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Chemicals

Ipasa helps in Covid-19 fight

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st April 2020 The Innovative Pharmaceutical Association South Africa (Ipsasa) has confirmed its commitment to continue supplying medicines to people living with chronic diseases during the Covid-19 lockdown period. The association represents 26 research-based pharmaceutical companies.  

Biodx says use of biotech disinfectant products can help in fight against Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     21st April 2020 Johannesburg-based biological technology (biotech) and disinfectants company Biodx CEO Burt Rodrigues says that while the Covid-19 pandemic will change the world in the short and long term, a refocus to natural products may play a key role in tackling current and future outbreaks. Rodrigues says... 

Sappi starts production of essential medical items, donates to Solidarity Fund

By: Donna Slater     20th April 2020 Pulp and paper producer Sappi Southern Africa has made available several donations of scarce items such as hand sanitiser, face masks, nutritional porridge and paper products, to reduce pressure on the national government’s resources, as well as to support the most vulnerable during the Covid-19... 

Sappi starts production of essential medical items, donates to Solidarity Fund

Online portal to boost access to essential medical Covid-19 supplies

By: Donna Slater     17th April 2020 As part of the Business South Africa (BSA) initiative, and with technical assistance from Tencent South Africa, the South African Medical Technology Industry Association (Samed) has created a live online portal for its member companies to upload details of the Covid-19 supplies and equipment they... 

Labat Africa acquires 70% stake in BioData to further its cannabis involvement

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th April 2020 JSE-listed healthcare group Labat Africa has acquired a 70% interest in science, technology and research group BioData to expand and further develop its integrated cannabis business in South Africa. The company is focused on the cannabis industry and was initially set up as a holistic healing... 

SEW-EURODRIVE joins national 3D printing initiative for face masks

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th April 2020 Drive and automation technology company SEW-EURODRIVE has joined a nationwide campaign to use three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to produce much-needed face masks and shields for healthcare workers and first responders. There is a global shortage of critical personal protective equipment... 

SEW-EURODRIVE joins national 3D printing initiative for face masks

Ascendis sells Scitec business

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th April 2020 JSE-listed Ascendis Health’s subsidiary, Ascendis Health International Holdings, has reached an agreement to sell its Scitec business unit to Dutch company Atlas Invest for €5-million. This forms part of the group’s disposal of noncore and underperforming assets to reduce its debt levels. 

Adcock Ingram executive directors contribute to Solidarity Fund

By: Donna Slater     16th April 2020 Executive directors and senior managers of pharmaceutical company Adcock Ingram will follow in the footsteps of President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Cabinet and donate a portion of their salaries for the next three months to the Solidarity Fund. Adcock Ingram CEO Andy Hall urges individuals and... 

‘Robot’ helps Tygerberg specialists on ward rounds during pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th April 2020 Intensive-care specialists at Tygerberg Hospital have a new infection-resistant ‘colleague’ helping them to undertake ward rounds on Covid-19 patients. “Quintin” – as ‘he’ is called – is a Double Robotic ‘robot’ that has been employed to help specialists do ‘virtual’ ward rounds – even from home... 

Covid-19 to impact immunisation programmes in low-income countries

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th April 2020 Disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are likely to have a devastating impact on immunisation programmes in the world’s least-developed countries, according to analysis by public-private partnership, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Immediate delays to vaccination campaigns and routine... 

Sasol says Natref refinery to be temporarily shut, synfuels output reduced

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th April 2020 The national Covid-19 lockdown has resulted in an unprecedented decline in fuel demand in South Africa. Chemicals company Sasol and Total South Africa have, therefore, decided to suspend production of fuel at the Natref refinery from April 9, until further notice. 

Sasol says Natref refinery to be temporarily shut, synfuels output reduced
Photo by Creamer Media
Sasol Natref

Bosch Rexroth South Africa to 3D print protective face masks

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th April 2020 Fluid power and automation company Bosch Rexroth South Africa has responded to Netcare's call for assistance from the local three-dimensional (3D) printing community to produce face masks for first-line responders. Bosch Rexroth subsidiary Tectra Automation Mechatronics technician Nico Davies... 

Bosch Rexroth South Africa to 3D print protective face masks
The face mask

Chemicals industry likely to face longer-than-expected downturn, says ICIS

By: Donna Slater     7th April 2020 The Independent Commodity Intelligence Service (ICIS) has warned the international chemical sector to prepare for an extended downturn along with lower-for-longer oil prices, both of which will have big implications for profitability and investments. ICIS demand forecasting lead analyst Rhian... 

Alibaba founder Jack Ma donates more medical supplies to Africa

By: Sane Dhlamini     6th April 2020 Alibaba founder Jack Ma has announced the donation of another batch of medical supplies to each of the 54 African countries, through the Jack Ma Foundation. The latest donation includes 500 ventilators, 200 000 suits and face shields, 2 000 thermometers, 1-million swabs and extraction kits, and... 

Alibaba founder Jack Ma donates more medical supplies to Africa
Alibaba Founder Jack Ma & President Cyril Ramaphosa (26/10/2018)

Gold has a role to play in Covid-19 testing toolbox

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd April 2020 Gold is being used in new Covid-19 rapid tests around the world, which identify the presence of biomarkers from the body’s immune response to Covid-19 instead of looking for the virus itself. The tests can also help detect if a person has been infected with Covid-19 even after the virus is no... 

Gold has a role to play in Covid-19 testing toolbox

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

By: Rebecca Campbell     3rd April 2020 The financially-beleaguered South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), which falls under the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), had a new board appointed in late January, to oversee and turnaround the agency. The chairperson of this new board, which has a term of three... 

New chair of financially beleaguered Necsa outlines priorities

Averda, Gift of the Givers collaborate on medical waste management

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd April 2020 International waste management company Averda has entered into a strategic partnership with African disaster response nongovernmental organisation (NGO) Gift of the Givers, to provide necessary medical waste management services to its mobile testing stations across the country free of charge for... 

Africa requires centrality in response strategy for Covid-19 – CDC speaker

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd April 2020 Dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic on the African continent will require a collaborative, cooperative and effective communication approach, with the recognition that the situation will not be resolved in any single State if it is not resolved in each and every country. This was indicated by... 

Stellenbosch University researcher makes sanitiser from stale bread

By: African News Agency      1st April 2020 Researchers at Stellenbosch University say they have discovered how to make hand sanitiser using stale bread crumbs. An experiment conducted by SU food scientist Dr Stefan Hayward, using the university's in-house fermentation tank, yielded 18 litres of alcohol-based sanitiser which could come in... 

Stellenbosch University researcher makes sanitiser from stale bread

Standard Chartered commits $1bn to companies at forefront of fighting Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     31st March 2020 International banking group Standard Chartered will commit $1-billion in financing for companies that provide goods and services to help in the fight against Covid-19, and those planning the switch into making products that are in high demand to fight the worldwide pandemic, the bank announced on... 

Sasol advises of capacity reductions, further credit downgrades

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st March 2020 Although JSE-listed chemicals company Sasol is permitted to operate during South Africa’s lockdown period, ending April 16, it has advised that some plants will be operated at lower capacity, or even shut down, owing to lower product offtake during this time. The company explains that some... 

Sasol advises of capacity reductions, further credit downgrades

No impact of Covid-19 on Illovo, other ethanol alcohol producers

By: Donna Slater     30th March 2020 While sugar and related products manufacturer Illovo Sugar South Africa (Illovo SA) reports no impact on production as a result of measures implemented to contain the spread of Covid-19, it also reaffirms its commitment to refocus the business towards meeting the growing demand for alcohol used... 

Sasol ramps up sanitiser chemicals production

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th March 2020 JSE-listed petrochemicals giant Sasol has developed a new unique blend of alcohol-based chemicals to be used in the manufacture of hand sanitisers to help address the increase in market demand for these products. “While global demand and pricing for ethanol and isopropanol alcohol has increased... 

Sasol ramps up sanitiser chemicals production

Foskor clarifies it will continue with operations amid lockdown

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th March 2020 Phosphates and phosphoric acid producer Foskor has advised that it will continue with mining activities in Phalaborwa and its processing operations in Richards Bay, owing to it being an essential service in providing products to the agriculture and food sectors in South Africa, during the... 

Opinion: War declared during peacetime

By: Donna Slater     24th March 2020 The outbreak of coronavirus in every continent (except Antarctica) has resulted in a war-time mobilisation of national assets and resources, as well as a shift in production by some companies from their core products to the manufacture of products that can support the fight against the... 

Opinion: War declared during peacetime
Photo by Reuters
Members of the South African National Defence Force gather at the premises of the Rand Light Infantry in Craighall Park on March 23 in preparedness for mobilisation to help enforce the presidents national lockdown.

Ten-minute coronavirus test for $1 could be game changer

By: Bloomberg     20th March 2020 Already exhausted from testing for monkeypox and Lassa fever, Nigerian molecular bio-engineer Nnaemeka Ndodo had to work well past midnight earlier this month to find out if six Chinese construction workers were infected with the coronavirus. Ndodo had to collect samples from a hospital an hour... 

Cluster emphasises importance of local manufacturing

By: Halima Frost     20th March 2020 It is of utmost importance to be able to draw a definitive line between locally manufactured and imported products in the South African pumps sector, as locally manufactured products need to take precedence over imports in projects, says industry association South African Pump Cluster chairperson... 

Cluster emphasises importance of local manufacturing
HOWARD JONES There is a need for a definitive line between locally manufactured and imported products in the South African pumps sector

Adcock Ingram to acquire shoe, leather products manufacturer

By: Simone Liedtke     18th March 2020 In line with JSE-listed pharmaceuticals manufacturer Adcock Ingram’s strategy to pursue value-adding acquisitions, particularly in less-regulated areas of the market, the company has concluded a share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of shoe and leather products manufacturer Plush. The... 

HSRC to undertake public survey to assess country’s awareness of Covid-19

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th March 2020 Statutory research agency, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), will conduct a public survey on social media and through follow-up qualitative studies, to better understand what the South African public knows about Covid-19, the state of readiness to deal with this global pandemic and how... 

Size of possible Sasol rights issue hangs on asset-disposal and savings progress

By: Terence Creamer     17th March 2020 The eventual size of Sasol’s possible rights issue – tentatively capped at $2-billion – will depend on progress the group makes in the coming months with its cash-conservation and asset-disposal programmes, initiated in an effort to reduce its $10-billion debt burden by $6-billion by the end of... 

 Size of possible Sasol rights issue hangs on asset-disposal and savings progress
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler (left) and CFO Paul Victor

Sasol includes $2bn rights-issue option in plan to reset capital structure 

By: Terence Creamer     17th March 2020 Debt-laden chemicals and energy group Sasol announced on Tuesday that it could pursue a $2-billion rights issue as a “supplemental initiative” in the event that cash-conservation initiatives and asset disposals proved insufficient to reset its capital structure. The JSE-listed group had set a... 

Sasol includes $2bn rights-issue option in plan to reset capital structure

Every effort must be made to ensure economy ‘does not grind to a halt’ 

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2020 Finance Minister Tito Mboweni stressed on Monday that, before contemplating any possible stimulus package to address the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, all efforts should be geared towards ensuring that the already weak domestic economy “does not grind to a halt”. A failure... 

Every effort must be made to ensure economy ‘does not grind to a halt’
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Shares in South Africa's Sasol jump nearly 30% as oil price recovery sparks buying

By: Reuters     13th March 2020 Shares in South African petrochemicals group Sasol surged nearly 30% on Friday as a recovery in oil prices sparked buying of the stock, which was pummelled in the previous session. Brent crude prices rose over 3% on Friday after falling more than 7% the day before, a drop which helped send Sasol... 

Company reaches new heights with award

By: Cameron Mackay     13th March 2020 Height management solutions providers Skyriders received an award from a major petrochemicals producer in December last year for achieving significant reductions in its maintenance costs and boosting health and safety at one of the producer’s refineries, in Mpumalanga. The award was for a... 

Company reaches new heights with award
REACHING NEW HEIGHTS Skyriders created a methodology and risk assessments for this maintenance project, including a trial run finished last October, and the actual maintenance undertaking in November

Supplier offers complete solution to university

By: Cameron Mackay     13th March 2020 Local cleaning chemicals supplier Industroclean’s ability to provide holistic cleaning solutions enables it to offer the University of Cape Town (UCT) a one-stop-shop cleaning chemicals solution. Industroclean MD Emma Corder confirms that the company began supplying its solutions to UCT... 

Supplier offers complete solution to university
CLEANING VARIATION While above the floor cleaning tasks remain similar, variations in floor types require different products and methodologies for maintenance or restoration

Consultancy predicts potential downcycle for petrochemicals industry

13th March 2020 Chemicals consultancy group Wood Mackenzie predicts the start of a downcycle in China’s petrochemicals industry. A supply overhang has hit the country’s paraxylene (PX) market, with olefins and polyolefins markets almost certain to follow. 

Consultancy predicts potential downcycle for petrochemicals industry
Photo by Bloomberg
TURBULENT MARKETS Weak global economic growth, the US-China trade war, a decrease in automobile production and a booming electronic-commerce industry influenced China’s polyolefins market last year

Carbon storage vital to chemicals projects

By: Cameron Mackay     13th March 2020 With the global drive to meet climate targets and mitigate the devastating effects of climate change, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a vital emissions reduction technology for the chemicals and petrochemicals industry, says international think-tank Global CCS Institute advocacy and... 

Carbon storage vital to  chemicals projects
Photo by Bloomberg
DECARBONISING INDUSTRY Efforts from government and industry are needed to address carbon emissions from chemical and petrochemical production and the use and disposal of chemical products
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