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Chemicals

Sasol confirms possible equity issue as it breaks silence amid massive sell-off

By: Terence Creamer     12th March 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol, which has seen its market capitalisation decimated in recent days as a result of a series of adverse developments, including a ratings downgrade, a big slump in the oil price and Covid-19-induced market volatility, broke its silence on Thursday afternoon when it... 

Johannesburg stocks plunge most since 1997 in ‘panic’ sell-off

By: Bloomberg     12th March 2020 South Africa’s benchmark stock index plunged the most since the market crash of October 1997 as reaction to US measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus accelerated the sell-off sweeping through global equities. The FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index sank as much as 9.3% as of 3:34... 

Ascendis continues balance sheet restructuring as liabilities outstrip assets

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th March 2020 JSE-listed health and care brands group Ascendis Health posted a 9%, or R18-million, year-on-year decrease in its normalised headline earnings to R170-million for the six months ended December 31. It also did not declare a dividend.  

Ascendis continues balance sheet restructuring as liabilities outstrip assets

Sasol’s record plunge boosts speculation of a rights issue

By: Bloomberg     10th March 2020 Sasol’s record share plunge on Monday, coming as the oil price slumped and just days after the company credit rating was cut to junk by Moody’s Investors Service, is raising concern among investors that it may need to hold a rights offer as it struggles with a debt burden of about $8-billion. The... 

Sasol leads South African stocks to 4-year low as oil crash hits global markets 

By: Reuters     9th March 2020 South African stocks plunged to a more than four-year low on Monday, joining a global sell-off in riskier assets as oil prices collapsed more than 30%, hitting chemical and energy firm Sasol the hardest. Saudi Arabia's plans to hike crude production and slash its official selling price came after... 

Sasol leads South African stocks to 4-year low as oil crash hits global markets

Moody’s downgrades Sasol amid volatile market conditions

By: Simone Liedtke     6th March 2020 Ratings agency S&P Global Ratings has affirmed petrochemicals company Sasol’s BBB-/A-3 credit rating, but fellow ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded Sasol’s credit rating to Ba1/NP, the latter reflecting the company’s elevated leverage in the context of volatile market conditions. The ratings... 

Omnia announces group FD

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd March 2020 Chemicals group Omnia has appointed Stephan Serfontein group FD, effective March 1. Serfontein, a chartered accountant, has been with the group since January 2012 and was previously part of the executive committee at Omnia Agriculture. 

Pratley in push to increase export sales

By: Schalk Burger     28th February 2020 Electrical terminations specialist company Pratley is having a range of its products recertified, and new products certified in countries to which it exports as part of its drive to grow its exports and diversify the range of products sold in these markets, says Pratley CEO Kim Pratley. Expanding... 

Pratley in push to increase export sales
PERFORMANCE FOCUS The company is having its new products certified, and aims to grow exports

AECI’s Mining Solutions business boosts group profitability in 2019 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th February 2020 JSE-listed chemicals manufacturer AECI reported growth in all its operating segments in the year ended December 31, and managed to achieve 10% growth in its headline earnings per share (HEPS). The company declared a total dividend of R5.70 apiece, compared with the R5.15 apiece declared in the... 

AECI’s Mining Solutions business boosts group profitability in 2019
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
AECI CEO Mark Dytor

Sasol confirms making 600 MW own-gen proposal in response to DMRE RFI   

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2020 Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler confirmed on Monday that the energy and chemicals group made a submission to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in line with its request for information (RFI) on possible emergency electricity solutions that could be “grid-connected in the shortest time at... 

Sasol confirms making 600 MW own-gen proposal in response to DMRE RFI
Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler on the need for a culture change at the company following major cost overruns at its US project. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 24.2.2020

Sasol pulls back on capex as it seeks to deleverage from ‘peak gearing’  

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol has indicated that its capital expenditure (capex) will continue to taper during its 2020 and 2021 financial years as the group seeks to deleverage a balance sheet that reached “peak gearing” of close to 65% in the six months to December 31, 2019. Sasol’s gearing... 

Sasol pulls back on capex as it seeks to deleverage from ‘peak gearing’
Sasol CFO Paul Victor on how capex will be tapered as it seeks to navigate its 'peak gearing' phase. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 24.2.2020

Sasol holds back on dividend as it reports big H1 earnings slump

By: Terence Creamer     24th February 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol reported a 72% slump in earnings to R4.5-billion in the six months to December 31, 2019, compared with the prior period. Headline earnings a share, meanwhile, decreased by 74% to R5.94 when compared with the prior period. The board also decided not to declare an... 

Sasol holds back on dividend as it reports big H1 earnings slump

Adcock turns focus to factory efficiency, cost saving to maintain HEPS

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th February 2020 JSE-listed pharmaceuticals manufacturer Adcock Ingram reported a 1% year-on-year increase in headline earnings per share (HEPS) to 218.5c apiece for the six months ended December 31. The company on Thursday said its HEPS would have increased by 6% year-on-year, were it not for an ex-gratia... 

Commission finds in favour of Enaex, Sasol Explosives merger

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th February 2020 The Competition Commission has unconditionally approved a proposed merger whereby international explosives distributor Enaex intends to acquire JSE-listed petrochemicals company Sasol’s Explosives business. Enaex commercialises, distributes and manufactures explosives and blasting agents. It... 

Skills shortage plagues natural refrigerant sector

By: Darren Parker     14th February 2020 One of the most pertinent issues facing the local heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry is the lack of specialised skills needed for the systematic adoption of natural refrigerants in place of traditional synthetic refrigerants. Heightened pressure on... 

Skills shortage plagues natural refrigerant sector
SNEAKY LEAKS Refrigeration systems charged with odourless CO2 need to be monitored with sensors to ensure leaks do not compromise air quality in enclosed spaces

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

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. 

Refrigerant recovery service set for expansion
IT’S A GAS The Rapid Recovery service is up to ten times faster than traditional refrigerant recovery methods

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
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