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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Refrigerant recovery service set for expansion

By: Darren Parker     14th February 2020 Speciality chemicals supplier A-Gas South Africa is planning to expand its rapid recovery refrigerant service nationally this year. This follows the appointment of A-Gas business development manager Grant McGill in September last year. 

Demand surging for 100% waterless car cleaning product

By: Tracy Hancock     14th February 2020 Developed by automotive enthusiasts in response to Africa’s water crisis, demand for Premier Wash & Wax is growing monthly as more people become conscious of the need to conserve water and fall in love with the products’ results, says Premier Products owner Gerhard Veldsman. “Africa’s water... 

Renewed call to ban disposable cylinders

By: Darren Parker     14th February 2020 Despite various heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry participants contesting the banning of disposable gas cylinders in South Africa for years, there is no indication of a decision on the matter being reached. South African Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning... 

Renewed call to ban disposable cylinders
TIME TO SCRAP THIS PRACTICE Disposed cylinders create about 3 150 m3 scrap metal and can explode if not thoroughly evacuated

Devices assist to combat sick building syndrome

7th February 2020 Monitoring devices that are able to detect high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2)  have been introduced to the local market to help detect poor air quality that can lead to sick building syndrome. Sick building syndrome refers to the condition affecting office workers, typically marked by headaches... 

Devices assist to combat sick building syndrome
NO PLACE TO HIDE The devices allows operators to easily monitor carbon dioxide levels

More bad news for Sasol's giant Lake Charles Chemical Plant

By: Bloomberg     31st January 2020 The bad news from Sasol’s chemical project in Louisiana keeps stacking up. South Africa’s biggest fuel and chemicals producer said the Lake Charles Chemicals Project will make a smaller contribution to earnings, cutting its guidance for the second time in five months. The stock fell as much as... 

Flowmeter continues to offer control solutions

By: Halima Frost     31st January 2020 Instrumentation, solutions and services supplier Endress + Hauser’s Promag H 100 electromagnetic flow meter has been widely adopted by the South African food and beverage, as well as life sciences industries, since its introduction to the market. Promag H 100 is a multivariable measurement... 

Flowmeter continues to offer control solutions
PRO FLOW The Promag H 100 controls the flow of materials through proven sensor technology and ultra-compact transmitter electronics

ETO unit at Sasol’s Lake Charles project achieves beneficial operation

By: Simone Liedtke     30th January 2020 The ethoxylates (ETO) unit at petrochemicals company Sasol’s Lake Charles chemical project, in the US, has achieved beneficial operation. The ETO unit is the fourth of seven units at Lake Charles to come online. 

Sasol to list on A2X

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th January 2020 South African energy and chemicals group Sasol has been approved for a secondary listing on South African stock exchange, A2X Markets, on February 3. The company retains its listings on the JSE and the NYSE. 

Sasol to finalise scope of LCCP unit's repairs in Feb 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th January 2020 Integrated energy and chemicals company Sasol expects to finalise the scope of, and time needed for, repairs to the low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit, at its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), in Louisiana, in the US, during the second half of February. “Limited” damage was done to a small... 

Local radioisotope company reports strong recovery 

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st January 2020 South African State-owned nuclear technology company NTP Radioisotopes (NTP) announced on Tuesday that it had regained 80% of its market share for the medical radioisotope Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). NTP is one of three large global producers and suppliers of Mo-99, but, from November 2017 to November... 

Local radioisotope company reports strong recovery
Photo by NTP
NTP Radioisotopes MD Tina Eboka

Unit at Sasol’s Lake Charles plant remains shut after fire

By: Bloomberg     21st January 2020 Sasol is still assessing the damage from an explosion and fire at its Lake Charles plant in Louisiana a week after the incident. The explosion at the low-density polyethylene unit at Lake Charles on January 13 could be heard across southwest Louisiana and blew the hurricane doors off a fire... 

iHealthcare group lists on 4AX

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th January 2020 South African stock exchange 4 Africa Exchange (4AX) on Friday welcomed the iHealthcare Group of companies, with its securities admitted to the official list by opening of trade at 09:00. The occasion was marked at 4AX’s offices in Johannesburg, with 4AX and iHealthcare Group representatives in... 

Demand increasing for boiler cleaning

By: Cameron Mackay     17th January 2020 There has been a signifiscant increase in demand for industrial and chemical cleaning solutions provider Gra-Tech’s chemical cleaning of package boilers, as industries in which package boilers are used are looking to optimise operational efficiencies and reduce costs. Package boilers are smaller... 

Demand increasing for boiler cleaning
SQUEAKY CLEAN Preoperational cleaning of boilers before commissioning require a 1% hydrofluoric acid solution to remove most mill scale and fabrication defects

Company launches unique water plant, empowers community

By: Mamaili Mamaila     17th January 2020 Mineral water company Aqua Air Africa (AAA) officially launched Africa’s first atmospheric water-generating plant at the Ga-Rankuwa industrial site, in Gauteng, in November. 

Company launches unique water plant, empowers community
FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND The construction of the atmospheric water geberating plant began in 2018 with a team of committed engineers and local small, medium-sized and microenterprises

Company to offer carbon tax consulting

By: Cameron Mackay     17th January 2020 Boiler and burner solutions provider Steam Generation is set to introduce Carbon Tax consulting services for its customers to add to its boiler financing services. This comes after the Carbon Tax Act was introduced in South Africa in June last year, which affects energy-intensive industrial... 

Company to offer carbon tax consulting
BOILER EFFICIENCY FOCUS Hlophe notes an increase in customers using coal-fired boilers that require automation to assist in monitoring and realising boiler efficiency, at a reasonable cost

Fire, explosion latest setback for Sasol’s LCCP 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th January 2020 Integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol on Tuesday confirmed that there had been an explosion and fire at the low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit at its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), in the US. The company said the fire had been extinguished and that all employees and contractors... 

Global chemical supply, demand threatened by Middle East escalation, says ICIS

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th January 2020 Military action leading to the closure of the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Saudi Arabia could seriously disrupt global trade in chemicals and oil products, with a knock-on effect for the world’s already fragile manufacturing economy, says ICIS Chemical Business deputy editor Will Beacham.... 

Sasol says issues at Lake Charles ethane cracker unit resolved

By: Mariaan Webb     17th December 2019 JSE- and NYSE-listed Sasol said on Tuesday it had resolved the issues with the acetylene removal system of the ethane cracker at the Lake Charles chemicals project (LCCP) in the US, and that ethylene production rates were on the rise. The ethane cracker achieved beneficial operation in August,... 

Sasol says issues at Lake Charles ethane cracker unit resolved
The Lake Charles chemicals project, in the US.

Sasol willing to consider using ‘green hydrogen’ to produce lower-carbon fuels 

By: Terence Creamer     13th December 2019 South African energy and chemicals group Sasol, which is under increasing pressure to lower its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, has indicated a willingness to participate in demonstration projects aimed at deploying its Fischer-Tropsch assets in combination with ‘green hydrogen’, produced from... 

Sasol willing to consider using ‘green hydrogen’ to produce lower-carbon fuels

Regional deals to drive merger activity in chemicals sector globally – AT Kearney

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th December 2019 Most chemical industry executives believe global chemicals merger and acquisition (M&A) activity will continue to increase or stay at high levels, as a global trend of coping with challenging economic conditions. Management consultancy AT Kearney in its latest ‘Chemicals Executive M&A’ report... 

Eldana challenge continues, bat study under way

By: Tracy Hancock     6th December 2019 Eldana remains one of the sugar industry’s major challenges, says South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) biosecurity manager Rowan Stranack. The African sugarcane borer is commonly found throughout the West, Central, East and Southern Africa. 

Eldana challenge continues, bat study under way
GROWING NUMBERS The Eldana populations have increased over the years in the Midlands, where growers prefer integrated pest management strategies that rely on spraying as a last resort

Urgent calls for reform as South Africa’s GDP contracts 0.6% in third quarter  

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd December 2019 South Africa’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.6% in the third quarter. However, on a year-on-year basis, the economy grew by 0.1%, Statistics South Africa statistician-general Risenga Maluleke told media on Tuesday. Previously, Stats SA had revealed that the GDP, in the first quarter of... 

Urgent calls for reform as South Africa’s GDP contracts 0.6% in third quarter
Statistician-general Risenga Maluleke

Sasol scores ‘own goal’ as climate pressure mounts in South Africa

By: Bloomberg     29th November 2019 Sasol, South Africa’s second-biggest polluter, angered some of its investors by refusing to put a resolution on its response to climate change to shareholders and could face legal challenges if it continues to refuse votes on the issue. Sasol dismissed a request by some investors, including Old... 

Company launches first plastics research centre

By: Halima Frost     29th November 2019 Specialist chemicals company Clariant last month announced the inception of its EcoCircle centre of excellence, based on its plan to offer significant support to reduce, reuse and recycle. The first such centre will be based at Clariant’s Masterbatches Business Unit in Pogliano, Italy, and aims... 

Company launches first plastics research centre
BACK TO GREEN The EcoCircle center of excellence brings with it support of the reduce, reuse and recycle concept

Waste management, recycling needed for sustainability

29th November 2019 Waste management and recycling practices play an important role in South Africa’s sustainability drive. With the conservation of resources being the responsibility of all governments, South Africa introduced the Carbon Tax Act with the aim of reducing carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025. 

Waste management, recycling needed for sustainability
AGAIN AND AGAIN Nampak has undertaken to recycle and reuse plastics in their plight to produce sustainable packaging

Innovation key in reducing sector impact on environment

29th November 2019 The energy and electrical sectors should be at the forefront of innovation to reduce its impact on the environment, says diversified power management company Eaton South Africa’s Energy Saver System business development manager Marcel Buckner. “This at a time when the world’s focus is... 

Innovation key in reducing sector impact on environment
GOOD GAS The Xiria switchgear system does not use harmful sulphur hexafluoride gases

Water-treatment technology launched in Amsterdam

By: Halima Frost     29th November 2019 Earlier this month, flow control, filtration and environmental technology supplier Flowrox launched its Flowrox Corona non-thermal plasma water-treatment technology at the Aquatech expo, in the Netherlands. The Flowrox Corona was selected as one of the finalists for the Aquatech Innovation Award... 

Water-treatment technology launched  in Amsterdam
PURI-FECT The Flowrox Corona uses cold plasma technology to purify wastewater before being reintroduced into the environment

Sasol pledges climate action

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2019 Sasol, South Africa’s second-biggest producer of greenhouse gases after State-owned Eskom Holdings, pledged more clarity on plans to reduce its impact on the environment. The company, which together with Eskom also produces pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions, said its... 

Omnia stabilises business, notes readiness for turnaround

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th November 2019 JSE-listed diversified chemicals group Omnia Holdings has delivered on its short-term stabilisation plans during the six months ended September 30, as well as a number of other key milestones during a period marked by tough market conditions. Speaking to Engineering News Online, Omnia CEO Seelan... 

Omnia stabilises business, notes readiness for turnaround
Seelan Gobalsamy

Climate risk widely acknowledged, but rarely incorporated into strategy  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2019 The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) says that although the majority of South African corporate companies recognise climate change as an already occurring and imminently worsening risk, they are slow to mitigate and manage these risks, at least according to publicly accessible information.... 

Sasol warns of lower interim earnings

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2019 JSE- and NYSE-listed Sasol expects its headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end December 31, to be at least 20%, or R4.65, lower than the HEPS of R23.25 reported for the six months ended December 31, 2018. The company on Monday said its earnings per share (EPS) should be about... 

Keraflex S1 Express adhesive demand driven by global trends

By: Tracy Hancock     22nd November 2019 International trends in the use of natural stone and engineered stone are increasing demand for its Keraflex S1 Express ultra-white, high-performance cementitious adhesive, notes Gauteng chemicals and adhesives manufacturer Mapei. For decades, Mapei's primary development focus has been on... 

Keraflex S1 Express adhesive demand driven by global trends

Welding safety extends to petrochem industry

By: Theresa Bhowan     22nd November 2019 Welding fumes are known to be particularly poisonous and a contaminant to the surrounding air, which is why welding solutions provider Unique Welding focuses on advanced welding safety, particularly in the petrochemicals industry for companies such as integrated chemicals and petrochemicals... 

Welding safety extends to petrochem industry
BREATHING EASY The powered, air-purifying respirator system not only eliminates welding fumes, but also petrochemical fumes

Petrochemicals industry demand forecast to slow down by 2030

22nd November 2019 Management consulting firm McKinsey predicts that by 2030, global petrochemicals demand growth may slow from 3.6% to between 2% and 3%, says data management consultants Gabsten Technologies MD Hemant Harie. 

Petrochemicals industry demand forecast to slow down by 2030
HEMANT HARIE Without effective data management and protection, organisations within the petrochemical industry may fall victim to data loss

Optimising processes for consumer convenience

22nd November 2019 With the intent of growing and expanding its retail business footprint, integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol is adapting its processes to best suit consumer needs. 

Optimising processes for consumer convenience
Photo by Sasol
BEACON OF LIGHT Sasol retailers aim to create a personalised and digitally connected platform for the consumer

Company continues to aim for balanced debt maturity profile

22nd November 2019 Integrated chemicals and petrochemicals major Sasol continues to actively manage its balance sheet with the objective of maintaining a robust liquidity position and a balanced debt maturity profile. 

Company continues to aim for balanced debt maturity profile
FLEETWOOD GROBLER The new Sasol president, chief executive officer and executive director as effective November 1, 2019

Rope access ensures optimal maintenance of petrochem tanks

By: Theresa Bhowan     22nd November 2019 The highly explosive nature of the petrochemicals environment requires trained personnel, and often the scope of the work involves a work-at-height and or confined space element, which puts rope-access specialist Skyriders in the frame with its capabilities in performing maintenance and repair... 

Rope access ensures optimal maintenance of petrochem tanks
UP, UP AND AWAY Skyriders’ projects and safety team assesses the task at hand and determines the type of equipment needed to carry out the task safely
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