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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

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,... 

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... 

Healthcare councils condemn looting, warn of worrying and dangerous consequences

By: Donna Slater     19th July 2021 South Africa’s statutory health regulatory councils, together with the Department of Health (DOH), have condemned the looting and violence last week, especially those acts that targeted healthcare facilities and the medicines supply chain. The councils involved include the South African Health... 

B4SA warns public to look out for stolen vaccines on offer

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th July 2021 Business for South Africa (B4SA) has welcomed the announcement by acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi that more than one-million people in the 35- to 49-year-old age group have registered for vaccination in the first 24 hours of being eligible to do so. While unrest is impacting on the... 

Durban beaches closed after chemical spill, possibly unrest related

By: News24Wire      16th July 2021 Beaches near Umhlanga have been closed, following a chemical spill in Durban. The spill appears to have originated from a chemical warehouse fire in Umhlanga that was caused during unrest that gripped KwaZulu-Natal this week. Other sources are being investigated. 

Sasol sells cyanide business to Czech chemicals company

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th July 2021 JSE-listed petrochemicals giant Sasol has entered into an agreement to sell its sodium cyanide business, in Sasolburg, to Czech Republic-based chemicals company Draslovka Holding Company for R1.46-billion. Draslovka is a global producer of cyanide-based chemical specialties and agricultural... 

Intellectual property environment strengthens despite challenges

By: Donna Slater     7th July 2021 Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the global intellectual property (IP) environment continued its positive trajectory, biotechnology company CapeBio CEO Daniel Ndima said on July 7. Speaking during a webinar hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research on... 

Itochu partners with Shell to lower its mining sites’ carbon footprint

By: Donna Slater     1st July 2021 Petrochemicals company Shell International and Tokyo-headquartered investment firm Itochu Corporation have agreed to collaborate to accelerate the digitalisation and decarbonisation of Itochu’s mining sites, as well as increase the operational efficiency thereof. Shell will offer its sectoral... 

RBPlat’s Hanré Rossouw appointed CFO designate at Sasol

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2021 JSE-and NYSE-listed petrochemicals group Sasol has announced that its CFO and executive director Paul Victor will step down from his roles at the end of June next year. He will be succeeded by Hanré Rossouw, who is currently the CFO of Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat).  

International institutions aid vaccine-making in Africa through R10bn financing

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2021 Several international development finance institutions have partnered on a financing package for pharmaceuticals company Aspen Pharmacare to support vaccine production and other treatment therapies on the African continent. The €600-million, about R10-billion, long-term financing package is... 

Aspen's manufacturing site in Gqeberha
Aspen's manufacturing site in Gqeberha

UJ researchers develop low-energy, safer hydrogenation through three-phase Pickering emulsion

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2021 Researchers at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Department of Chemical Sciences on June 28 announced that, in processes in which compressed hydrogen is not needed, the use of a stable three-phase emulsion to transform a toxic waste product into valuable feedstock makes hydrogenation into a... 

Omnia resumes dividends after strong financial year performance 

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd June 2021 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... 

Omnia's Nitric Acid Complex in Sasolburg
Omnia group FD Stephan Serfontein gives more insight into the company's financial results. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

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... 

ORBITALUM GF SAW
Orbital pipe cutting machine used in food and beverage, and pharmaceutical, 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 South Africa GM Bill Langenbach
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... 

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

COLDER AND WISER 
Belzona 2221 is easy to apply without requiring specialist tools and cures at room temperature, eliminating the need for “hot work”
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 EPCM Global Engineering are the South African representatives of the Luxembourg-based company Carbon Process & Plant Engineering (CPPE) who is the owner and provider of the Sulfacid® technology for flue gas desulphurisation by reacting the SO2 with water on an Activated Carbon bed in order to... 

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... 

Air separation units at Sasol Secunda
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... 

University of Cape Town chemical engineering professor Harro von Blottnitz
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... 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The solar installation provides about 70% of the facility’s energy requirement
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
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