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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Omnia posts full-year loss on mix of negative drivers

By: Reuters     Updated 2 hours 30 minutes ago 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... 

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... 

Green chemistry requires whole value chain approach

By: Schalk Burger     3rd May 2019 Green chemistry requires that the entire value chain be considered to ensure that the use and reclamation or disposal of chemicals are economically feasible, says multinational specialty chemicals producer Clariant South Africa head Nicol Meyer. Clariant’s local clients are receptive to using... 

Green chemistry requires whole value chain approach
NICOL MEYER Companies must engage customers and consumers to ensure that demand and practices are aligned to green chemistry practices

Sasol reaches beneficial operation of new alkoxylation production facility in China

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd April 2019 Dual-listed integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol reached beneficial operation of its new alkoxylation plant in Nanjing, in China’s Jiangsu province, on April 18. “Sasol has successfully built the new facility by implementing state-of-the-art technology for alkoxylation plants,” Sasol... 

Omnia engages with creditors on debt restructuring

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd April 2019 Following an expected decrease in earnings for the financial year ended March 31, JSE-listed Omnia and its principal debt providers have agreed to devise and implement a restructuring of the company’s existing debt to ensure its long-term sustainability. Omnia in March announced that its... 

Sasol reports stabilisation in synfuels output  

By: Terence Creamer     18th April 2019 Chemicals and energy group Sasol reports that output at its Secunda Synfuels Operations (SSO) stabilised in the third quarter, following the total shutdown of the West factory during the first half of its 2019 financial year, which had negatively affected production. In a note to shareholders,... 

Sasol reports stabilisation in synfuels output

Malaria vaccine took 30 years and it's still a work in progress

By: Bloomberg     16th April 2019 After more than three decades of work and almost $1-billion of investment, GlaxoSmithKline and its partners are ready to deploy a vaccine for malaria, the mosquito-borne disease that kills almost half a million people each year. The vaccine, developed with the nonprofit organisation PATH, comes... 

Mantashe urges continued investment in clean coal tech   

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th April 2019 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on Friday commended Sasol for the “good work” it was doing and the opening of its new Impumelelo Colliery. He said it was notable that the opening of the mine came at a time when coal is under siege and that it should counter the narrative that coal is... 

Mantashe urges continued investment in clean coal tech
Sasol executive director and joint president and CEO Stephen Cornell provides details of the new Impumelelo colliery. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Company limit switches ideal for various applications

12th April 2019 With process and storage vessels incorporating limit switches to prevent overfilling of a tank or vessel or dry running of a pump, electronics manufacturer Anderson-Negele’s NCS series is ideally suited for the reliable measurement of limits in media with low water content, such as certain... 

Company limit switches ideal  for various applications
NOT FILLING TO THE BRIM Process and storage vessels have limit switches to prevent a tank or vessel from overfilling

Sasol names Sipho Nkosi as next chairperson

By: Bloomberg     11th April 2019 Sasol appointed Sipho Nkosi to its board and said the former coal-industry executive will become chairperson in November when Dr Mandla Gantsho steps down. The change of leadership comes during a vital year for Sasol, as the South African fuel and chemical manufacturer nears completion on its... 

Sasol names Sipho Nkosi as next chairperson
Photo by Creamer Media
Sipho Nkosi
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