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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Business gears up to support mass-vaccination campaign despite variant setback

By: Donna Slater     19th February 2021 While government’s belated, yet accelerating, efforts to secure enough doses of an effective Covid-19 vaccine to begin a phased mass vaccination roll-out gathers momentum, several business organisations are finalising their plans to support the endeavour – one that is seen as crucial for creating... 

Crime and (no) punishment: Why Africa's ports are vulnerable to counterfeit Covid vaccines

By: News24Wire      18th February 2021 Black-green tears of moss streak the facades of once-white buildings. The city is a maze of narrow streets, some cobbled with sea-stones, calcified by the centuries that have passed since they were laid. The air, always humid, is aromatic with sweet spices and fish, salt-washed from the nearby... 

SME development programme to benefit the local chemicals sector

By: Schalk Burger     9th February 2021 Chemicals sector education and training body the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (Chieta) and the University of Johannesburg Centre of Entrepreneurship have launched a small business development programme to help grow the number of small and medium-sized (SME) chemicals... 

Sasol, GrnCat welcome success of solution to recover wax from spent catalysts

By: Donna Slater     9th February 2021 In keeping with its goal of responsible production and consumption, petrochemicals and chemicals manufacturer Sasol and waste management company GrnCat, have partnered on the recovery ofwax from spent catalysts. Since the GrnCat plant was commissioned in 2018, Sasol has recovered and reused more... 

DuPont covers used to protect Covid-19 vaccines

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th February 2021 The arrival of the first AstraZeneca vaccine doses in South Africa on February 2 was a significant moment for the country, says chemicals company DuPont, which notes that its Tyvek AirCargo covers were used to offer a critical level of protection by completely enveloping the pallet containing the... 

Pumps design to handle flow, pressure of liquids

5th February 2021 Engineering solutions provider BMG’s SEIM spindle screw pumps efficiently handle a range of liquids – such as oils – at different flows and various pressures. BMG is the exclusive distributor of manufacturer SEIM screw pumps throughout Africa. 

The design of these low-maintenance units prevents the possibility of pollutants being released into the medium
ALL CLEAR The design of these low-maintenance units prevents the possibility of pollutants being released into the medium

Lubricants offered for high temperatures

5th February 2021 Lubrication products used in certain applications are subjected to much harsher conditions or higher temperatures than others. This is why lubrication specialist Lubrication Engineers (LE) believes in continuously improving its products and creating solutions for particular applications. 

Growth in use of bioplastics must be part of holistic policy approach to sustainability, says TIPS

By: Schalk Burger     2nd February 2021 South Africa must leverage a range of policy interventions, from developing new production inputs, incentives and taxes, to public procurement and consumer engagement initiatives, to effectively tackle plastic waste and secure sustainable social, environmental and economic benefits from the use... 

Energy multinational outlines South Africa’s $100bn green hydrogen export opportunity  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2021 French energy multinational Engie says that South Africa is ideally positioned, by virtue of its solar and wind endowments, to emerge as a global leader in the production of green hydrogen and derivative carbon-neutral fuels and chemicals, which could generate domestic and export revenues worth... 

Energy multinational outlines South Africa’s $100bn green hydrogen export opportunity

Eskom, Sasol rebuffed, Creecy says as she fights pollution suit

By: Bloomberg     2nd February 2021 Environmental Affairs Minister Barbara Creec said she rejected pleas for leniency from senior executives at the country’s two biggest air polluters as she responded to a lawsuit that says her office has breached constitutional rights to clean air. In a 260-page answering affidavit to a lawsuit... 

Sasol to report higher interim EPS, HEPS but lower Ebitda

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th January 2021 Petrochemicals giant Sasol expects to deliver a strong set of results for the six months ended December 31, 2020, despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, a severe decline in crude oil prices and softer chemical product sales. Additionally, the company’s Lake Charles production, in the US,... 

Covid-19 pandemic brings health inequalities, inequities into sharper focus, says NPC

By: Simone Liedtke     28th January 2021 The Covid-19 crisis has brought into sharper focus the realities and experiences of the poorest people of South Africa, which also brings into sharper focus the existing and more recent health inequalities and inequities, National Planning Commission (NPC) commissioner Professor Viviene Taylor... 

Covid-19 pandemic brings health inequalities, inequities into sharper focus, says NPC

Investment firms offer help to recapitalise Ascendis

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th January 2021 JSE-listed pharmaceuticals company Ascendis Health has advised of Blantyre Capital and L1 Health's interest to have the company be recapitalised, instead of it continuing to pursue a divestment strategy. The divestment strategy was effected to reduce the highly-leveraged position of Ascendis... 

UFS to undertake trial to determine efficacy of Ivermectin for treating Covid-19

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th January 2021 University of the Free State (UFS) clinical research company FARMOVS, together with several medical and scientific experts at the university, is in the process of preparing a clinical trial protocol to determine the efficacy of Ivermectin for treating Covid-19 in a randomised, controlled study... 

Positive and passionate Kim Pratley passes away

By: Schalk Burger     22nd January 2021 South African industrial chemicals and supplies manufacturer Pratley has announced the passing of  CEO and MD Kim Pratley on January 19. “As a company, we mourn the passing of our beloved father, dedicated MD, mentor, friend and colleague. His passing leaves a deep hole in the lives of everyone... 

Kim Pratley
Kim Pratley

Siemens partners to extend Covid-19 facility at Eastern Cape hospital

By: Donna Slater     20th January 2021 Technology company Siemens South Africa has joined forces with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Eastern Cape Department of Health to provide a separate modular hospital solution to the... 

AMSP opens Covid-19 vaccines pre-orders for AU member States 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th January 2021 Following the announcement by African Union (AU) chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa on January 14 that the AU has secured a provisional 270-million Covid-19 vaccine doses for Africa through its Covid-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (Avatt), the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP)... 

Vaccine may be ready, but South Africans are mostly not

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th January 2021 Data from fintech company CompariSure found that a staggering 52% of South Africans do not want to take the Covid-19 vaccine, while President Cyril Ramaphosa on January 11 stressed the importance of the vaccine. He said the country’s vaccine strategy was “well under way”, with 20-million doses... 

Pfizer appoints Africa, Middle East president

By: Donna Slater     12th January 2021 Healthcare products manufacturer Pfizer has appointed Patrick van der Loo as Africa and Middle East (AfME) regional president. His experience at Pfizer spans more than 20 years in leadership roles with multiple successes across geographies in which Van der Loo managed some of Pfizer’s largest... 

South African doctors, engineers invent device for oxygen delivery to Covid-19 patients

By: African News Agency      12th January 2021  A group of South African doctors, engineers and designers based in East London has invented a medical device that revolutionises oxygen delivery to Covid-19 patients. A statement from the Umoya-Gabler Consortium behind the project said Cape Town-based specialist medical device manufacturer... 

South African doctors, engineers invent device for oxygen delivery to Covid-19 patients

Aspen could produce J&J Covid shots by end-March 

By: Reuters     7th January 2021  Aspen Pharmacare could start production of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa by late March or early April if all approvals are in place, a senior company executive said. All the vaccines produced will be exported to J&J and will be a part of its global supply inventory, Stavros... 

EIB provides African pharma manufacturing support 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th January 2021 Long-term lending institution the European Investment Bank (EIB) has launched a first-ever scheme that involves strengthening local production of active pharmaceutical ingredients in Africa and scaling up drug manufacturing. The scheme, in which €50-million will be invested, will contribute to... 

Divestment of Sasol's interest in Gemini JV finalised

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th January 2021 JSE-listed petrochemicals giant Sasol says the divestment of its 50% interest in the Gemini high-density polyethylene (HDPE) joint venture to Ineos Olefins and Polymers US successfully closed on December 31, making Ineos the 100% owner of the asset. Gemini is a toll manufacturer of bimodal HDPE... 

J&J has applied to South Africa for registering COVID-19 vaccine - regulator

By: Reuters     14th December 2020 South Africa's pharmaceutical regulator SAHPRA said on Monday it has received its first application to register a Covid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. "As of today we have received one application, this was received on Thursday evening from J&J, and we started the review process," said... 

J&J has applied to South Africa for registering COVID-19 vaccine - regulator

Ikhaya vaccine temperature monitoring solution receives WHO accreditation

By: Schalk Burger     10th December 2020 Pietermaritzburg-based remote temperature monitoring specialist Ikhaya Automation Systems has received accreditation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for its VM1000 vaccine temperature monitoring device, says Ikhaya MD Praba Moonsamy. “The Ikhaya VM1000 recently qualified under the WHO... 

Labat concludes agreement to buy-out Ace Genetics for R1.8m

By: Donna Slater     9th December 2020 Following a satisfactory due diligence investigation, holding company Labat has concluded an agreement with the vendors of Ace Genetics to acquire 100% of the shares in and claims against the Western Cape-based cannabis genetics company for R1.8-million. Effective December 4, the agreement is to... 

Sasol's JV with LyondellBasell now established

By: Reuters     2nd December 2020 South Africa's Sasol said on Wednesday its Louisiana Integrated Polyethylene joint venture (JV) with chemical company LyondellBasell Industries had been established, following closure of the deal on Dec. 1. LyondellBasell agreed in October to acquire a 50% stake in Sasol's base chemicals business... 

Sasol's JV with LyondellBasell now established

Fund helps South African universities unlock benefits of homegrown IP 

By: Donna Slater     25th November 2020 Since its inception in February, the University Technology Fund (UTF) has approved six investments. Technology and innovation incubated in South Africa’s universities is, as a result, being commercialised and a step closer to commercialisation, creating significant economic, investment and job... 

SA SME Fund CEO Ketso Gordhan
SA SME Fund CEO Ketso Gordhan

Omnia firmly in ‘fix and renew’ phase following September interim period 

By: Simone Liedtke     24th November 2020 JSE-listed diversified chemicals group Omnia Holdings is now firmly in the "fix and renew" phase of its turnaround strategy, where implementation of the new operating model during the six months, ended September 30, was “substantially completed” and has already resulted in improved production... 

CEO Seelan Gobalsamy
Omnia CEO Seelan Gobalsamy discusses the group's interim performance. Editing: Darlene Creamer.

Sasol subsidiary to sell stake in Texas business for $404m

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th November 2020 Sasol Chemicals North America (SCNA), a wholly owned subsidiary of JSE-listed Sasol, has agreed principle terms with INEOS Gemini HDPE Holding Company and a new entity (Newco) to be formed by INEOS to sell its 50% membership interest in Gemini HDPE to Newco for $404-million. Gemini, based in La... 

Sasol shareholders back JV with LyondellBasell for US project 

By: Reuters     20th November 2020 South Africa's Sasol said on Friday shareholders have approved a proposed agreement to form a joint venture with chemical company LyondellBasell Industries at its US Lake Charles Chemicals Project in a bid to pay down debt. LyondellBasell agreed last month to acquire a 50% stake of Sasol's base... 

Sasol shareholders back JV with LyondellBasell for US project

Enel, Novartis sign ten-year renewable energy deal

By: Donna Slater     20th November 2020 Enel Group renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power and medicines company Novartis have signed a ten-year, 100% renewable virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for 78 MW of renewable power. This pan-European VPPA will start in January 2022 and will help Novartis achieve its goals for 100%... 

BT Industrial goes from strength to strength with manufacturing diversification

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th November 2020 High-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes manufacturer BT Industrial Group has extended its plastics-processing capacity to include polymer-based medical fabrics and components. MD Kgomotso Lekola says the company’s electrostatic melt-blown fabric is currently being used to produce FFP2... 

BT Industrial's cleanroom medical device manufacturing facility
Photo by Creamer Media's Marleny Arnoldi
BT Industrial's cleanroom medical device manufacturing facility

Sasol's board agrees to 20% fee reduction

By: Reuters     18th November 2020 South Africa's Sasol said on Wednesday its board agreed to a 20% cut in the fees proposed for approval at its 2020 annual general meeting due to erosion of shareholder value over the past two years and challenges still facing the petrochemical firm. The fee reduction will remain in place until a... 

Final Lake Charles unit reaches beneficial operation

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th November 2020 Energy and chemicals company Sasol’s low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit at the Lake Charles Chemicals Complex (LCCP), in Louisiana, in the US, reached beneficial operation on November 15. The LDPE unit is the seventh and final LCCP unit to come online. 

Tech partnership brews beer from re-used water 

By: Halima Frost     13th November 2020 Local water technology company Xylem has partnered with Berlin water utility Berliner Wasserbetriebe and the Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin (the Berlin Centre of Competence for Water) to produce Berlin Reuse Brew. Berlin Reuse Brew is a beer made from purified and treated wastewater. 

The speed in which ozone treats water is up to 3 000 times faster than conventional chemical cleaning
Xylem Water Solutions treatment project manager Brendan van Wyk discusses the use of ozone and ultraviolet technology in the cleaning processes in breweries and wineries. Camerawork: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 21.10.20

Sasol pins low-carbon ‘reset’ hopes on gas, renewables and green hydrogen  

By: Terence Creamer     11th November 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol, which is coming under increasing pressure to reduce its carbon emissions, reports that climate change is now “front and centre” in its unfolding ‘strategic reset’, which will involve a transition away from coal to gas, renewable energy and green hydrogen. In... 

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