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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Emergency response team fights gulf oil spill

1st October 2010 Pump developer and supplier Thompson Pump mobilised its emergency response team (ERT) to provide pumping equipment, supplies, work power and tactical knowledge to areas devastated by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, within a few days of the incident on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. 

Sasol says it is ready to produce ‘greener’ fuels, but requires regulatory certainty

By: Loni Prinsloo     23rd September 2010 There has been much criticism of South Africa's introduction of a vehicle-emissions tax in September ahead of the introduction of newer-generation transport fuels that can help reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other pollutants. However, petrochemicals company Sasol tells Engineering... 

Sasol makes world's first fully synthetic fuel-powered flight  

By: Loni Prinsloo     21st September 2010 South African petrochemicals giant Sasol on Tuesday took to the skies the world's first passenger flight powered with only synthetic jet fuel, which was produced from coal. The South Africa-developed fuel, produced by the coal-to-liquids (CTL) process, is the only fully synthetic jet fuel to... 

Construction of Sasolburg power project could start in 2012 

By: Terence Creamer     15th September 2010 South African fuels and chemicals producer Sasol could start construction of a 140-MW power generation plant in Sasolburg by mid-2012 should the project receive board sanction in the first quarter of 2011, as is currently anticipated. The company has confirmed with Engineering News Online that,... 

Omnia raises over R2bn, earmarks R1,4bn for nitric acid plant

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th September 2010 Chemicals, explosives and fertiliser group Omnia plans to use R1,4-billion of the R2-billion in capital it raised in a recent rights offer to construct a nitric acid complex in Sasolburg. The group reported on Monday that the rights offer, in which it offered 20-million additional shares to... 

US chemicals giant weighing long-term BEE options

By: Terence Creamer     10th September 2010 The Southern African unit of US chemicals giant Dow has set a target of realising a ‘level four’ black economic-empowerment (BEE) status by 2015, notwithstanding the fact that it, like many other American multinationals, is constrained from selling an equity position in the business. MD Sazi... 

Sasol Nitro sets fertiliser disposal process in motion 

By: Terence Creamer     6th September 2010 Energy and chemicals group Sasol has formally initiated a process to sell five of its regional fertiliser blending plants as part of the restructuring exercise triggered by an agreement with the Competition Commission in July. Sasol Nitro, which is a unit of Sasol Chemical Industries (SCI), said... 

Chemicals giant delivers heat transfer fluid to solar energy facility

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     3rd September 2010 Chemicals company Dow is set to deliver 2 000 t of its specialised heat transfer fluid, Dowtherm A, to international solar energy producer Andasol’s solar energy plants, in Guadix, in southern Spain. 

Excessive pricing to come under spotlight again as Sasol faces polymer charge

By: Terence Creamer     12th August 2010 Lingering doubts about what constitutes excessive pricing in the South African context could finally be resolved, following a decision by the Competition Commission to refer complaints of collusion and excessive pricing against Sasol in the polymers market to the Competition Tribunal for... 

Recession, rand exact heavy toll on Foskor

By: Terence Creamer     5th August 2010 South African phosphate rock miner and fertiliser producer Foskor reported a sharp fall in revenue and earnings for the year ended March 31, 2010, on the back of a recession-linked pullback in prices and demand, as well as lower production and a strong appreciation of the rand against the US... 

Commission settles excessive pricing case with Foskor

By: Creamer Media Reporter      4th August 2010 The Competition Commission has entered into a consent agreement with Foskor regarding a phosphoric acid excessive pricing complaint, but would not ask for a financial penalty, it reported on Wednesday. This followed on an investigation into a 2007 complaint against Foskor and JSE-listed... 

Sasol sees stronger FY earnings on higher output, cost savings

4th August 2010 Petrochemicals group Sasol expects to report higher basic and headline earnings a share for the year ended June 30, on the back of improved market conditions, higher production volumes and effective cost containment measures. Headline earnings a share (HEPS) would be up to 8% higher... 

AECI in mood to harvest recent investments worth R2bn 

By: Loni Prinsloo     28th July 2010 South African chemicals and explosives group AECI reported a near doubling of interim profits to R484-million for the six months to June 30, 2010, and reported a 127% rise in headline earnings to 238 c/share when compared with the corresponding period in 2009. Revenue from continuing operations... 

Tribunal confirms Sasol’s fertiliser settlement

By: Chanel de Bruyn     20th July 2010 The Competition Tribunal on Tuesday confirmed a settlement agreement with petrochemicals group Sasol, after delaying the process by a week to consider written objections submitted by AECI subsidiary African Explosives and Omnia Fertilisers. The tribunal had made two addenda to the July 5... 

Tribunal postpones decision on Sasol fertiliser settlement

By: Loni Prinsloo     14th July 2010 The Competition Tribunal on Wednesday postponed its confirmation of the settlement agreement reached between the Competition Commission and Sasol, relating to allegations of abuse of dominance in the JSE-listed company's fertiliser business. Sasol spokesperson Jacqui O'Sullivan said that the... 

Competition Tribunal to hear Sasol fertiliser settlement

By: Loni Prinsloo     13th July 2010 The Competition Tribunal would on Wednesday hear the settlement agreement reached between the Competition Commission and JSE-listed Sasol in a case relating to an abuse of dominance in the fertiliser industry. Last week, Sasol announced that it had reached a settlement with the Commission, which... 

AECI expects big jump in half-year earnings

By: Loni Prinsloo     8th July 2010 South African chemicals and explosives group AECI said on Thursday that it expected its interim earnings a share and headline earnings a share to increase by between 115% and 135%, compared with the results for the first half of 2009. This comes as trading conditions continued to improve into... 

Sasol agrees to sell fertiliser assets in antitrust settlement

By: Loni Prinsloo     5th July 2010 JSE-listed Sasol has agreed to sell five of its fertiliser blending facilities as part of a settlement reached with the Competition Commission in an abuse of dominance investigation. Sasol Nitro, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries, would divest its regional blending capacity in Bellville,... 

Sasol to build 6 000-t/y TEAL plant in Germany

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd July 2010 Petrochemicals group Sasol has approved the construction of a 6 000-t/y purified triethyl aluminium (TEAL) production unit at its Olefins & Surfactants (O&S) plant, in Brunsbüttel, in Germany. The new unit, which was expected to come on stream early in 2012, would enable Sasol to further... 

Sasol says Davies agrees to serve beyond retirement date

By: Loni Prinsloo     24th June 2010 Petrochemicals group Sasol announced on Thursday that its CEO Pat Davies would steer the company for a year beyond his initial retirement date to ensure that his succession was implemented smoothly. The Sasol board said that it had already initiated a comprehensive local and international... 

Former Eskom, BP executives join AECI board

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd June 2010 South African chemicals and explosives group AECI has appointed former Eskom CEO Allen Morgan and BP Southern Africa regional president and chairperson Advocate Rams Ramashia as nonexecutive directors. Morgan also serves as a director of Kumba Iron Ore, Imalivest Assets and BioTherm Energy.  

Colour pigments supplied for Soccer City

18th June 2010 German chemicals company Lanxess reports that it has supplied colour pigments for the outer shell of the Soccer City stadium,
south-west of Johannesburg. 

Sasol to build 6 000-t/y TEAL plant in Germany

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th June 2010 Petrochemicals group Sasol has approved the construction of a 6 000-t/y purified triethyl aluminium (TEAL) production unit at its Olefins & Surfactants (O&S) plant, in Brunsbüttel, in Germany. The new unit, which was expected to come on stream early in 2012, would enable Sasol to further benefit... 

Omnia sees rebound after rand, commodity turmoil hit 2010 earnings

By: Christy van der Merwe     9th June 2010 Chemicals, explosives and fertiliser group Omnia on Wednesday released what MD Rod Humphris said "clearly wasn't a particularly pleasing set of results", with full-year earnings plunging by 89%. However, Humphris said that the JSE-listed company looked forward to a stronger year ahead. 

Cracking the sour service challenge

28th May 2010 South Africa’s national minerals technology institute Mintek has developed a unique laboratory facility for testing the susceptibility of alloys to corrosion and hydrogen-induced cracking under the conditions known as ‘sour service.’ 

Polyurethane product 
producer expands its 
service offering

By: Eleanor Seggie     28th May 2010 South African polyurethane product producer Uretech is expanding its service offering to local and foreign markets.  

UV-cured corrosion protection products enter local market

By: Eleanor Seggie     28th May 2010 Chemical and aerosol manufacturer Specialised Maintenance Products (SMP) reports that it is the first Southern African distributor of the SolarTech ultraviolet- (UV-) cured product range, which provides seamless protection against corrosion, abrasion and other aggressive environmental conditions.  

Freeworld Coatings interim profit down 29%

By: Loni Prinsloo     26th May 2010 Decorative and performance coatings company Freeworld Coatings on Wednesday reported a slight increase of 1% in first-half revenue to R1,38-billion, compared with the second half of its last financial year. However, profit dropped by 29% to R80-million, from R112,8-million a year earlier, while... 

New book defends role of DDT in fight against malaria in Africa

By: Dennis Ndaba     21st May 2010 Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM) has released a book with important new insights into the debate on environmentalism and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) one of the best-known synthetic pesticides, the widespread use of which has been found to be extremely damaging. 

Omnia confident market can bear 140% nitric-acid scale-up

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2010 Chemicals, explosives and fertiliser group Omnia is confident that the market risks associated with a new R1,4-billion nitric-acid and ammonium-nitrate investment have been minimised, and that the plant's full nameplate capacity of 1 000 t/d will be absorbed over the next five to ten years -... 

Sasol to build R1,9bn ethylene purification plant

By: Chanel de Bruyn     21st April 2010 Petrochemicals group Sasol’s board of directors has approved the construction of a R1,9-billion ethylene purification unit at its Sasol Polymers plant, in Sasolburg. Construction on the plant would start in October. 

Growing need to understand flooring principles

9th April 2010 The Cement and Concrete Institute’s (C&CI’s) one-day industrial flooring training course is gaining popularity as more designers, specifiers and contractors feel the need to understand the underlying principles of concrete industrial flooring.  

New flooring solutions 
offer resistance

By: Eleanor Seggie     9th April 2010 Chemical group BASF Construction Chemicals’ new flooring products range from oil-resistant primers to hygienic and abrasion-resistant flooring systems, says BASF business segment manager Sue Posthumus. 

South African chemicals industry takes steps to measure emissions 

By: Lindsey Berry     9th April 2010 The Responsible Care initiative developed by global chemical industry body The International Council of Chemical Associations, which aims to encourage the reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by chemical companies, has been launched in South Africa by the Chemical and Allied Industries’... 

Petroleum company 
appoints distributor

19th March 2010 South Africa-based petroleum products marketer Engen Petroleum has appointed chemical marketer and distributor the Chemicals & Marketing (C&M) Company as the official distributor of Engen’s full range of lubricants and selected chemical products in Malawi.  

Local company takes 
delivery of new tanker

19th March 2010 Timber preservative and fire retardant protection product company Arch Wood Protection South Africa has taken delivery of a new tanker. 

Poor rail infrastructure weighs on chemicals sector

By: Eleanor Seggie     19th March 2010 One of the biggest challenges facing the chemicals sector is the deficiency in South Africa’s rail infrastructure, says Chemicals Sector Expert Advisory Committee (CSEAC) chairperson Dr Tshenge Demana.  

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