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Chemicals

Sasol joins the Hydrogen Council

By: Yvonne Silaule     22nd July 2021 Chemicals and energy company Sasol has joined the Hydrogen Council, with the aim to help secure the future of hydrogen in South Africa The Hydrogen Council is a global CEO-led initiative consisting of more than 120 companies from across the hydrogen value chain, with a united vision and long-term... 

Pfizer/BioNTech strike South Africa COVID-19 manufacturing deal with Biovac

By: Reuters     21st July 2021 Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE on Wednesday said they had struck a deal for South Africa's Biovac Institute to process and distribute over 100 million doses a year of their Covid-19 vaccine for the African Union beginning in 2022. Technical transfer, on-site development and equipment installation... 

Healthcare councils condemn looting, warn of worrying and dangerous consequences

By: Donna Slater     19th July 2021 South Africa’s statutory health regulatory councils, together with the Department of Health (DOH), have condemned the looting and violence last week, especially those acts that targeted healthcare facilities and the medicines supply chain. The councils involved include the South African Health... 

B4SA warns public to look out for stolen vaccines on offer

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th July 2021 Business for South Africa (B4SA) has welcomed the announcement by acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi that more than one-million people in the 35- to 49-year-old age group have registered for vaccination in the first 24 hours of being eligible to do so. While unrest is impacting on the... 

Durban beaches closed after chemical spill, possibly unrest related

By: News24Wire      16th July 2021 Beaches near Umhlanga have been closed, following a chemical spill in Durban. The spill appears to have originated from a chemical warehouse fire in Umhlanga that was caused during unrest that gripped KwaZulu-Natal this week. Other sources are being investigated. 

Sasol sells cyanide business to Czech chemicals company

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th July 2021 JSE-listed petrochemicals giant Sasol has entered into an agreement to sell its sodium cyanide business, in Sasolburg, to Czech Republic-based chemicals company Draslovka Holding Company for R1.46-billion. Draslovka is a global producer of cyanide-based chemical specialties and agricultural... 

Intellectual property environment strengthens despite challenges

By: Donna Slater     7th July 2021 Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the global intellectual property (IP) environment continued its positive trajectory, biotechnology company CapeBio CEO Daniel Ndima said on July 7. Speaking during a webinar hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research on... 

Itochu partners with Shell to lower its mining sites’ carbon footprint

By: Donna Slater     1st July 2021 Petrochemicals company Shell International and Tokyo-headquartered investment firm Itochu Corporation have agreed to collaborate to accelerate the digitalisation and decarbonisation of Itochu’s mining sites, as well as increase the operational efficiency thereof. Shell will offer its sectoral... 

RBPlat’s Hanré Rossouw appointed CFO designate at Sasol

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2021 JSE-and NYSE-listed petrochemicals group Sasol has announced that its CFO and executive director Paul Victor will step down from his roles at the end of June next year. He will be succeeded by Hanré Rossouw, who is currently the CFO of Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat).  

International institutions aid vaccine-making in Africa through R10bn financing

By: Marleny Arnoldi     1st July 2021 Several international development finance institutions have partnered on a financing package for pharmaceuticals company Aspen Pharmacare to support vaccine production and other treatment therapies on the African continent. The €600-million, about R10-billion, long-term financing package is... 

Aspen's manufacturing site in Gqeberha
Aspen's manufacturing site in Gqeberha

UJ researchers develop low-energy, safer hydrogenation through three-phase Pickering emulsion

By: Schalk Burger     29th June 2021 Researchers at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Department of Chemical Sciences on June 28 announced that, in processes in which compressed hydrogen is not needed, the use of a stable three-phase emulsion to transform a toxic waste product into valuable feedstock makes hydrogenation into a... 

Omnia resumes dividends after strong financial year performance 

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd June 2021 Diversified chemicals group Omnia had a strong performance for the 2021 financial year, enabling it to resume dividends and return over R1-billion to shareholders, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and general economic and sector challenges. Throughout the pandemic, JSE-listed Omnia... 

Omnia's Nitric Acid Complex in Sasolburg
Omnia group FD Stephan Serfontein gives more insight into the company's financial results. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Orbitulum saw popular across various industries

By: Claire O'Reilly     18th June 2021 Industrial and electronic products importer and distributor Actum’s Orbitalum GF saw range, designed for cold cutting and bevelling, is becoming increasingly popular in the food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals, industries for automated applications where hygiene is essential, says Actum CEO... 

ORBITALUM GF SAW
Orbital pipe cutting machine used in food and beverage, and pharmaceutical, industries
ORBITALUM GF SAW Orbital pipe cutting machine used in food and beverage, and pharmaceutical, industries

Large methane leak detected over South Africa coal mining region

By: Bloomberg     16th June 2021 A cloud of methane was detected by satellite near coal mines in South Africa, drawing attention to a lesser-known environmental risk that comes from using the dirtiest fossil fuel. The potent greenhouse gas — methane traps roughly 84 times more heat than carbon dioxide in its first two decades in... 

Large methane leak detected over South Africa coal mining region

Partnership eyed for vaccine rollout acceleration in Africa

By: Donna Slater     15th June 2021 World Bank president David Malpass and his senior management team, comprising Dr Axel van Trotsenburg and Dr Makhtar Diop, have met with the African Union’s Covid-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (Avatt) to discuss modalities for a partnership that will accelerate vaccine deployment to Africa.... 

Partnership eyed for vaccine rollout acceleration in Africa

Sasol receives tribunal’s go-ahead for ASUs sale

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th June 2021 The Competition Tribunal has approved JSE-listed petrochemicals group Sasol’s intended sale of 16 air separation units (ASUs), in Secunda, to Air Liquide Large Industries South Africa, which designed and installed the plants alongside Sasol over the years. The tribunal had carefully considered... 

Fluor repositions South African unit to support energy transition drive 

By: Terence Creamer     14th June 2021 Global engineering and construction company Fluor, which has been closely associated with South Africa’s liquid fuels and chemicals industries since the 1960s, has restructured its South African operations to align with the unfolding transitions under way in the energy and mining sectors. Fluor... 

Fluor South Africa GM Bill Langenbach
Fluor South Africa GM Bill Langenbach

Producers under pressure

By: Halima Frost     11th June 2021 South Africa’s concrete and cement additive suppliers are under severe production pressures, owing to a global shortage of many of the primary raw materials used in the chemicals industry essential to produce concrete and cement admixtures, says additives and admixtures specialist Chryso Southern... 

IN THE MIX
Admixtures and additives used in the manufacture of cement is is short supply globally
IN THE MIX Admixtures and additives used in the manufacture of cement is is short supply globally

Repair solution used across industries

By: Cameron Mackay     4th June 2021 Pump systems and complementary pump products provider Mechanical Rotating Solutions (MRS) provided an emergency repair solution for a Pretoria-based cement manufacturer’s conveyor belt at the end of last year, showcasing the “versatility of Belzona-engineered coatings”. MRS CEO Franscois... 

COLDER AND WISER 
Belzona 2221 is easy to apply without requiring specialist tools and cures at room temperature, eliminating the need for “hot work”
COLDER AND WISER Belzona 2221 is easy to apply without requiring specialist tools and cures at room temperature, eliminating the need for “hot work”

Abatement solution for coal-fired power pollution

By: Claire O'Reilly     4th June 2021 EPCM Global Engineering are the South African representatives of the Luxembourg-based company Carbon Process & Plant Engineering (CPPE) who is the owner and provider of the Sulfacid® technology for flue gas desulphurisation by reacting the SO2 with water on an Activated Carbon bed in order to... 

Commission recommends approval of Air Liquide’s proposed acquisition of Sasol ASUs

By: Simone Liedtke     31st May 2021 The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve, with conditions, industrial gases company Air Liquide’s proposed acquisition of the business owning and operating 16 of petrochemicals group Sasol’s air separation units (ASUs). The target assets are 16 ASUs based... 

Air separation units at Sasol Secunda
Air separation units at Sasol Secunda

Institutions partner to expand diagnostic capacity in Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st May 2021 To strengthen diagnostic capacity and the health response to Covid-19 in Africa, global development institution IFC, private sector financer Proparco and pathology services company Cerba Lancet Africa have announced a partnership to increase patient access to a range of laboratory tests. The... 

Aspen pledges support to ensure equitable Covid-19 vaccine access in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     31st May 2021 Multinational specialty pharmaceutical company Aspen has committed to making sterile manufacturing capacity available for equitable Covid-19 vaccine access to Africa, as part of the continent’s efforts to determine how it can expand its manufacturing capacity to establish supply across the... 

Aspen pledges support to ensure equitable Covid-19 vaccine access in Africa

Atlas Copco to acquire German vacuum solutions provider

By: Simone Liedtke     31st May 2021 Swedish multinational manufacturing company Atlas Copco will be acquiring specialised vacuum systems and solutions provider Arpuma. The acquisition will enable Atlas to grow its systems and solutions business within the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. 

UCT professor elected as fellow of South African Academy of Engineering 

By: Donna Slater     28th May 2021 University of Cape Town (UCT) chemical engineering professor Harro von Blottnitz has been elected a fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE), thereby placing him among an elite group of 213 fellows who stand between the worlds of academia and industry, and who are considered... 

University of Cape Town chemical engineering professor Harro von Blottnitz
University of Cape Town chemical engineering professor Harro von Blottnitz

South Africa’s spies want to give Sasol, MTN a helping hand

By: Bloomberg     26th May 2021 South Africa’s spy agency is beefing up its economic intelligence unit so it can play a proactive role in supporting the nation’s companies as they expand beyond their home base. Firms that could benefit from the intelligence operatives’ expertise include telecommunications giant MTN Group and... 

European financing partners announce African healthcare support initiative

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th May 2021 The European Investment Bank (EIB) on May 24 launched a new initiative to boost financial and technical support to enhance health resilience and improve healthcare skills in Africa. The new financing platform for health security and resilience in Africa has been developed following in-depth... 

Sustainable construction ethos prioritised by manufacturer

By: Darren Parker     21st May 2021 Cement additive manufacturing company CHRYSO Southern Africa has installed a solar electricity generating system at its Jet Park manufacturing facility, in Gauteng; this forms part of the company’s efforts to lower its carbon footprint. The installation was completed in January and consists of... 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The solar installation provides about 70% of the facility’s energy requirement
ENERGY EFFICIENCY The solar installation provides about 70% of the facility’s energy requirement

Vaccine roll-out to incorporate employer sites as part of second phase

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st May 2021 As South Africa looks set to move into Phase 2 of its national vaccination programme, which aims to vaccinate 16.6-million people starting in May, government and Business for South Africa (B4SA) aim to involve businesses, using employer sites. While government is leading the vaccination... 

Vaccine roll-out to incorporate employer sites as part of second phase

Patel says vision for R200bn in additional localisation has top-level corporate backing 

By: Terence Creamer     18th May 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel announced that an “accord” had been reached at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to drive progressive localisation of up to R200-billion of additional production over a five-year period. Delivering his virtual... 

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel

Fossil fuel giants and banks under fire for rise in single-use plastics

By: Reuters     18th May 2021 Production of single-use plastics is set to grow 30% in the next five years, fuelling their contribution to global warming and ocean pollution, researchers said on Tuesday as they published a list of companies that manufacture and fund throwaway plastic. The first "Plastic Waste Makers Index",... 

100-bed hospital handed over in East London

By: Donna Slater     14th May 2021 Siemens South Africa, the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and the Solidarity Fund officially handed over a separate 100-bed modular hospital solution to the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, in Mdantsane, near East London, on May 14. Built in fewer than 100 days, the hospital... 

The interior of the 100-bed modular hospital solution to the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital
The interior of the 100-bed modular hospital solution to the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital

US support for Covid-19 vaccine waiver welcomed, but much more to be done  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th May 2021 The US administration’s announcement this week of support to waive intellectual property (IP) protections for Covid-19 vaccines is a positive step to overcoming legal and other barriers to increasing Covid-19 healthcare access; however, much more needs to be done and pressure by civil society... 

Covid-19 vaccines
Photo by Reuters
Covid-19 vaccines

Aspen says it can produce generic Covid-19 vaccines in SA amid US support for patent waiver 

By: News24Wire      7th May 2021 On Thursday, the US shocked many by announcing that it would support a temporary patent waiver on Covid-19 vaccines. Currently, only pharmaceutical companies that own the patents for the vaccines are allowed to manufacture the jabs. But lifting the patent rights means that they will lose this... 

Portfolio ensures better efficiency

By: Anna Moross     7th May 2021 Electric variable-speed drives and motors supplier ABB Motion in January released their ACS880LC liquid cooled drives portfolio that can improve overall system efficiency by reducing auxiliary power consumption by up to 10%. 

LIQUID COOLED DRIVES
This portfolio of liquid cooled drives technology includes a reduced footprint of up to 30%
LIQUID COOLED DRIVES This portfolio of liquid cooled drives technology includes a reduced footprint of up to 30%

Digitalisation key to energy efficiency

By: Anna Moross     7th May 2021 Digitalisation is key to addressing the challenges faced in trying to implement energy efficiency initiatives for wastewater treatment plants and buildings, says South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) data and knowledge management programme project manager Teslim Mohammed... 

WASTEWATER EFFICINECY 
SANEDI in collaboration with DMRE are working on making wastewater treatment plants more efficient
WASTEWATER EFFICINECY SANEDI in collaboration with DMRE are working on making wastewater treatment plants more efficient

Project focuses on guidelines for SMEs

By: Anna Moross     7th May 2021 With the second phase of the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) project ending in December this year, National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) IEE project leader Sashay Ramdharee says that, for the remainder of the year, the project will focus on developing sector-specific energy... 

SASHAY RAMDHAREE
The focus of the IEE project will be on providing these guidelines for SMEs in the commercial buildings, automotive, metal casting and agricultural processing industries
SASHAY RAMDHAREE The focus of the IEE project will be on providing these guidelines for SMEs in the commercial buildings, automotive, metal casting and agricultural processing industries
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