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Chemicals

Samed urges vigilance in acquiring quality PPE

By: Donna Slater     11th May 2020 The outbreak of Covid-19 in South Africa and the consequent rapid requirement for bulk personal protective equipment (PPE) supply, has led to an influx of PPE products from many suppliers and distributors, thereby raising quality and functionality concerns by the healthcare industry and, in... 

Donations close supply gap for PPE in fight against Covid-19

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th May 2020 The Solidarity Fund, working with Business for South Africa (B4SA), has helped secure 100% of the N95 masks and nearly 80% of the surgical masks required in terms of weekly demand ahead of the expected surge in Covid-19 cases. The successful procurement of this essential personal protective... 

Theranostics can play a role in nuclear medicine

By: Cameron Mackay     8th May 2020 The development and use of theranostics with nuclear medicine provides ample opportunity for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging to become more familiar to the public, and can help grow the local nuclear medicine industry, says South African Society of Nuclear Medicine president Moshe... 

Theranostics can play a role in nuclear medicine
SAFARI-1 FACILITY The facility conducts clinical trials with, and produces, radiopharmaceuticals or radioisotopes, such as key medical radioisotopes like molybdenum-99 and iodine-131

Tribunal approves more excessive pricing consent agreements

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th May 2020 The Competition Tribunal has approved two more consent agreements with a company accused by the Competition Commission of charging excessive prices for essential products. The Van Heerden Pharmacy Group has agreed to pay a R30 000 settlement and to make a further donation to the national... 

Cape Town company joins global efforts to develop plant-based Covid-19 test kits

By: Donna Slater     5th May 2020 Cape Bio Pharms, a spin-off company of the Biopharming Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, has partnered with international biotechnology companies to address the international problem of accessibility to affordable reagents and rapid Covid-19 serology testing, with the launch of its... 

Covid-19 exit strategy depends on getting vaccine to whole world

By: Bloomberg     4th May 2020 Coming up with a vaccine to halt Covid-19 in a matter of months isn’t the only colossal challenge. The next big test: getting billions of doses to every corner of the world at a time when countries increasingly are putting their own interests first. A variety of financing tools are under... 

Good agricultural sales expected post lockdown

By: Darren Parker     1st May 2020 The outbreak of Covid-19 and the consequent initial 21-day national lockdown in South Africa, which has since been extended by two weeks, caused a slowdown in sales for almost every sector in South Africa, including the agricultural sector. Despite the lull, Pratley marketing director Eldon... 

Good agricultural sales expected post lockdown
DON’T BLOW A GASKET The new room temperature vulcanising silicone gasket maker compound is temperature resistant from -50 ºC to 300 ºC for short periods

Atomised airborne disinfectant useful to fight workplace spread of Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     30th April 2020 The atomising and making airborne of fine droplets of disinfectant can be used to sterilise vast workplaces in the fight against the spread of Covid-19, says explosion suppression, automatic fire suppression and dust suppression systems supplier, as well as sanitisation solutions provider... 

Atomised airborne disinfectant useful to fight workplace spread of Covid-19
The V12SO indoor turbine

Labat increases integrated cannabis business drive

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th April 2020 JSE-listed healthcare group Labat Africa has announced a comprehensive plan to expand and further develop an integrated cannabis business in South Africa. The company, which has interests in information and communications technology, logistics and energy has added Labat Healthcare to its... 

South Africa receives significant PPE order for frontline healthcare workers

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th April 2020 South Africa has received a significant order of personal protective equipment (PPE), including includes two-million surgical masks and 216 000 KN95 respirators.  This critical stock is intended for the sole use of frontline doctors, nurses and community healthcare workers, to protect them in... 

South Africa receives significant PPE order for frontline healthcare workers
Photo by GCIS/Elmond Jiyane
The B4SA PPE procurement team received a significant order of 2-million surgical masks, and 216 000 KN95s

Adcock Ingram employee tests positive for Covid-19, response measures in place

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th April 2020 An employee at pharmaceutical manufacturer Adcock Ingram’s Critical Care manufacturing facility has tested positive for Covid-19, and 50 other employees have undergone testing on April 23, and have self-quarantined based on the primary contact trace. The infected employee displayed minor symptoms... 

Pipeline repair continues despite Covid-19

24th April 2020 Repair of the Mt Albert high-pressure sludge pipeline is a critical project for city council Wellington’s wastewater network in New Zealand, and one that Wellington Water is committed to progressing during lockdown.  Repairing these pipelines is a significant technical challenge, because the... 

Ford SA, Gift of the Givers partner for Covid-19 face shield efforts

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd April 2020 Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa's (FMCSA's) initiative to produce protective face shields for front-line medical and essential services personnel in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic has been given a boost, with local nongovernmental organisation Gift of the Givers Foundation coming on... 

EPCM Holdings producing low-cost ventilators

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st April 2020 Engineering, procurement and construction company EPCM Holdings is producing low-cost ventilator units − bag valve mask units − for delivery to several African countries in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. “In our fight against the Covid-19 virus and our determination to protect humanity, our team... 

EPCM Holdings producing low-cost ventilators
EPCM Holding’s low cost ventilator unit

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
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