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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Omnia appoints Seelan Gobalsamy as its new CEO

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd August 2019 JSE-listed Omnia Holdings on Thursday announced the appointment of Seelan Gobalsamy CEO, effective immediately, after Adriaan de Lange stepped down for personal reasons. Gobalsamy will also remain as CFO until a successor is appointed, while De Lange will remain available to Omnia in an advisory... 

UJ research team develops support system to predict, diagnose diseases

By: Schalk Burger     20th August 2019 The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has developed a hybrid expert system – a smart system designed to augment and improve a medical specialist’s capabilities and accuracy of diagnosis – by combining various machine learning and regression methods, UJ said on Tuesday. The research, published in... 

KAP lifts full-year revenue, but profit tracks lower

By: Schalk Burger     20th August 2019 Diversified industrial company KAP Industrial Holdings has grown its revenue for the financial year ended June 30 by 12% year-on-year to R25.6-billion, but operating profit decreased by 13% to R2.5-billion. In a SENS announcement that contained extracted financial information from the audited... 

Aspen commits to rectifying concerns over anti-competitive conduct in UK

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th August 2019 JSE-listed Aspen Pharmacare Holdings has reached resolutions in its dealings with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) over an investigation into alleged anticompetitive conduct by Aspen. The matter relates to Aspen’s supply of Fludrocortisone acetate 0.1 mg tablets and Dexamethasone... 

Omnia prices R2bn rights offer, to publish circular at month-end

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th August 2019 JSE-listed chemicals manufacturer Omnia Holdings on Monday announced details of its previously announced R2-billion rights offer, which it will use to reduce debt. The company said that 100-million shares would be issued at a subscription price of R20 a ordinary share – a discount of 41% on... 

Tribunal approves FFS Calpet’s acquisition of Calulo Marine

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th August 2019 The Competition Tribunal has approved the proposed transaction whereby FFS Calpet seeks to acquire all shares of Calulo Marine from Calulo Services. FFS Calpet is jointly controlled by Calulo Petrochemicals, Bud Chemicals and Minerals and FFS Calpet Management. The firms are involved in... 

Bidvest now 50.1% shareholder of Adcock Ingram

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th August 2019 Bidvest Group’s shareholding in Adcock Ingram Holdings has increased to 50.1%, from 43.3%, following the termination of Adcock’s broad-based black economic empowerment scheme. Bidvest had been evaluating its options with regard to its Adcock investment, including selling its interest to a new... 

Rolfes to sell Colour Pigments International subsidiary

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th August 2019 JSE-listed Rolfes will sell the business, stock and fixed assets of its 100%-owned Rolfes Colour Pigments International subsidiary to Chromaflo Technologies South Africa for R36.2-million before adjustments. RCPI distributes a range of organic and inorganic pigments and manufactures in-plant and... 

Sasol’s South Africa plants threatened by emission standards

By: Bloomberg     29th July 2019 Sasol said some of its South African plants are under threat from sulfur dioxide emission standards that it will need to comply with by 2025. The company, South Africa’s biggest by revenue, operates plants that convert coal into motor fuel and chemicals in Secunda, east of Johannesburg, and... 

Sasol chooses Enaex as preferred explosives partner

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th July 2019 As part of the process of incorporating a strategic partner into its explosives and rock fragmentation division, JSE-listed petrochemicals company Sasol has selected Chile-headquartered Enaex as its preferred partner. The two companies will now negotiate the terms for potentially establishing a... 

Sasol warns of lower full-year Ebitda on the back of LCCP costs, low prices

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th July 2019 Petrochemicals multinational Sasol on Thursday said a number of noncash adjustments had contributed to a decrease in its earnings a share for the financial year ended June 30. The company explained in a trading statement that the largest of these adjustments was the sizable impairment of... 

Sasol warns of lower full-year Ebitda on the back of LCCP costs, low prices
Sasol's Lake Charles Chemicals Project

Nuclear industry body expresses support for Minerals Resources and Energy Minister

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th July 2019 The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) announced on Wednesday that it welcomed the recent (July 11) budget speech by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. In his speech the Minister reaffirmed that nuclear power had a place in the country’s energy mix. “To say... 

Prevost urges coal producers to focus on local demand   

By: Nadine James     24th July 2019 South African coal producers should focus on supplying local industries and State-owned power utility Eskom, given the changing and uncertain export environment, XMP Consulting senior coal analyst Xavier Prevost said on Wednesday. Speaking at the inaugural Coal Industry Day hosted by Resources 4... 

Prevost urges coal producers to focus on local demand
XMP Consulting senior coal analyst Xavier Prevost discusses the state of the South African coal sector. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

AECI’s interim earnings down 20%

By: Simone Liedtke     24th July 2019 JSE-listed explosives and speciality chemicals group AECI on Wednesday reported headline earnings per share (HEPS) and earning per share (EPS) of 365c and 367c, respectively, for the six months ended June 30. Both HEPS and EPS were 20% lower than the 458c reported in the first half of 2018. 

AECI’s interim earnings down 20%
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
AECI CEO Mark Dytor

Logistics company invests in facilities

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     19th July 2019 Logistics company Bidvest Panalpina Logistics (BPL) has implemented several large-scale infrastructure development plans at its KwaZulu-Natal-based operations. This includes building a new state-of-the-art chemicals and general cargo warehouse in Mobeni, Durban, and taking over premises in... 

Logistics company invests in facilities
MARIA DU PREEZ The Project Thrill programme aims to review and enhance operational and financial processes, retrain staff and establish new key performance indicators

AECI realignment projects offer long-term benefits

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th July 2019 As a result of the strategic realignment projects completed by it in June, JSE-listed explosives and specialty chemicals group AECI expects to report a 22% year-on-year decrease in headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended June 30. HEPS were likely to be between 357c and 376c... 

Total South Africa achieves Level 1 BBBEE rating

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th July 2019 Petrochemicals company Total South Africa has achieved a Level 1 broad-based black economic empowerment rating. Total has since 2003 implemented a dedicated transformation strategy, which includes 52% black ownership, skills development programmes, preferential procurement, enterprise and... 

Additional air compressor installed at pharmaceuticals company

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     12th July 2019 Air compressor products distributor and solution provider Tru Compressor Solutions assisted pharmaceutical company Union Swiss in installing an additional 132 kW oil-free air compressor at its facility, in Boksburg, last month. Union Swiss needed a new oil free compressor owing to the fact that... 

Additional air compressor installed at pharmaceuticals company
INCREASED AIR FLOW By supplying 3 inches of piping with a header it will increase the flow of air to the customers plant

Compressors to play important role in new nitrophosphate plant

12th July 2019 Diversified technology provider Johnson Controls’ Sabroe compressors, which power a custom-build ammonia chiller plant, will play an important role in diversified chemicals group Omnia’s newly operational R670-million nitrophosphate plant in Sasolburg. Omnia lead process engineer Kripal Daby... 

Sasol opens new alkoxylation plant in China

By: Schalk Burger     11th July 2019 JSE-listed chemicals and energy multinational Sasol has launched its new alkoxylation plant, in Nanjing, China. The plant would expand Sasol's current alkoxylation capability to about 150 000 t/y, the company said in a statement this week. 

Aspen terminates talks with potential European partner

By: Reuters     5th July 2019 South African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare said on Friday it had terminated talks with a potential partner in Europe, after announcing in March a strategic review of its European and domestic commercial pharmaceuticals businesses. "Shareholders are advised that Aspen is now in a position to explore... 

Company will host a masterclass at IFAT Africa 2019

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     28th June 2019 The IFAT Africa 2019 conference is scheduled to be held at the Gallagher convention centre, in Gauteng, from July 9 to 11.   QFS will share an overview of its involvement in various projects in the industrial and municipal sectors. It will also showcase water treatment and odour control... 

Company will host a masterclass at IFAT Africa 2019
STOPPING THE STENCH Odour control is a process that involves the treatment of odorous gas in heavily built-up areas that have become a nuisance to local residents, who live in the surrounding areas near wastewater treatment plants.

Omnia to restructure as it seeks to reduce overextended balance sheet 

By: Schalk Burger     25th June 2019 Diversified chemicals group Omnia will, over the next two years, focus on improving the profit margins of its companies’ services and products, ensuring that its assets and investments deliver value, as well as on pursuing international expansion of intellectual property-based businesses that... 

Omnia posts full-year loss on mix of negative drivers

By: Reuters     25th June 2019 Omnia Holdings, a South African chemicals and fertiliser maker, reported a full-year loss on Tuesday as a volatile currency, droughts, changes in the mining industry and difficult global trading conditions dented its business. The company, which also produces explosives, posted a headline loss... 

Omnia flags full-year loss

By: Reuters     14th June 2019 South African chemicals and fertiliser maker Omnia Holdings said on Friday it expected to report a full-year loss as drought, a volatile currency, changes in the mining industry and difficult global trading conditions weighed on earnings. The firm said the headline loss per share, the main profit... 

DTI forges ahead with product standardisation task

By: Mamaili Mamaila     14th June 2019 Following Mining Charter III’s call to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to develop a “Standardised Coding and Product Identification System in the Mining Supply Chain” whereby products can be identified using a unique name and code, the department has established a multistakeholder... 

DTI forges ahead with product standardisation task
INDUSTRY GROWTH The DTI looks forward to exchanging lessons and experiences to unpack challenges and identify solutions for growth across the manufacturing sector

Union attacks Necsa board, claiming retrenchments and privatisations planned

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th June 2019 The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) asserted on Wednesday that it had “reliably learnt” that the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (Necsa’s) board was proposing to retrench 400 employees and perhaps sell public assets. These proposals were part of a... 

Union attacks Necsa board, claiming retrenchments and privatisations planned
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
An aerial view of Necsa’s Pelindaba complex, west of Pretoria/Tshwane

Environmental organisations take Highveld pollution matter to court 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th June 2019 Environmental justice group groundWork and community organisation Vukani Environment Justice Movement in Action have launched “landmark litigation”, demanding that government clean up the air in the Mpumalanga Highveld. GroundWork and Vukani on June 7 served papers to the High Court, asking that... 

Environmental organisations take Highveld pollution matter to court

Looking back at invention of the Periodic Table as world marks 150th anniversary

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th June 2019 It all started with alchemy. Of course, the ancient world had had some practical knowledge of chemistry, and had seen some advances in the applied chemistry, long before the emergence of alchemy. The distant roots of chemistry are probably to be found in Bronze Age (roughly 3 300 BC to 1 200BC)... 

Looking back at invention of the Periodic Table as world marks 150th anniversary

Solutions provider releases new admixture for variable aggregates

By: Cameron Mackay     7th June 2019 Construction chemicals and solutions provider Mapei South Africa released the new Dynamon MS 100 acrylic-based admixture product earlier this year for use in concrete where there are variable-quality aggregates. The admixture prevents variations in the quality of aggregates, particularly in... 

Solutions provider releases new  admixture for variable aggregates
AGGREGATE MITIGATION The Dynamon product was developed to mitigate the effects of poor-quality aggregates

Havenstein to succeed Humphris as Omnia chair

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th June 2019 JSE-listed chemicals company Omnia Holdings has announced the retirement of its chairperson Rod Humphris, who had served on its board for 20 years. Humphris will retire from the board in September during the company’s annual general meeting, but has decided to step down as chairperson with... 

Havenstein to succeed Humphris as Omnia chair
Photo by Creamer Media
Omnia outgoing chairperson Rod Humphris

Oil giants' chemical lifeline threatened by plastic-trash crisis

By: Bloomberg     6th June 2019 As the world strives to wean itself off fossil fuels, oil companies have been turning to plastic as the key to their future. Now even that’s looking overly optimistic. The global crackdown on plastic trash threatens to take a big chunk out of demand growth just as oil companies like Saudi Aramco... 

South African medicine dispensing system wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th June 2019 For the first time since its inception in 2015, a South African electrical engineer has won the Royal Academy of Engineers’ 2019 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Thirty-one-year-old Neo Hutiri and his team won R463 000, or about £25 000, for developing Pelebox – a smart locker system... 

South African medicine dispensing system wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation
South African electrical engineer Neo Hutiri wins Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

Second Lake Charles facility reaches beneficial operation

By: Nadine James     3rd June 2019 Petrochemicals company Sasol on Monday said the new ethylene oxide/ ethylene glycol (EO/EG) production facility at its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), in Louisiana, in the US, had reached beneficial operation. The EO/EG unit is the second of seven LCCP production facilities to come on stream. 

Aspen Pharmacare completes divestment of nutritionals business to Lactalis

By: African News Agency      3rd June 2019 Drugs company Aspen Pharmacare said on Monday it had completed the divestment of its nutritionals business to the Lactalis Group for €740-million on May 31. "The estimated net cash inflows from the transaction, after payment of transaction related taxes, the buy-out of minority shareholders and... 

Company advances health and safety in petrochemicals industry

31st May 2019 Cold-cutting techniques developed by demolition contractor Jet Demolition have introduced a new benchmark for health and safety in the petrochemicals industry - a highly volatile and hazardous work environment. 

Sector shows decline despite strong market growth

By: Mamaili Mamaila     31st May 2019 Although the local chemicals sector has recently been characterised by strong market growth, it has shown a consistently weak performance, with its contribution to total manufacturing output having declined significantly over the past ten years, says the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)... 

Sector shows decline despite strong market growth
Photo by Bloomberg
RAW MATERIALS Domestic chemical firms face multiple challenges such as access to appropriately priced feedstock, as well as large volumes of raw chemical materials that continue to be imported and are subject to exchange rate fluctuations
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