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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Cleanup under way at Sasol's Lake Charles following hurricane

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd September 2020 Petrochemicals company Sasol has completed damage assessments of its Lake Charles Chemical Complex’s 14 manufacturing facilities, associated utilities and infrastructure following the landfall of Hurricane Laura on August 27. Hurricane Laura is considered to be one of the strongest hurricanes on... 

Butler retires as Omnia director

By: Donna Slater     21st September 2020 Frank Butler will retire as director of chemicals company Omnia at the company’s annual general meeting on September 23. He has served on the board since September 2002 and is chairperson of the board's social, ethics and risk committee.  

Sasol to become first raw material supplier signatory of Operation Clean Sweep

By: Donna Slater     15th September 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol has become the first South African raw material supplier to the plastics industry to become a signatory of Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) – an international stewardship programme designed to prevent resin pellet, flake and powder loss and help keep this material out... 

Omnia's mining division celebrates record-breaking achievements

By: Simone Liedtke     14th September 2020 Diversified chemicals group Omnia Holdings is celebrating several record-breaking achievements across Protea Mining Chemicals and BME, which together form the group’s mining division. Protea Mining Chemicals became the first in its field, globally, to develop a solution that helps copper and... 

Aspen achieves strong cash flow despite tough conditions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th September 2020 JSE-listed Aspen Pharmacare increased its revenue by 9% to R38.6-billion for the financial year ended  June 30, while normalised earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation increased by 7% to R11-billion for the period. The higher revenue was supported by growth from Commercial... 

Aspen concludes sales agreement for thrombosis business

By: Donna Slater     8th September 2020 Pharmaceuticals manufacturer Aspen’s wholly-owned Mauritius-incorporated subsidiary Aspen Global Incorporated (AGI) has concluded an agreement in terms of which Mylan Ireland will acquire the commercialisation rights and related intellectual property of Aspen’s Thrombosis business in Europe for... 

Sasol seeks carbon-utilisation solutions for South African operations 

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol has initiated a process through which it aims to identify potential partners for the development and demonstration of technologies that can utilise the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced at its South African operations as part of a broader strategy to lower its... 

Sasol seeks carbon-utilisation solutions for South African operations

Long-term demand structure for petroleum unclear

By: Darren Parker     4th September 2020 It is expected that the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to negatively affect liquid fuels demand in the short term, but whether this represents a long-term structural shift is not yet clear, says South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) executive director Avhapfani Tshifularo. Before... 

Long-term demand structure for petroleum unclear
Photo by Adobe
NO NEED TO IMPORT Reduced demand will see South Africa becoming somewhat self-sufficient in terms of fuels production if all refineries are operational

Heavy equipment demobilised after project completion

4th September 2020 Heavy equipment lifting and transporting company Mammoet recently began demobilising equipment it had deployed at the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemical complex in Lekki Free Zone, in Nigeria. The demobilising of the equipment began in July. 

Heavy equipment demobilised after project completion
BIG DELIVERIES The components for the refinery project consisted of multiple shipments delivered to the purpose-built Dangote Quay Lekki in Lagos

New proportioning system ideal for refineries

By: Darren Parker     4th September 2020 Fire-suppression systems developer FireDos launched the third generation (Gen III) of its foam proportioners for fire extinguishing systems globally at the end of last year. The technology has since been made available in South Africa through local partner and distributor DoseTech. The Gen III... 

New proportioning system ideal for refineries
A NEW GENERATION The Gen III foam proportioner can handle all types of foam agents, even highly viscous, alcohol-resistant and fluorine-free foam agents

Environment-friendly catalysts reduce emissions

By: Theresa Bhowan     28th August 2020 High-performance catalyst manufacturer Clariant Catalysts has developed the EnviCat N2O catalyst, to remove nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) gases almost entirely from the waste gases emitted by industrial plants. 

Environment-friendly catalysts reduce emissions
DR JONATHAN CHETTY N2O is a climate-changing gas, with an average life span of 114 years in the earth’s atmosphere

Sasol shuts troubled Lake Charles plant as hurricane approaches

By: Bloomberg     27th August 2020 Sasol, the fuel and chemicals maker, will shut its $13-billion Lake Charles Chemicals Project due to Hurricane Laura making landfall on the US Gulf Coast. “Given Hurricane Laura’s forecast path,” Sasol will temporarily close down its facilities at Lake Charles, Louisiana, as well as Greens Bayou... 

Sasol shuts troubled Lake Charles plant as hurricane approaches

Adcock Ingram reports satisfying results despite headwinds

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th August 2020 Pharmaceutical manufacturer the Adcock Ingram Group posted headline earnings from continuing operations of R709.4-million for the financial year ended June 30. This was an increase on the headline earnings of R701-million posted for the 2019 financial year. 

Solidarity Fund delivers first batch of ventilators to hospitals

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th August 2020 The Solidarity Fund reports that the first batch of ventilators, initially earmarked for delivery at the end of August, have been delivered ahead of schedule. In early July, the fund approved the additional funding of R405-million to go towards the purchase of critical healthcare equipment for... 

Sibanye, Wits collaborate to make face shields

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st August 2020 JSE-listed Sibanye-Stillwater and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) have collaborated to produce face shields for frontline healthcare workers in communities around the miner's South African operations and in the Eastern Cape province. The face shields are being made by students and... 

Packaging organisation urges responsible ammonium nitrate warehousing

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st August 2020 After a cache of ammonium nitrate exploded earlier in August and left great devastation in Beruit, Lebanon, the Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa has stressed the importance of correct due procedure when handling ammonium nitrate. The association warns that what... 

DBSA hands over 110 isolation pods as part of Covid-19 response

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th August 2020 Development finance institution, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), has donated 110 isolation pods to the Eastern Cape Department of Health as part of its Covid-19 humanitarian response. The isolation pods are manufactured in South Africa, to the standards aligned to the clinical... 

Sasol’s new-look strategy will seek to ‘reset’ group for low-carbon world 

By: Terence Creamer     17th August 2020 Embattled chemicals and energy group Sasol aims to officially unveil its new-look strategy, dubbed Future Sasol, later this year. It has already indicated, however, that the plan will seek to reposition the 70-year-old company, built around a highly carbon-intensive technology that converts coal... 

Sasol’s new-look strategy will seek to ‘reset’ group for low-carbon world

R100bn Infrastructure Fund gains traction with MoA signing 

By: Simone Liedtke     17th August 2020 Infrastructure South Africa (ISA), an entity of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), has entered into a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the National Treasury and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) for the R100-billion Infrastructure Fund launched by President... 

R100bn Infrastructure Fund gains traction with MoA signing
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Sasol will execute rights issue in 2021 calendar year as it refines ‘ticket size’ 

By: Terence Creamer     17th August 2020 Debt-laden chemicals and energy group Sasol confirmed on Monday that it was preparing to execute a rights issue during the second half of its 2021 financial year, despite reporting that it was on track to deliver disposals of greater than $2-billion and exceeding its initial cash conservation... 

Sasol will execute rights issue in 2021 calendar year as it refines ‘ticket size’
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Sasol swings to R91.3bn annual loss on lower oil prices, writedown

By: Reuters     17th August 2020 South African petrochemicals group Sasol reported an annual loss on Monday, hit by a writedown of R111.6-billion and a drop in oil and chemical prices due to the coronavirus outbreak. The world's top producer of motor fuel from coal reported a loss of R91.3-billion for the full year ended June... 

Sasol swings to R91.3bn annual loss on lower oil prices, writedown

Sasol warns of dramatic earnings collapse as it confirms R112bn impairment

By: Terence Creamer     11th August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol warned of a dramatic collapse in its 2020 financial performance on Tuesday, confirming that losses for the period would represent a deterioration of more than 100% when compared with results reported for the 2019 financial year. The decline, the company told... 

Sasol warns of dramatic earnings collapse as it confirms R112bn impairment

Stricter compliance regulations for chemical disinfectants

By: Theresa Bhowan     7th August 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a dramatic increase in the demand for disinfectants to help mitigate the spread of the virus, which, in turn, has prompted the need for strict compliance in industrial and domestic cleaning companies and chemical cleaning suppliers. 

Stricter compliance regulations for chemical disinfectants
EMMA CORDER Consultations determine which chemicals would best suit a company’s requirements and assists in providing a methodology that would best suit the application of these products

Offering diversified with new crop input solution

By: Tracy Hancock     7th August 2020 Environmental management company I-CAT will soon launch agricultural and forestry input solution Cyflo, as part of its product offering, targeting existing and potential clients, says I-CAT Planting Business Unit head Rachelle Botha. The product was developed by diagnostic agronomist Charl Marais... 

Offering diversified with new crop input solution
ENHANCED EFFECT Cyflo effects cellular permeability of agricultural remedies and fertilisers, and significantly improves their efficacy

Sector welcomes bearing distributor’s new products

By: Tracy Hancock     7th August 2020 Demand for the agriculture-specific products offered by Southern Africa bearings and power transmission products distributor Bearings International (BI) is slowly picking up now that lockdown restriction have eased, says agriculture business development leader Gerhard Pienaar. In addition, there... 

Sector welcomes bearing distributor’s new products
HANDY RANGE Bearings International has seen a huge increase in demand for its range of Grippaz hand gloves and has increased its stockholding

Company goes digital to curb challenges

By: Theresa Bhowan     7th August 2020 An increasingly competitive sphere, and a large choice of partners and customers are two of the chemicals industry’s greatest challenges. Specialised chemicals company BASF aims to lead in digital transformation in the chemicals industry to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its... 

Company goes digital  to curb challenges
DALE WALKER The “new normal” that has been imposed by Covid-19 on the globe, has allowed for radical transformation in the way that the company does business

Association addresses Covid-19 challenges

7th August 2020 The industry body representing the local vinyls industry Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) hosted a virtual annual general meeting in May. Speaking about the impact of Covid-19 on the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industry, SAVA chairperson George Diamond said the PVC industry globally is... 

PPE scandal highlights need to modernise public procurement – National Treasury  

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2020 The National Treasury has halted the emergency procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) and reverted to open procurement processes amid a normalisation of supply and growing allegations of corruption, which Finance Minister Tito Mboweni acknowledged on Wednesday had led to a breakdown... 

PPE scandal highlights need to modernise public procurement – National Treasury
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of two embedded solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities of 10 MW apiece at its operations in Secunda, in Mpumalanga, and Sasolburg, in the Free State. The closing date for submissions is Friday, October 2. 

Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations
The Secunda complex

RAV vaccination of pregnant women could prevent pneumonia in babies – Wits prof leads study

By: Sane Dhlamini     31st July 2020 University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Professor Shabir Madhi has uncovered that immunising pregnant women with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine could prevent pneumonia in babies. Madhi is leading Africa’s first coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine trial. 

RAV vaccination of pregnant women could prevent pneumonia in babies – Wits prof leads study

Proof of concept for sharing rare disease data cross border completed

By: Schalk Burger     31st July 2020 The World Economic Forum's (WEF's) precision medicine team's Breaking Barriers to Health Data pilot project has produced a proof of concept that outlines how countries can share rare-disease data safely and anonymously across borders using pre-existing datasets of coded and de-identified patient... 

AECI still turns healthy profit, dividend owing to a robust response plan   

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th July 2020 JSE-listed chemicals group AECI has declared a gross interim cash dividend of 100c apiece for the six months ended June 30, owing to its well managed cash resources and despite the negative effects of Covid-19. The negative impact of Covid-19 on the company, in the six months under review, was... 

AECI still turns healthy profit, dividend owing to a robust response plan
AECI CEO Mark Dytor discusses the Covid-19 impact on the company and its business drivers going forward

Sasol to sell world's biggest oxygen production site to Air Liquide 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th July 2020 JSE-listed petrochemicals company Sasol has signed a negotiation agreement with industrial gas company Air Liquide for the sale of Sasol South Africa’s 16 air separation units (ASUs), in Secunda. The ASUs, with a 42 000 t/d capacity, provides oxygen for Sasol’s fuels and chemical production... 

Sasol to sell world's biggest oxygen production site to Air Liquide
Air seperation units at Sasol Secunda

Auto repairs without a workshop

24th July 2020 Local manufacturer and supplier Pratley offers a wide range of flexible and cost-effective do-it-yourself adhesive products that are ideal for “quick, on-the-spot automotive repairs” where engineering workshops are often unavailable, such as in rural and informal settlements. To repair engine... 

Auto repairs without a workshop
ON-THE-SPOT REPAIRS Pratley offers a range of products, such as Pratley 1-2-3, that can be used where engineering workshops are often unavailable

Variable demand requires new strategy

By: Tracy Hancock     24th July 2020 Uncertain demand in the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aftermarket environments, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, is impacting on short- to medium-term capacity management decisions to meet variable demand, says automotive parts manufacturer GUD Holdings CEO Chris Haworth. “However,... 

Variable demand requires new strategy
CAPACITY CUT GUD’s plants have reopened under conservative conditions to about 60% of normal capacity

Sasol expects delay in last unit in US project to come onstream

By: Reuters     23rd July 2020 Sasol said on Thursday a unit damaged by fire at its Lake Charles Chemical Project (LCCP) should reach meaningful output by October, a month later than previous guidance. Even before a fire earlier this year, the Louisiana plant, which converts natural gas into plastics ingredient ethylene, had... 

Solidarity Fund continues to make progress in supporting fight against Covid-19

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th July 2020 Four months since the first case of Covid-19 was identified in the country, the Solidarity Fund, established by President Cyril Ramaphosa as a rapid response to augment the fight against the pandemic, has made considerable progress in implementing its mandate and distributing funds, it said... 

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