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Chemicals

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... 

Omnia defends position in Competition Commission fertilizer probe

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th May 2009 JSE-listed chemical services company, Omnia on Wednesday said it noted the comment by the Competition Commission, linking it to the Sasol Nitro collusion investigation, which was heard at the Competition Tribunal. “Notwithstanding recent media reports, the grounds for our defence against the... 

Competition body confirms fresh fertiliser probe

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2009 The Competition Commission is proceeding with a new investigation of possible anticompetitive behaviour in the fertiliser industry, the commission’s economist and divisional manager of policy research Dr Simon Roberts confirmed on Wednesday. Addressing a Competition Tribunal hearing into a... 

Sasol agrees to higher R250m fine after more fertiliser breaches are unearthed 

By: Terence Creamer     19th May 2009 Energy and chemicals group Sasol announced on Tuesday that, in line with an amended agreement reached with the Competition Commission, it had agreed to an even heftier fine of R250,68-million to settle competition breaches involving its fertiliser unit. Earlier, a fine of R188-million had been... 

Sasol to meet with Tribunal on R188m fertiliser settlement

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th May 2009 Petrochemicals giant Sasol will meet with the Competition Tribunal next week to make submissions on a R188-million settlement it had agreed to with the Competition Commission last week, regarding uncompetitive behaviour in the fertiliser industry. The petrochemicals producer admitted to... 

US firm develops ‘simpler, more efficient’ algae oil extracting process

By: Leandi Kolver     8th May 2009 American bioenergy company OriginOil has developed what it has described as a “breakthrough oil extraction technology” that may help transform algae into a competitive transport fuel. In addition to integrating the process into its own production system, OriginOil also plans to commercialise the... 

SA subject to two new antidumping measures

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th May 2009 Products exported from South Africa were subject to two new antidumping measures that were implemented by other nations in the second half of 2008, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said on Thursday. The organisation revealed that 138 new final antidumping measures had been implemented during... 

Sasol to pay R188m fine to settle fertiliser cases

6th May 2009 Petrochemicals firm Sasol will pay a penalty of R188-million for contravening South Africa’s competition legislation by fixing prices in the fertiliser sector. This fine is the highest settlement reached with the Competition Commission to date, and is based on 6% of the turnover of the Sasol... 

KZN city moves on safe drums vision

By: Leandi Kolver     1st May 2009 After three years of planning, KwaZulu-Natal’s eThekwini City Health is ready to move on the implementation of the ‘Safe and Happy Drums’ project. The drums have not been used before, and are safe for food and water storage. 

Infrastructure roll-out could boost SA’s industrial paints sector

By: Creamer Media Reporter      16th April 2009 The South African industrial paints and coatings market could increase the value of its yearly sales to $195,1-million by 2014, with demand likely to be lifted as construction companies moved to complete infrastructure projects. “The booming infrastructure and construction industry is fuelling... 

It will soon be illegal to sell hazardous drums to street traders 

By: Leandi Kolver     10th April 2009 It will soon become illegal in KwaZulu-Natal for street vendors to trade in formerly used packaging drums, says Responsible Container & Packaging Management Association of South Africa (RCMASA) president Liz Anderson, who hopes that other regions will follow suit. 

Global regulatory changes to affect industrial packaging industry

By: Leandi Kolver     10th April 2009 A number of regulatory changes has been made by the United Nations (UN) regarding the transport of dangerous goods and the globally harmonised system of classification and labelling of chemicals, which will affect the entire industrial packaging industry. 

Necsa launches fluorochemical expansion initiative

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th March 2009 The Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa’s (Necsa’s) chemical division, Pelchem, on Tuesday launched the Fluorochemical Expansion Initiative (FEI) aimed at establishing value-adding fluorochemical industries in the country. The FEI, which would increase the local consumption of fluorspar,... 

Growth awaits downstream chemicals sector

20th March 2009 The downstream sector of South Africa’s chemicals industry has been identified as having substantial growth and employment potential by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), reports Creamer Media’s Research Channel Africa. 

Phosphate producer 
considers JSE listing

20th March 2009 Processor and producer of phosphate and phosphoric acid, Foskor, is considering listing on the JSE. 

Improved competitiveness key to EU chemicals 
industry survival

20th March 2009 The overall competitiveness of the European Union’s (EU’s) chemicals industry, compared with other regions of the world, must be enhanced, says the EU High Level Group (HLG) on the Competitiveness of the European Chemicals Industry in a report issued in February in Brussels. 

Synthetic-fuels plant to 
upgrade electricity 
generation 

20th March 2009 Multinational US technology and services conglomerate General Electric (GE) has signed a R500-million contract to upgrade electricity generation turbines at petrochemicals giant Sasol’s synthetic-fuels plant at Secunda, in Mpumalanga. 

Pump manufacturer reinforces petrochemical offering rebranding

By: Liam Morrison     20th March 2009 International vacuum pump manufacturer and supplier Busch Vacuum is actively rebranding its petrochemical pump offering in South Africa and internationally. 

EU outlines priorities for chemicals industry development

20th March 2009 The European Union (EU) outlined in February key factors crucial for sustaining the success of the 27-member bloc's chemicals industry, which employs 1,2-million people and is a world trade leader. 

Sasol chemicals at a glance

20th March 2009 Sasol's chemical businesses produce a variety of commodity and higher-value petrochemicals, fertilisers, mining explosives and pipeline gas. Its products are derived from the beneficiation (the reduction of the sulphur and mineral content) of gas coal at Sasolburg, from feedstock purchased from... 

Economic crisis could yield more entrepreneurs

By: Darren Parker     20th March 2009 In spite of the current economic turmoil, a possible ‘silver lining' for small business development may exist in that corporate downsizing and factory layoffs could yield more potential entrepreneurs, says entrepreneurial developer ChemCity business development manager Herman Berry. This could... 

SA foundry carves international niche in petrochemicals industry

20th March 2009 South African foundry Steloy Castings has established itsself as a global supplier of high-alloy steel components to the local and international oil refining and petrochemicals industry. 

SA chemicals and petrochemicals industry in focus 

By: Loni Prinsloo     20th March 2009 South Africa’s chemical and petrochemicals industry is of substantial economic significance to the country, contributing around 5% to gross domestic product and about 25% of its manufacturing sales. 

Global downturn expected to impact Sasol's chemicals unit

By: Chanel de Bruyn     9th March 2009 Despite the chemicals cluster of petrochemicals company Sasol having achieved a strong performance in the first half of the 2009 financial year, CFO Christine Ramon on Monday warned that the outlook for the cluster in the second half of the year did not look as rosy. She expected a sharp... 

Rolfes profit down, says demand for some products dropped

By: Chanel de Bruyn     2nd March 2009 By adding more products to its range, exploring new local “territories” and by maintaining its market share where it could, JSE-listed diversified technology company Rolfes Technology, was hopeful that it could maintain sales for the remainder of the 2009 financial year. The company on Monday... 

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