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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Organisation files climate lobbying resolution for tabling at Sasol AGM

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st September 2021 Nonprofit shareholder activism organisation Just Share and investment management company Aeon Investment Management on September 14 co-filed a nonbinding, advisory shareholder resolution with chemicals company Sasol, for tabling at its November 19 annual general meeting. The resolution asks Sasol... 

WHO-backed vaccine hub for Africa to copy Moderna Covid-19 shot

By: Reuters     14th September 2021 Efforts to develop an African base for Covid-19 vaccine production will focus on trying to replicate Moderna's shot, but a lack of progress in talks with the U.S. company mean the project will take time, a senior WHO official told Reuters. The drive to produce vaccines in Africa is designed to... 

Sinovac in talks about setting up South Africa vaccine production, partner says

By: Reuters     10th September 2021 China's Sinovac Biotech is in talks about setting up a vaccine production facility in South Africa with its local partner, the chief executive of Numolux said on Friday. Hilton Klein made the comments at the launch of the South African leg of a global Phase III trial of Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine... 

Sasol, UCT confirm progress on catalysts that convert hydrogen, CO2 into green jet fuel 

By: Terence Creamer     6th September 2021 Energy and chemicals group Sasol, which aims to become a leader in South Africa’s promising green hydrogen industry, reports that research advancements have been achieved that are supportive of the conversion of hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) into green jet fuel and chemicals. Made in... 

Photo of research under way at Sasol Research & Technology

Aspen reinstates dividend; in talks to market Covid-19 vaccine in Africa 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd September 2021 JSE-listed pharmaceutical manufacturer Aspen has once again resumed dividends and will pay out R1.2-billion, or 262c apiece, to shareholders for the financial year ended June 30. The group’s normalised earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for the year came in 3%... 

Aspen group CE Stephen Saad
Aspen group CE Stephen Saad

Aspen appoints successor to deputy CE Attridge

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd September 2021 JSE-listed pharmaceutical group Aspen has announced that its retiring deputy group CE and co-founder Gus Attridge will be succeeded by Sean Capazorio, effective January 1, 2022. Capazorio has served as group finance officer since 2009.  

Aspen's manufacturing facility in Gqeberha

AECI backs clean chemical company expansion

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st August 2021 JSE-listed chemicals group AECI has extended a €2.5-million convertible loan to international cleantech company Clariter to scale up its technology to commercial level. Clariter uses upcycling technology that transforms plastic waste into oils, solvents and waxes.  

AECI CE Mark Dytor
AECI CE Mark Dytor

Adcock Ingram delivers ‘resilient performance’ despite difficult operating environment

By: Simone Liedtke     25th August 2021 South African pharmaceuticals giant Adcock Ingram delivered a “resilient performance” in the financial year ended June 30, which CEO Andy Hall said was despite the difficult operating environment, which was characterised by the continuing adverse impact of Covid-19, a tough economic environment... 

Cannabis firm plans South Africa IPO, magic mushroom expansion

By: Bloomberg     24th August 2021 Cilo Cybin Pharmaceutical is considering an initial public offering in the next 12 months after becoming the first South African company to win the right to grow, process and package cannabis products. The firm, named after the psychoactive substance in magic mushrooms, received the required... 

Sasol donates equipment to assist Free State govt in Covid-19 vaccine roll-out

By: Yvonne Silaule     23rd August 2021 Integrated energy and chemicalS company Sasol has donated equipment to the Free State provincial government to support the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines. The equipment included a custom-built mobile clinic, a Toyota Hi-Ace 14-seater minibus, five vaccine cold storage freezers, 25 vaccine... 

Dust ramifications awareness needed

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     20th August 2021 "People should be aware of the ramifications of being exposed to dangerous fumes, chemicals and dust and the damage caused to mining and construction equipment by dust and other contaminants," says Trysome Auto Electrical Engineering key account manager Johan Momberg. The focus should be on... 

Picture of an excavator loading rubble into a dumb truck
COMBINED EFFORT Equipment or site owners should work together with solution providers to ensure that workers and equipment are protected

Compliance solutions for foundries offered

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     20th August 2021 Air pollution engineering solutions company About Air Pollution offers the foundry industry solutions that ensure emission regulatory compliance. “About Air Pollution is a respected supplier of equipment to ensure the ongoing successful application for an air emissions licence,” About Air... 

Cipla relaunches its operations in KwaZulu-Natal following unrest

By: Yvonne Silaule     19th August 2021 Global pharmaceuticals firm Cipla has relaunched its operations in KwaZulu-Natal, a month after its premises was burnt to ashes during the devastating civil unrest. The re-opening was presided over by the KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala who said that  riots had threatened the supply of... 

Competition Commission approves Saint-Gobain’s acquisition of Chryso Group

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th August 2021 The Competition Commission has unconditionally approved the proposed merger whereby Saint-Gobain intends to acquire Chryso Group. Saint-Gobain is an international group active in construction and operates through four business sectors, mainly innovative materials; construction products (including... 

Committee pleased Sasol is complying with air-quality obligations, Eskom lagging

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th August 2021 The Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment says it is generally satisfied with the compliance of chemicals company Sasol with its obligations on air quality; however, State-owned power utility Eskom is not complying with its obligations owing to delays encountered in its... 

Cobra to help identify, disburse funds to repair ransacked independent pharmacies

By: Schalk Burger     16th August 2021 The Covid Business Rescue Assistance (Cobra) initiative has been engaged by the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA) to help with the identification of funders and the disbursement of donor funding to help rebuild and repair independent pharmacies affected by the unrest in July. The... 

Sasol’s new 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation targets to be ‘substantially higher’ 

By: Terence Creamer     16th August 2021 South Africa’s carbon-heavy fuels and chemicals group Sasol is poised to announce a “substantially higher” target for the reduction of its greenhouse-gas emissions following an intensive period of financial and organisational restructuring during its 2021 financial year. The JSE-listed group took... 

Photo of Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Sahpra authorises CapeBio to manufacture Covid-19 Rapid Test Kits locally

By: Yvonne Silaule     16th August 2021 The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has authorised local biotechnology company CapeBio to manufacture rapid Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits. The test kits, co-developed by CapeBio and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), would... 

Omnia firmly in a growth phase following restructuring – CEO 

By: Simone Liedtke     16th August 2021 Diversified chemical manufacturing company Omnia intends to “settle down” following the completion of its strategic restructuring, and to take some time to focus on its people, culture and setting a “firm foundation to grow from”. Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy tells Engineering News the company is... 

Pic/Image of Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy
Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy speaks to Engineering News about the company's growth and strategy developments following its recent restructuring. Video: Recorded on Zoom. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

New camera used in inspection project

By: Halima Frost     6th August 2021 In a first for Southern Africa and possibly the whole of Africa, rope access specialists Skyriders has used Zenith – a new confined-space inspection camera system – at a petrochemicals plant, in Gauteng, for inspection. The Zenith system is manufactured by US-based inspection technology developer... 

An image of two drone pilots, holding a drone and remote
SKY GUYS The project required the expertise of qualified drone pilots to assist in the inspection of the petrochemical tanks

Partnership notes first new chemicals success

6th August 2021 The partnership between carbon recycling technology company LanzaTech and multinational chemicals company BASF, who together aim to transform the carbon contained in industrial off-gases into valuable chemicals, has achieved a key first success. The companies announced in May that, with the help... 

An image of a LanzaTech installation capturing off gasses
ON-GASSES A key first success has been achieved by LanzaTech and BASF in using off gasses or emissions for a positive product

Unique thermowell design on offer

6th August 2021 Measuring instruments supplier Wika Instruments offers its ScrutonWell as an alternative to a standard thermowell. The ScrutonWell, manufactured by Wika, is typically used in applications commonly found in the chemicals and petrochemicals industry, where high flow velocity and aggressive process... 

A large silver screw like instrument used in a thermowell application
WELL WELL WELL The ScrutonWell offered by Wika can handle high flow velocity and aggressive process media

Control tower effectively monitors transport of chemicals

By: Halima Frost     6th August 2021 Specialist transport company Unitrans Supply Chain Solutions has noted a 42% improvement in driver awareness, while distracted driving incidents have decreased by 45%, since the launch of its centralised control tower in January 2017. The control tower manages Unitrans’ chemical, petrochemical,... 

An image of a large Unitrans truck bearing an abnormal loads sign
VANTAGE POINT Unitrans' new control tower uses new tech, trained staff and an aerial view of its yard to successfully dispatch its trucks throughout S. Africa

Petrochem giant uses tech for greener fuel

By: Halima Frost     6th August 2021 In April JSE-listed synthetic fuels and chemicals company Sasol announced it will work alongside a consortium comprising multinational chemical company Linde, renewable energy company Enertrag and investment company Navitas Holdings to bid in concept for the production of sustainable aviation... 

An image of a Sasol Chemicals plant
COOL COLAB The collaboration between Sasol and the LEN Consortium will see greener jet fuel and chemicals being produced using Sasol's Fischer-Tropsch technology

Sasol donates R10m to help rebuild businesses, communities affected by unrest

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th August 2021 Energy and chemicals company Sasol has committed R10-million to help rebuild businesses and communities that have been devastated by the recent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.  The funds were raised through corporate donation, employee giving mobilisation and small, medium-sized and... 

Sasol capitalising on green hydrogen opportunities

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd August 2021 Green hydrogen can play a significant role globally in decarbonising hard-to-abate industries, and can be an energy source for mobility and industry, and a source of hydrogen for the petrochemical industry. This was the message given by chemicals company Sasol 2.0 Transformation executive VP... 

Rolls-Royce and US company develop means for ultra cold vaccine transport in remote areas

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th July 2021 A US-based innovation unit of UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has designed an ultra-low temperature cold transport pod for vaccines, a design that was then developed jointly with specialist US company ChefsFridge. The innovation team that designed the pod, which is... 

AECI delivers strong performance as trading environment normalises post-Covid  

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2021 Diversified chemicals company AECI delivered a strong performance for the six months to June 30. The trading environment began to normalise during the second half of 2020 following the world’s recovery from the initial waves of Covid-19 infections. This improvement trend continued into this year,... 

AECI CEO Mark Dytor discusses the interim period with Engineering News. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

WTO’s holiday from vaccine equity talks draws calls for action

By: Bloomberg     27th July 2021 An urgent global effort to rebalance the inequity between rich, vaccinated nations and poor nations sliding further into pandemic misery is colliding with an immovable calendar conflict: the European summer holiday. Next week World Trade Organization delegates are planning to depart Geneva for... 

An image of various manufacturers' Covid-19 vaccines

BioNTech will attempt shot for malaria next

By: Bloomberg     27th July 2021 BioNTech will seek to follow its successful Covid-19 vaccine with a shot to prevent malaria, both its first solo project and first new infectious-disease effort since the pandemic began. The German biotech aims to start patient trials of a malaria shot by the end of next year. Backed by the World... 

Sasol partners with Mpumalanga govt, launches five-day vaccination drive

By: Yvonne Silaule     26th July 2021 Energy and chemicals company Sasol's Secunda operations has, in partnership with the Mpumalanga government, launched a five-day Covid-19 vaccination drive, starting on July 26. This formed part of the preparation for the operations' upcoming annual maintenance shutdown taking place from August 30... 

Aspen starts distributing vaccines

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th July 2021 JSE-listed Aspen Pharmacare Holdings has confirmed it will soon receive new Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine supplies at its Gqeberha-based manufacturing site. The company will distribute the vaccines throughout South Africa, further into Africa and eventually into the European Union and... 

Aspen employee

eThekwini, DFFE helping UPL with Cornubia chemical clean-up efforts

By: Schalk Burger     26th July 2021 The eThekwini municipality, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) and specialists from the municipality, the department and the private sector are advising and helping chemical company UPL to clean up the spill that happened in Cornubia, Durban, following the recent... 

Biovac/Pfizer vaccine partnership will boost mRNA hub – Nzimande 

By: Sane Dhlamini     23rd July 2021 The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande has congratulated the Biovac Institute for its partnership with Pfizer and its German vaccine partner BioNTech which will see the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine being manufactured in South Africa for distribution within... 

Picture of Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande

Creecy 'deeply concerned' about air quality, marine ecosystems after fire at Durban chemical plant

By: News24Wire      22nd July 2021 The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment said it was concerned about the impact of a chemical fire at the UPL chemical plant in Cornubia, Durban, on air quality and marine ecosystems. The plant was torched during the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal last week. "We are deeply concerned... 

Sasol joins the Hydrogen Council

By: Yvonne Silaule     22nd July 2021 Chemicals and energy company Sasol has joined the Hydrogen Council, with the aim to help secure the future of hydrogen in South Africa The Hydrogen Council is a global CEO-led initiative consisting of more than 120 companies from across the hydrogen value chain, with a united vision and long-term... 

Pfizer/BioNTech strike South Africa COVID-19 manufacturing deal with Biovac

By: Reuters     21st July 2021 Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE on Wednesday said they had struck a deal for South Africa's Biovac Institute to process and distribute over 100 million doses a year of their Covid-19 vaccine for the African Union beginning in 2022. Technical transfer, on-site development and equipment installation... 

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