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Energy News

Sasol appoints Harper to board, audit committee

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd March 2020 JSE-listed petrochemicals company Sasol has appointed Katharine Harper independent nonexecutive director and audit committee member, effective April 1. Harper, who is based in the US, is currently the CFO of global logistics company BDP International. She also serves as a nonexecutive director... 

Privatisation slowly becoming reality

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 The type of participants attending this year’s Power & Electricity World Africa & The Solar Show are proof that Africa seeks to become less reliant on governments for its electricity supply, says event organiser Terrapinn Power & Electricity World Africa conference producer Caroline Mubima.... 

Privatisation slowly becoming reality
DRIVEN DISCUSSION The growing adoption of electric vehicles is one trend expected to dominate discussion at Power & Electricity World Africa 2020

Emfuleni municipality reaches agreement to settle debt owed to Eskom

By: Simone Liedtke     18th March 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom, led by CEO André de Ruyter, met with senior officials of the Gauteng Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and executive mayors on Tuesday to resolve issues around the debt owed by municipalities to Eskom. The meeting was convened by... 

Emfuleni municipality reaches agreement to settle debt owed to Eskom
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter

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

Kibo subsidiary’s Bordersley plant affected by coronavirus

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th March 2020 The developer of the Bordersley 5 MW gas-fuelled power generation plant, in the UK, Mast Energy Developments (MED), has faced some disruption to the project as a result of its joint development partner, AB Impianti, which is based near Milan, Italy, having had to temporarily halt operations at... 

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

Oil falls deeper into turmoil triggered by epic demand collapse

By: Bloomberg     16th March 2020 Oil’s spectacular collapse deepened as widening global efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus were set to trigger the most severe contraction in annual oil demand in history. Futures tumbled by more than 6% after plunging by a quarter last week -- the largest drop since 2008. Even a massive... 

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... 

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

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... 

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

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... 

Shell reports 41% rise in onshore Nigeria oil spills due to sabotage

By: Reuters     12th March 2020 Royal Dutch Shell's onshore Nigeria subsidiary saw a 41% rise in the number of crude oil spills due to theft or pipeline sabotage in 2019, the group said in its annual report. Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) also recorded a rise in the volume of oil spilt in the Niger Delta... 

Opec sees no oil demand growth in 2020 as virus batters forecast

By: Bloomberg     11th March 2020 Opec expects there will effectively be no growth in global oil demand this year, slashing its forecasts as the coronavirus hits the world economy. Having expected a month ago that fuel consumption would increase by just under 1-million barrels a day, or 1%, in 2020, the group said in a report on... 

Amid Saudi-Russian oil price war, other Opec States sound alarm

By: Reuters     11th March 2020 While Opec's de facto leader Saudi Arabia trades blows in a war for market share with Russia after their three-year pact to cut oil supplies collapsed last week, other Opec States are already sounding the alarm over plunging oil prices. Crude lost as much as a third of its value this week after... 

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... 

Five LPG companies to answer to allegations of price fixing 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th March 2020 Five liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) companies will have to answer to allegations of price fixing in a hearing to be heard by the Competition Tribunal from Tuesday. The companies – Totalgas Southern Africa, Oryx Oil South Africa, KayaGas, Easigas and African Oxygen (Afrox) – have been under... 

Five LPG companies to answer to allegations of price fixing

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

IEA expects 90 000 bbl/d fall in oil demand as a result of Covid-19

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th March 2020 The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects global oil demand to decline this year as the impact of the Covid-19 virus continues to spread around the world. The extent of the global impact of the virus is still uncertain, but demand for oil has nonetheless dropped for the first time since... 

IEA expects 90 000 bbl/d fall in oil demand as a result of Covid-19

Oil drops 31% in worst loss since Gulf War as price fight erupts

By: Bloomberg     9th March 2020 Oil markets crashed more than 30% after the disintegration of the OPEC+ alliance triggered an all-out price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia that is likely to have sweeping political and economic consequences. Brent futures suffered the second-largest decline on record in the opening seconds... 

Oil drops 31% in worst loss since Gulf War as price fight erupts

Opec+ on brink of failure as Russia resists deeper oil cuts

By: Bloomberg     6th March 2020 Russia resisted pressure from its Opec allies to make deeper production cuts, pushing the cartel’s high-stakes diplomatic gamble to the brink of failure and sending prices plunging. Energy Minister Alexander Novak arrived from Moscow on Friday morning and told fellow ministers that he favored... 

4IR, rail projects can grow local foundries industry

By: Cameron Mackay     6th March 2020 The local foundries, forges and casting industry can benefit from following the global trend of metal casting companies implementing Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies. An abundance of infrastructure projects, such as rail projects from State-owned rail utility Transnet, has the... 

4IR, rail projects  can grow local  foundries industry
GLEN DIKGALE There are opportunities for the local foundry industry. Government is increasingly talking about sourcing equipment locally, so we need to comply with requirements

Local foundry leads to AI partnership

By: Cameron Mackay     6th March 2020 With a strong focus on growing its international business, machine learning solutions provider, DataProphet, has signed a partnership with a leading metallic parts enhancement company, Norican Group, to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in the foundry industry. This came... 

Local foundry leads to AI partnership
SMART FOUNDRIES The aim is to improve manufacturing processes using AI in the foundry industry

Lesedi keen to retain nuclear skills built up over years in South Africa

By: Kim Cloete     5th March 2020 South African engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance company Lesedi is keen to use its nuclear expertise and skills in South Africa and other African countries and is also looking to expand its focus to Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Lesedi has diversified its business and is active... 

Lesedi keen to retain nuclear skills built up over years in South Africa
Photo by Creamer Media
Koeberg power station

M&R’s order book rises to R50.8bn on back of oil and gas platform recovery

By: Terence Creamer     4th March 2020 Specialised engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) reported on Wednesday that its order book had increased to R50.8-billion during the interim period to the end of December, up 60% on the R31.7-billion level reported for the corresponding period in the previous year. The... 

M&R’s order book rises to R50.8bn on back of oil and gas platform recovery

Healthcare business gives Afrox’s earnings, profits a boost  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th March 2020 Growth in strategic markets, solid price cost inflation recovery, continued productivity gains from efficiency projects and the positive impact of restructuring activities contributed to a 23.3% year-on-year increase in earnings before interest and taxes for JSE-listed African Oxygen (Afrox) in... 

Healthcare business gives Afrox’s earnings, profits a boost
Afrox CEO Schalk Venter discusses the company's performance in 2019

Scopa puts foot down to deal with debt owed to Eskom

By: Simone Liedtke     4th March 2020 The Standing Committee on Public Accounts plans to call a hearing with embattled State-owned power utility Eskom, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and various stakeholders and provincial departments that owe Eskom money to come up with a solution for settling that debt. The hearing will take place... 

Africa urged to ramp up its energy investment

By: Kim Cloete     4th March 2020 Getting more energy to more people in Africa is imperative, particularly as the continent's population is set to soar over the next few decades, the Africa Energy Indaba has heard. “This is an opportunity for all of us to move forward faster and further together,” World Energy Council secretary... 

Africa urged to ramp up its energy investment

Nigeria’s immense gas reserves offer great scope to boost economic growth

By: Kim Cloete     3rd March 2020 Nigeria is hoping to make the most of its immense gas reserves, but needs to refine its legislation and get its projects moving swiftly.  Professor Abubakar Sani Sambo from the Nigerian Ministerial Task Force on Power said Nigeria had the ninth largest gas reserves in the world and was number one... 

Companies urged to gear up for gas revolution in Mozambique

By: Kim Cloete     3rd March 2020 Key players in the gas industry have urged the South African government and companies to gear up for the tremendous opportunities that the gas resources uncovered in Mozambique will offer.  A final investment decision (FID) has been taken for two projects, while the FID for a third project is... 

Germany moves into hydrogen with lessons from Opec, Russia 

By: Bloomberg     3rd March 2020 Germany is taking its first steps to build an economy based on hydrogen instead of fossil fuels, seeking to deliver both green growth and to avoid being trapped by a small cartel of suppliers. Ministers have been quietly lining up deals with nations including Nigeria that might produce hydrogen... 

Natural gas has potential to change energy sector dynamics 

By: Kim Cloete     2nd March 2020 The South African Gas Development Company, also known as iGas, says the dynamics for liquefied natural gas (LNG) are in South Africa’s favour, with LNG prices at the lowest point in real terms since the history of the trade and more projects coming on stream. “LNG has a versatile delivery system.... 

Natural gas has potential to change energy sector dynamics

DMRE plans to resume solar water heater programme

By: Simone Liedtke     28th February 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) is finalising an internal audit on a bidding process to enable the finalisation of contractual arrangements with appointed service providers for the department’s National Solar Water Heater Programme. Following the conclusion of the audit, the... 

Fuel prices projected to fall as coronavirus fears impact global oil price – AA

By: News24Wire      28th February 2020 The Automobile Association (AA) has said that motorists can expect "substantial fuel price reductions" next month, in part due to falling world oil prices as coronavirus fears impact global economic activity. "The impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on global economic activity cannot be... 

 Fuel prices projected to fall as coronavirus fears impact global oil price – AA

Edenville progresses Rukwa development

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     27th February 2020 Aim-listed Edenville Energy has recorded progress at the Rukwa coal project in south-west Tanzania, following the receipt of gross proceeds from a £700 000 capital raise announced in January. The company has reinstated an on-site operational adviser with extensive coal experience and historic... 

Insufficient customer commitment stalls liquid bulk terminal project

By: Irma Venter     27th February 2020 The development of the liquid bulk terminal in the Port of Ngqura, in the Eastern Cape, has been halted, says Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo (OTGC). OTGC is a joint venture (JV) between operating partner Oiltanking, a German multinational that is one of the largest independent operators of tank... 

Coronavirus to tip oil and gas prices – Woodmac 

27th February 2020 The Coronavirus, which has caused nearly 2 800 deaths world-wide, was likely to have a bigger impact on prevailing oil and gas prices than on project construction, industry analyst Wood Mackenzie (Woodmac) said on Thursday. Manufacturing shutdowns and shipping bottlenecks were causing project... 

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
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