLDER AND WISER Belzona 2221 is easy to apply without requiring specialist tools and cures at room temperature, eliminating the need for “hot work”

Abatement solution for coal-fired power pollution

By: Claire O'Reilly     4th June 2021 Engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) are the South African representatives and suppliers of new Sulfacid flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) technology used to treat coal prior to the coal-fired process to reduce air pollution.  

Commission recommends approval of Air Liquide’s proposed acquisition of Sasol ASUs

By: Simone Liedtke     31st May 2021 The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve, with conditions, industrial gases company Air Liquide’s proposed acquisition of the business owning and operating 16 of petrochemicals group Sasol’s air separation units (ASUs). The target assets are 16 ASUs based... 

Commission recommends approval of Air Liquide’s proposed acquisition of Sasol ASUs
Air separation units at Sasol Secunda

Institutions partner to expand diagnostic capacity in Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st May 2021 To strengthen diagnostic capacity and the health response to Covid-19 in Africa, global development institution IFC, private sector financer Proparco and pathology services company Cerba Lancet Africa have announced a partnership to increase patient access to a range of laboratory tests. The... 

Aspen pledges support to ensure equitable Covid-19 vaccine access in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     31st May 2021 Multinational specialty pharmaceutical company Aspen has committed to making sterile manufacturing capacity available for equitable Covid-19 vaccine access to Africa, as part of the continent’s efforts to determine how it can expand its manufacturing capacity to establish supply across the... 

Aspen pledges support to ensure equitable Covid-19 vaccine access in Africa

Atlas Copco to acquire German vacuum solutions provider

By: Simone Liedtke     31st May 2021 Swedish multinational manufacturing company Atlas Copco will be acquiring specialised vacuum systems and solutions provider Arpuma. The acquisition will enable Atlas to grow its systems and solutions business within the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. 

UCT professor elected as fellow of South African Academy of Engineering 

By: Donna Slater     28th May 2021 University of Cape Town (UCT) chemical engineering professor Harro von Blottnitz has been elected a fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE), thereby placing him among an elite group of 213 fellows who stand between the worlds of academia and industry, and who are considered... 

UCT professor elected as fellow of South African Academy of Engineering 
University of Cape Town chemical engineering professor Harro von Blottnitz

South Africa’s spies want to give Sasol, MTN a helping hand

By: Bloomberg     26th May 2021 South Africa’s spy agency is beefing up its economic intelligence unit so it can play a proactive role in supporting the nation’s companies as they expand beyond their home base. Firms that could benefit from the intelligence operatives’ expertise include telecommunications giant MTN Group and... 

European financing partners announce African healthcare support initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th May 2021 The European Investment Bank (EIB) on May 24 launched a new initiative to boost financial and technical support to enhance health resilience and improve healthcare skills in Africa. The new financing platform for health security and resilience in Africa has been developed following in-depth... 

Sustainable construction ethos prioritised by manufacturer

By: Darren Parker     21st May 2021 Cement additive manufacturing company CHRYSO Southern Africa has installed a solar electricity generating system at its Jet Park manufacturing facility, in Gauteng; this forms part of the company’s efforts to lower its carbon footprint. The installation was completed in January and consists of... 

Sustainable construction ethos prioritised  by manufacturer
ENERGY EFFICIENCY The solar installation provides about 70% of the facility’s energy requirement

Vaccine roll-out to incorporate employer sites as part of second phase

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st May 2021 As South Africa looks set to move into Phase 2 of its national vaccination programme, which aims to vaccinate 16.6-million people starting in May, government and Business for South Africa (B4SA) aim to involve businesses, using employer sites. While government is leading the vaccination... 

Vaccine roll-out to incorporate employer sites as part of second phase

Patel says vision for R200bn in additional localisation has top-level corporate backing 

By: Terence Creamer     18th May 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel announced that an “accord” had been reached at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to drive progressive localisation of up to R200-billion of additional production over a five-year period. Delivering his virtual... 

Patel says vision for R200bn in additional localisation has top-level corporate backing
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel

Fossil fuel giants and banks under fire for rise in single-use plastics

By: Reuters     18th May 2021 Production of single-use plastics is set to grow 30% in the next five years, fuelling their contribution to global warming and ocean pollution, researchers said on Tuesday as they published a list of companies that manufacture and fund throwaway plastic. The first "Plastic Waste Makers Index",... 

100-bed hospital handed over in East London

By: Donna Slater     14th May 2021 Siemens South Africa, the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and the Solidarity Fund officially handed over a separate 100-bed modular hospital solution to the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, in Mdantsane, near East London, on May 14. Built in fewer than 100 days, the hospital... 

100-bed hospital handed over in East London
The interior of the 100-bed modular hospital solution to the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital

US support for Covid-19 vaccine waiver welcomed, but much more to be done  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th May 2021 The US administration’s announcement this week of support to waive intellectual property (IP) protections for Covid-19 vaccines is a positive step to overcoming legal and other barriers to increasing Covid-19 healthcare access; however, much more needs to be done and pressure by civil society... 

US support for Covid-19 vaccine waiver welcomed, but much more to be done
Photo by Reuters
Covid-19 vaccines

Aspen says it can produce generic Covid-19 vaccines in SA amid US support for patent waiver 

By: News24Wire      7th May 2021 On Thursday, the US shocked many by announcing that it would support a temporary patent waiver on Covid-19 vaccines. Currently, only pharmaceutical companies that own the patents for the vaccines are allowed to manufacture the jabs. But lifting the patent rights means that they will lose this... 

Portfolio ensures better efficiency

By: Anna Moross     7th May 2021 Electric variable-speed drives and motors supplier ABB Motion in January released their ACS880LC liquid cooled drives portfolio that can improve overall system efficiency by reducing auxiliary power consumption by up to 10%. 

Portfolio ensures  better efficiency
LIQUID COOLED DRIVES This portfolio of liquid cooled drives technology includes a reduced footprint of up to 30%

Digitalisation key to energy efficiency

By: Anna Moross     7th May 2021 Digitalisation is key to addressing the challenges faced in trying to implement energy efficiency initiatives for wastewater treatment plants and buildings, says South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) data and knowledge management programme project manager Teslim Mohammed... 

Digitalisation key to energy efficiency
WASTEWATER EFFICINECY SANEDI in collaboration with DMRE are working on making wastewater treatment plants more efficient

Project focuses on guidelines for SMEs

By: Anna Moross     7th May 2021 With the second phase of the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) project ending in December this year, National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) IEE project leader Sashay Ramdharee says that, for the remainder of the year, the project will focus on developing sector-specific energy... 

Project focuses on guidelines for SMEs
SASHAY RAMDHAREE The focus of the IEE project will be on providing these guidelines for SMEs in the commercial buildings, automotive, metal casting and agricultural processing industries

Energy efficiency digital platform launched

By: Anna Moross     7th May 2021 Leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, Schneider Electric, launched its energy efficient EcoStruxure Automation Expert, its software-centric universal automation system, at the Hannover Messe 2021, which was held online last month. 

Energy efficiency digital platform launched
ECOSTUXTURE AUTOMATION EXPERT The Ecostuxture Automation Expert is the engine that drives the digital transformation of energy management and automation, and enables the all-digital, all-electric world powered by sustainable, clean and plentiful electricity

Even if Covid-19 vaccine IP is waived, Africa does not have the capacity to produce at scale – expert 

By: News24Wire      5th May 2021 A University of Cape Town professor says if the intellectual property rights of vaccines are lifted, the African continent will still not be able to scale up the production of Covid-19 vaccines. Countries and activists in the Global South have been asking pharmaceutical companies to waive IP... 

Even if Covid-19 vaccine IP is waived, Africa does not have the capacity to produce at scale – expert

Hydrogen companies enter green economy MoU

By: Claire O'Reilly     30th April 2021 Green hydrogen technology company Nel Hydrogen has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with global chemicals and refining industry catalysts, technology, and services supplier Haldor Topsoe. 

Hydrogen companies enter green economy MoU
M4000 NEL WATER ELECTROLYSER The ideal generator for producing green hydrogen at scale for the production of green ammonia

Sasol expects to narrow full-year headline loss

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th April 2021 Petrochemicals giant Sasol says it expects to report at least a 20% year-on-year improvement in headline earnings a share for the financial year ending June 30. It had posted a headline loss a share of R11.79 for the year ended June 30, 2020.  

Sahpra launches app for the reporting of adverse drug reactions

By: Schalk Burger     22nd April 2021 Medical products regulator the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has launched the Med Safety mobile app for self-reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) by the public and healthcare professionals, it said on April 22. The app is designed to simplify and... 

DPD Laser to buy 110 Cryo-Vacc Covid-19 vaccine containers from Renergen 

By: Simone Liedtke     21st April 2021 Domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen and local express courier partner DPD Laser have inked an agreement for Renergen to manufacture the first 110 Cryo-Vacc units for supply to DPD. The Cryo-Vacc is suitable for both air and ground transportation. Liquid nitrogen is used to keep the... 

DPD Laser to buy 110 Cryo-Vacc Covid-19 vaccine containers from Renergen
The Cryo-Vacc

AfDB supports AU call for increased vaccine, pharmaceutical production in Africa

By: Schalk Burger     16th April 2021 Development finance institution (DFI) the African Development Bank (AfDB) has pledged its support and expertise to increase the local production of vaccines and therapeutics to achieve greater public health security in Africa. This in line with calls made by Africa Union (AU) heads of State... 

Sasol and Air Liquide initiate first phase of 900 MW renewables procurement process 

By: Terence Creamer     13th April 2021 Sasol and Air Liquide have formally announced plans to jointly procure 900 MW of renewable-energy capacity from independent power producers (IPPs) by 2030 and have issued a request for proposal (RFP) through which they aim to procure an initial 600 MW this year. The transaction, the companies... 

Sasol and Air Liquide initiate first phase of 900 MW renewables procurement process
Photo by Creamer Media
Power lines in the foreground, with Sasol's Secunda complex in the background

Increase in tanks demand presents challenges

By: Darren Parker     9th April 2021 Despite a global increase in stainless steel tanks production over the past 12 months – particularly for the food and beverage sectors – some subsectors are facing challenges, says stainless steel supplier Columbus Stainless market development manager Lerato Mashigo. “The food and beverage sector... 

Increase in tanks demand  presents challenges
AGES LIKE A FINE WINE Over the recommended life span of a structure, stainless steel becomes more economical because of reduced maintenance and refurbishment required

Nyanza Light Metals invests R4.5bn in titanium dioxide plant at Richard’s Bay IDZ

By: Yvonne Silaule     8th April 2021 Chemicals manufacturing company Nyanza Light Metals has invested R4.5-billion on the construction of a plant to produce titanium dioxide at the Richard’s Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), in KwaZulu-Natal. The announcement was made by Finance MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube during a Public Sector... 

AECI, Origin Materials expands existing environment-friendly partnership

By: Simone Liedtke     7th April 2021 JSE-listed chemicals group AECI and sustainable materials-focused company Origin Materials have expanded their existing joint agreement to develop low-carbon materials based on renewable chemistry. AECI has been a strategic investor in Origin Materials since 2017. 

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