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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

New carbon footprint guidelines for chemicals industry

By: Eleanor Seggie     19th March 2010 The Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) will be releasing a carbon footprint guideline document later this month, as part of its Responsible Care initiative.  

Eastern Cape incubator tackles quality control for SMEs

By: Eleanor Seggie     19th March 2010 Quality control in the products produced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remains a challenge, but chemical technology incubator Chemin has various strategies in place to tackle this issue. 

High-profile projects under way in SA

19th March 2010 Several high-profile projects that are in operation in South Africa, set to improve the country’s fuel and chemical reserves, electricity generation and petrochemical transport.  

AECI earnings down 16%, expects upturn in 2010

By: Loni Prinsloo     23rd February 2010 JSE-listed chemicals and explosives firm AECI's headline earnings fell by 16% to R370-million in the 2009 financial year, from R443-million a year earlier, the group reported on Tuesday. Revenue declined by more than R2-billion to R10,7-billion, owing to significant volume declines, despite the... 

Omnia may mothball Rustenburg phosphoric acid plant

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th February 2010 JSE-listed chemical services group Omnia on Friday reported that its fertiliser division would start a process to evaluate the possible mothballing of its phosphoric acid plant, near Rustenburg, which would affect 160 workers. The company would aim to complete the evaluation by the end of April,... 

Liquefied petroleum gas use may increase during FIFA World Cup

By: Eleanor Seggie     29th January 2010 Nonprofit organisation, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of South Africa (LPGSASA), is expecting a large number of vendors who will be supplying food to spectators in the various theme parks during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, to be using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) appliances.... 

Nitrogen gas generation available on site

By: Eleanor Seggie     29th January 2010 The Intaka Tech nitrogen gas generation system (GGS) from engineering company Intaka Tech, a division of the Intaka Group, enables owners to continuously produce nitrogen (N) gas on site at quantities ranging from 1 t/m to 639 t/m.

The N produced is dry, is from 99,5% to 99,9% pure and can be... 

Africa’s focus shifts to gas turbines

29th January 2010 As a mitigating strategy to the current power crisis on the African continent, power project developers have shifted their focus towards gas turbine-powered power solutions, says growth partnership company Frost & Sullivan. The technology offers a rapid solution and can easily operate on... 

Limiting risks when insuring chemicals

29th January 2010 The golden rules when insuring chemicals are to buy as much as one can afford and to accept as little risk as possible, by passing on as much risk as possible, says Alexander Forbes Risk Services client services senior manager Jan Hattingh. To achieve this, the company advises that [chemical... 

New multigas detector goes wireless

By: Eleanor Seggie     29th January 2010 Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) Africa has launched the new Altair 5 multigas detector that can detect up to six gases simultaneously and is preprogrammable in 18 different language choices, including Chinese.

The gas detector has a high-resolution colour display, which can be seen in sunlight.... 

Geochemicals company introduces one-stop 
service

By: Petronel Smit     29th January 2010 Geo-chemical samples management and transportation company MBV Mineral Investments (MBV) has eliminated the need for multiple suppliers by introducing a one-stop service for the management and transportation of geochemical samples to the mining and exploration sector. 

New plastic film for pharmaceuticals industry

22nd January 2010 Chemical group BASF reports that a new plastic film, for which a patent has been applied, will protect its pharmaceutical excipient polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) even better against the penetration of atmospheric oxygen and thus against oxidation. “With this product, BASF will be able to offer... 

New waste management plan for plastics industry 

By: Eleanor Seggie     22nd January 2010 One of the challenges currently facing the plastics industry is developing a new waste management plan, which is concerned with how best to avoid landfilling and also with carbon and water footprints, says Plastics Federation of South Africa (PFSA) executive director David Hughes. The National... 

New project aims to improve black pipe resin 

By: Eleanor Seggie     22nd January 2010 Polypropylene and high-density polyethylene manufacturer Safripol, is undertaking a new project to improve the black pipe resin used to make high-density polyethylene, says Safripol research and development director Mike Gradwell. A new international standard, ISO 4427-1:2007 stipulates the... 

a.b.e Construction Chemicals CEO to step down

By: Chanel de Bruyn     11th January 2010 The CEO of AltX-listed a.b.e. Construction Chemicals, Stan Stacey, would resign from his post at the end of January. The company would make further announcements regarding a successor in due course.  

Sasol to spend R8,4bn to double wax production

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st December 2009 Petrochemicals group Sasol would invest R8,4-billion to double its hard wax production in South Africa by 2014. Sasol Wax would increase its wax production capacity at its Sasolburg site by about 40% by 2012, before further increasing capacity in a second phase, which was currently expected to... 

Omnia to return to profitability in H2, says CEO Humphris

By: Chanel de Bruyn     30th November 2009 With a “much improved” outlook for JSE-listed diversified and specialist chemical services group Omnia Holdings, MD Rod Humphris expects the group to return to profitability in the second half of the 2010 financial year. Profit for the six months ended September 30, 2009, fell 127% to a net loss... 

Sasol seeks to improve competition compliance systems

By: Chanel de Bruyn     27th November 2009 South African petrochemicals group Sasol has committed itself to further enhance its competition law compliance processes and systems, saying it had mandated its executive management to do so. The company noted in a statement at its annual general meeting on Friday that the board of directors... 

Sasol looks to commercialise SA-developed chemicals technology in the US

By: Terence Creamer     12th November 2009 Energy and chemicals group Sasol said on Thursday that it had initiated basic engineering in the US for the first commercial installation of its proprietary ‘Tetramerisation' technology ­- a process, which was developed in South Africa, for reacting four ethylene molecules to produce one octene... 

Chemicals 
cluster experiences demand 
destruction

By: Lindsey Berry     23rd October 2009 The chemicals cluster of petrochemicals giant Sasol had experienced “demand destruction” in the past year, said CFO Christine Ramon, at the group’s annual financial results presentation in Rosebank, in central Johannesburg, last month. 

Chemicals giant seeks to add the ‘human element’ to the periodic table

By: Darren Parker     2nd October 2009 To mark its fiftieth year of business in Africa, international chemicals heavyweight Dow officially launched its Human Element (Hu) campaign in Africa at the end of September, based on the idea that the only element missing from the scientific periodic table is the human element. 

Sasol to boost cogeneration capacity to 50%, sees higher synfuels output

By: Chanel de Bruyn     25th September 2009 Sasol CEO Pat Davies was comfortable that the petrochemicals group’s Synfuels operation, in Secunda, would see a better performance going forward, while the group was also planning to increase the amount of own-generated electricity to 50%. Sasol was aiming to produce a sustainable baseline of... 

Rolfes posts 64% drop in FY profit

By: Chanel de Bruyn     21st September 2009 The net profit of JSE-listed manufacturing and technology company Rolfes fell 64% to R10,7-million in the year ended June 30,2009, compared with R29,5-million the year before, reflecting difficult market conditions and the discontinuance of a number of loss-making operations. However, revenues... 

Sasol to boost cogeneration capacity to 50%, sees higher synfuels output

By: Chanel de Bruyn     14th September 2009 Sasol CEO Pat Davies was comfortable that the petrochemicals group’s Synfuels operation, in Secunda, would see a better performance going forward, while the group was also planning to increase the amount of own-generated electricity to 50%. Sasol was aiming to produce a sustainable baseline of... 

Sasol sets two-year capex plan at R15bn/y as earnings fall 39%

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2009 South African energy and chemicals group Sasol - which reported a 39% fall in full-year earnings to R13,6-billion from R22,4-billion in the year to end June 2008, on the back of weaker market conditions for its products - announced on Monday that it had reprioritised its capital expenditure... 

Omnia buys KZN-based petroleum jelly manufacturer

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th August 2009 Specialist chemical company Omnia has acquired KwaZulu-Natal-based petroleum jelly and white oils manufacturer Petroleum Fine Product (PFP) for an undisclosed amount, the JSE-listed firm announced on Thursday. PFP has been in business since 2001 and generates a turnover in excess of R130-million.  

Omnia says Pretorius steps down as director

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th August 2009 JSE-listed chemicals specialist Omnia on Tuesday reported the resignation of independent nonexecutive director JG Pretorius, effective from October 23. Pretorius would retire after serving on the Omnia board since 1987. 

Foskor FY profit doubles on strong commodity prices

By: Chanel de Bruyn     4th August 2009 South African phosphate rock and phosphoric acid producer Foskor’s net profit increased by 128% to R1,9-billion in the 2009 financial year, compared with R841-million the year before, driven by strong commodity prices. “Foskor’s renewed focus on fiscal and managerial discipline yielded great... 

AECI ramping up expansion projects, to cut jobs in restructuring

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th July 2009 JSE-listed chemical and explosives firm AECI on Tuesday said that during the next 12 to 18 months, the company would focus on ramping up its capital expenditure (capex) projects in its different divisions. Speaking at a results presentation in Johannesburg, AECI executive director Graham Edwards... 

AECI headline earnings down 68% to R112m

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th July 2009 JSE-listed chemical and explosives firm AECI on Tuesday reported a 68% drop in headline earnings for the six months ended June to R112-million, compared with the R352-million recorded in the corresponding period of 2008. Headline earnings a share totalled 105c a share, compared with the 325c... 

SA company invests in high-tech steel-profiling machine

By: Leandi Kolver     17th July 2009 Specialist dished-head manufacturing company Tank Ends Engineering has unveiled a three-dimensional computer numerically controlled CNC Profiler - one of only three profilers in the world.  

Foskor BEE deal next week, but listing unlikely this year

By: Terence Creamer     2nd July 2009 A black economic-empowerment (BEE) deal involving a 26% stake in South African phosphate rock and phosphoric acid producer Foskor would be unveiled next week, but it was likely that the listing of the company, initially scheduled for 2009, would be placed on hold until market conditions... 

Omnia sees lower operating profit in 2010

By: Chanel de Bruyn     23rd June 2009 The year ahead would be “tough” for JSE-listed diversified and specialist chemical services company Omnia, with a reduction in turnover and operating profit expected, despite its “exceptional” results in the 2009 financial year. Omnia on Tuesday reported a 57% increase in net profit to... 

Sasol’s full-year earnings to fall sharply on lower prices, fines

By: Terence Creamer     19th June 2009 Energy and chemicals group Sasol warned on Friday that its attributable earnings a share and headline earnings a share would probably decline by between 40% and 50% for the year to June 30, 2009, when compared to the prior year. The large decrease was attributable mainly to lower oil and... 

‘Dirty’ fuels cause untold suffering, study asserts 

By: Leandi Kolver     19th June 2009 Premature deaths from respiratory illness owing open fires used for cooking in developing countries can be curbed by using simple modern stoves fuelled by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) says the World Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (WLPGA). 

More to come for Sasol, including a new fertiliser probe

By: Terence Creamer     5th June 2009 The recent Competition Tribunal hearing to confirm a consent order and a R250,68-million fine against Sasol was arguably merely the end of the beginning for the energy and chemicals giant.

Even the fertiliser matter, which was the subject of the mid-May hearing, was not entirely closed, with the... 

Solidarity declares dispute with employers in chemical sector

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th May 2009 Trade union Solidarity has declared a dispute with employers in the industrial chemicals sector of the National Bargaining Council for the chemical industry. This came after trade unions and employers could not reach an agreement after the second round of wage negotiations that continued during... 

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