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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Sasol narrows immediate asset-disposal focus to ‘top ten’ list 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd July 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol has developed a list of ten major assets that will be prioritised for sale in the coming weeks and months as it moves to streamline the business into what is being termed ‘Sasol 2.0’, while also raising proceeds to help it reduce a $9.5-billion debt burden. In... 

Local medical radioisotope producer continues exports despite lockdown

By: Rebecca Campbell     2nd July 2020 South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) subsidiary company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP) has reported that, since the imposition of South Africa’s national lockdown in late March, it had been able to dispatch more than 120 shipments of medical radioisotopes to customers around the world. Both... 

Africa's e-health sector booming

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2020 The number of e-health startups operating in Africa has hit an all-time high at 180 active companies, while investment into the space continues to grow, having reached record levels in the first half of this year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, says technology startup information and investment... 

Sasol’s asset sale programme advances with bids due for pipeline

By: Bloomberg     29th June 2020 Sasol expects binding bids within weeks for its stake in a natural gas pipeline running from Mozambique to South Africa, as the company accelerates asset sales to pay off debt, according to people familiar with the process. The bidding round underway for the Rompco 865 km gas pipeline stake... 

Labat Africa reports investor interest as South Africa publishes medical cannabis notice

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2020 JSE-listed medical cannabis investment holding company Labat Africa on June 29 said South Africa’s changing cannabis regulation was helping it to attract investor interest. "In another clear indication that the South African government views the emerging cannabis sector as a priority, Notice R586... 

A buyer’s guide to Sasol’s $5bn asset sale process

By: Bloomberg     25th June 2020 Sasol has accelerated an asset disposal program that could eliminate more than half of the company’s debt. The South African company is trying to raise cash amid cost overruns and lower oil prices. The process could be done in a year and take in as much as $5 billion, which would help prevent a... 

Aspen could produce 10m dexamethasone tablets within a month - CEO

By: Reuters     23rd June 2020 South African pharmaceutical maker Aspen could provide ten-million dexamethasone tablets within a month, CEO Stephen Saad told Reuters on Tuesday. "Aspen has looked at the short-term needs and can provide ten-million tablets in the next 3 to 4 weeks. We would look to ramp up further should there... 

South Africa’s first clinical trial for a vaccine against Covid-19 gets underway

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd June 2020 The first participants in South Africa’s first clinical trial for a vaccine against Covid-19 will be vaccinated this week. The first clinical trial in South Africa and on the continent for a Covid-19 vaccine was announced on June 23, at a virtual press conference hosted by the University of the... 

Sasol’s Guerbet unit at Lake Charles achieves beneficial operation

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd June 2020 JSE-listed Sasol reports that the Guerbet alcohols unit at its Lake Charles Chemicals project (LCCP), in Louisiana, in the US, achieved beneficial operation on June 19. This is Sasol’s second Guerbet alcohol production site, with the other located in Brunsbuettel, Germany. 

Omnia expects to swing to full-year earnings

By: Donna Slater     22nd June 2020 Chemicals manufacturer Omnia expects to report earnings a share of between 65c and 130c for the financial year ended March 31. This represents an improvement of 111% to 121% on the loss a share of 609c reported for the prior financial year.  

New amendments provide greater protection regarding chemical disinfectants, says Industroclean

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th June 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it a dramatic increase in the demand for disinfectants to help mitigate against the spread of the virus, and now, more than ever, there is a critical need for safe disinfecting products that do not pose unnecessary risk to consumers, says industrial cleaning... 

Aspen CEO working to ensure supply of promising Covid drug

By: Bloomberg     18th June 2020 Aspen Pharmacare Holdings is working to ensure it can manage demand for a generic anti-inflammatory drug that was shown to improve survival in Covid-19 patients. Africa’s biggest drugmaker has set up a team to assess how much of the 60-year-old drug dexamethasone it can supply and by when, Chief... 

Sasol revamp to cut jobs, end West African oil ops

By: Reuters     18th June 2020 South Africa's Sasol plans to cut jobs and end West African oil operations as part of a business revamp, the petrochemicals producer said on Thursday, adding it had also agreed a deal with lenders to relax borrowing rules. Sasol has been reviewing its business as it struggles with high debt... 

Great demand for infection control across Africa

By: Tracy Hancock     12th June 2020 The demand for infection control solutions manufacturer SteriTech’s products has increased significantly across Africa since the Covid-19 outbreak, but so have the company’s lead times. “Demand in the rest of Africa existed prior to the outbreak and was steadily growing at a rate just slightly... 

Great demand for infection control across Africa
SOUGHT-AFTER SteriTech has increased its production capacity twenty-fold to meet demand across Africa

AMSA agrees to pay R3.64m fine for exceeding hydrogen sulphide limits

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th June 2020 JSE-listed ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has agreed to pay a R3.64-million fine to the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries as a settlement for transgressions of the Atmospheric Emissions Licence at its Vanderbijlpark operations during 2016. AMSA in June last year... 

Adoption of automation, robotics expected to accelerate

By: Schalk Burger     9th June 2020 Increasingly automated processes and the use of robotics are expected to support greater production and the provision of services safely in a contactless society, says robotics multinational Yaskawa Southern Africa chairperson Terry Rosenberg. He notes that many businesses are rapidly adopting... 

British scientists bypass drug giants to sell potential coronavirus vaccine

By: Reuters     9th June 2020 A team of British scientists developing a coronavirus vaccine has set up a special company to distribute it if they are successful, rather than partnering with a big pharmaceutical company, to ensure access for the world's poorest. The scientists from London's Imperial College hope to bring a... 

Concrete batchers training in the works

By: Mamaili Mamaila     5th June 2020 The Concrete Institute’s (TCI’s) School of Concrete Technology is planning to offer a special one-day course for concrete batchers and batch plant staff in the second half of 2020. 

Concrete batchers training in the works
THE WHOLE BATCH Batching ensures high and uniform quality of readymix concrete for each batch produced by a batching plant

Commission refers another case of excessive pricing to the tribunal

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th May 2020 The Competition Commission has referred, to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, a case against an industrial chemicals company, Caprichem, for alleged excessive pricing during the State of National Disaster. This follows an investigation by the commission, which found that Caprichem... 

B4SA increasing PPE procurement from local suppliers, more funding needed

By: Schalk Burger     28th May 2020 Business solidarity coalition Business For South Africa (B4SA) on May 28 said the focus of its personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement platform over the past four weeks had been to pivot its procurement efforts to identify, capacitate and source from local manufacturers and black-owned... 

Entries for Sasol Business Accelerator programme now open

By: Donna Slater     28th May 2020 Petrochemicals and chemicals manufacturer Sasol reports that it has opened entries for small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) in the manufacturing, engineering services and recyclables sectors to join its Sasol Business Accelerator (SBA) programme. Interested companies must be based in... 

Pandemic prompts diverse solutions development

By: Theresa Bhowan     22nd May 2020 The outbreak of Covid-19 has prompted identification and traceability solutions company MITAS Corporation, to develop solutions that aid clients during and after the pandemic. 

Pandemic prompts diverse solutions development
LABELLED AND COVERED MITAS Corporation plays an active role in the monitoring of goods throughout the lockdown period

System gaining traction in building conversion projects

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Alternative building technology solutions provider SanteQ Liteweight Building Technology’s bespoke Plaswall building technology provides for simple and rapid installation using unsophisticated skills. 

System gaining traction in building conversion projects
BACK TO THE WALL SanteQ's walling systems use between 80% and 90% recycled and waste materials

Integration vital for construction-project life cycle

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 There is a need for integration between the engineering design and environmental processes, before the final submission stage of a project, to avoid the possibility of environmental authorisation for construction on the preferred site being denied, says environmental consultancy Environmental... 

Integration vital for construction-project life cycle
SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS Identifying the environmentally sensitive areas on-site early during the design phase can increase the probability of a sustainable and integrated development

More to concrete parking lots than meets the eye

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Concrete offers several major advantages when building parking areas, says industry body The Concrete Institute (TCI) MD Bryan Perrie. 

More to concrete parking lots than meets the eye
DIG A LITTLE DEEPER The environmental aspects of concrete parking lots, should not be overlooked

Company supplies products for new Gauteng reservoirs

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 A variety of products supplied by construction products specialist a.b.e. Construction Chemicals are being used for several new major water reservoir projects currently under construction in Gauteng. 

Company supplies products for new Gauteng reservoirs
WATER WORKS Benoni’s Northmead elevated water reservoir is the largest elevated type in Gauteng and one of the biggest in South Africa

Russian nuclear group spotlights role of nuclear medicine in countering Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st May 2020 Giant Russian State-owned nuclear energy corporation group Rosatom has highlighted the value of nuclear medical techniques in sterilising medical devices and personal protective equipment, as part of global efforts to counter the Covid-19 pandemic. Nuclear medical sterilisation destroys viruses,... 

Nuclear corporation briefs Parliamentarians on its 12-month, 5- and 10-year objectives

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th May 2020 In a briefing to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy on May 20, the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) stated that it would achieve a turnover of more than R2-billion during the 2021 financial year (FY), but nevertheless expected a net loss of... 

Adcock's acquisition of Plush Professional Leather Care now unconditional

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th May 2020 JSE-listed Adcock Ingram has announced that all conditions precedent, including regulatory approval, for its acquisition of Plus Professional Leather Care, have been met and the acquisition is now unconditional. The final closing of the transaction will take place before the end of May. 

Aspen focused on maintaining production during pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th May 2020 JSE-listed Aspen’s immediate focus under Covid-19 has been to establish processes aimed at ensuring optimum production and the responsible allocation of essential drugs through a heightened focus on its production and supply chain activities. Aspen is experiencing an elevated demand for certain... 

Sasol to mull adding pipeline, Qatar plant to disposal plan

By: Bloomberg     15th May 2020 Sasol is considering additional divestments, including the potential sale of stakes in an African gas pipeline and a Middle Eastern plant, as it explores ways to reduce its $10-billion debt pile, people with knowledge of the matter said. South Africa’s biggest company by revenue is working with... 

New gland packing reduces emissions

By: Halima Frost     15th May 2020 Companies looking to lower emissions can now buy sealing solutions manufacturer Teadit’s 2236 gland packing in South Africa from gasket manufacturer and distributor Absolut Gasket. Gland packing is a contact-type sealing element that comprises a braided rope-like material that is packed around... 

New gland packing  reduces emissions
TIGHT FIT The Teadit glad packing is packed tightly around the shaft of a pump or valve to seal the moving shaft from the housing component

Seals company introduces bearing seal combo

15th May 2020 Advanced materials and product supplier Freudenberg Sealing Technologies introduced a machine component that combines a plastic rotating bearing with a seal in a single, precisely matched unit which the company says is an innovation first. Introduced in February, the design offers significant... 

Seals company introduces bearing seal combo
DYNAMIC DUO The bearing and seal combination introduced by Freudenberg has been validated through extensive testing

Valves maintenance still a challenge

By: Mamaili Mamaila     15th May 2020 Although demand for valves has increased over the past five years, maintenance costs, efficiency and valve service life are some of the challenges that companies face yearly, says coating technology specialist Thermaspray’s laser cladding manager Jordaan Lourens. 

Valves maintenance  still a challenge
IRREPLACEABLE SOLUTIONS The initial coating of new valves as well as their efficient repair results in fewer valve replacements

CEF denies nine ‘requests’ for support amount to a bailout 

By: Terence Creamer     12th May 2020 South Africa’s State-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF) has outlined an extensive list of support measures – including access to a portion of the fuel levy and carbon-tax proceeds – which it argued on Tuesday would help extricate the group from a “precarious financial position”, precipitated by... 

CEF denies nine ‘requests’ for support amount to a bailout
Photo by Creamer Media
The PetroSA refinery in Mossel Bay

Samed urges vigilance in acquiring quality PPE

By: Donna Slater     11th May 2020 The outbreak of Covid-19 in South Africa and the consequent rapid requirement for bulk personal protective equipment (PPE) supply, has led to an influx of PPE products from many suppliers and distributors, thereby raising quality and functionality concerns by the healthcare industry and, in... 

Donations close supply gap for PPE in fight against Covid-19

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th May 2020 The Solidarity Fund, working with Business for South Africa (B4SA), has helped secure 100% of the N95 masks and nearly 80% of the surgical masks required in terms of weekly demand ahead of the expected surge in Covid-19 cases. The successful procurement of this essential personal protective... 

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