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Metals & Engineering News

SAICE appoints new CEO to drive organisation’s vision

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd March 2020 The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) on Friday announced that its executive board has appointed Vishaal Lutchman as CEO. Lutchman previously held the position of divisional director in development, transportation and infrastructure at WSP Group Africa. 

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

Facility upgrades help to ramp up supply

By: Halima Frost     20th March 2020 Local high pressure pump supplier Werner South Africa Pumps & Equipment has successfully improved its turnaround time from between four and six months to between two and three months to manufacture a truck mounted pump system, depending on the unit ordered. “This is subsequent to the... 

Facility upgrades help to  ramp up supply
UNDER THE PUMP Werner Pumps has managed to increase its turnaround time, to relieve the pressure of increased demand, by upgrading its facilities

Pump failures at mine addressed

20th March 2020 Last month, mechanical seal and pump supplier Mechanical Rotating Solutions (MRS) was asked to address the multiple failures experienced by a coal mine in Mpumalanga as a result of coupling misalignment between the pump shaft and the motor shaft. MRS MD Franscois Steenkamp suggests that after... 

Pump failures  at mine addressed
SHAFTED A misalignment between the pump and motor shafts had been causing failures at a coal mine

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

PSV placed into business rescue

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     16th March 2020 JSE-listed PSV Holding’s board has resolved that the company is in financial distress and has opted to file for business rescue. A business rescue practitioner (BRP) will be appointed in due course. 

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

Treasury calls for comment on proposed export taxes on scrap metal

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th March 2020 The National Treasury has published for consultation the ‘Basic Approach for Export Taxes on Scrap Metal’, following the announcement made by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in the 2020 Budget Review regarding the introduction of such a tax. The proposal is related to the phasing out of the current... 

Palladium/platinum substitution tech unveiled by BASF, PGM producers  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th March 2020 Specialised chemicals company BASF Mining Solutions has successfully finished developing a tri-metal catalyst technology that enables partial substitution of palladium with platinum in light-duty gasoline vehicles, without compromising on emission standards. The company has been hard at work to... 

Palladium/platinum substitution tech unveiled by BASF, PGM producers
Palladium can now successfully be substituted with platinum in automotive catalytic converters

Seifsa invites entries for sixth Awards for Excellence

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th March 2020 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has invited manufacturers operating in the metals and engineering sector to submit their entries for the Seifsa Awards for Excellence. The awards are now in the sixth year, honouring both small and big manufactures that... 

Merafe swings to loss on low demand, prices

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th March 2020 JSE-listed Merafe Resources says low global demand and lower prices for ferrochrome had dampened its financial performance in the year ended December 31. The company reported a headline loss a share of 1.8c apiece, compared with headline earnings a share of 27.2c in the year ended December 31,... 

Merafe swings to loss on low demand, prices

Opinion: South African steel industry is an industry in distress

6th March 2020 In this opinion piece, South African Iron and Steel Institute secretary-general Charles Dednam outlines the difficulties being faced by the domestic steel industry and calls for the creation a ‘level playing field’ to enable the steel industry to contribute more fully in stimulating value-added... 

Opinion: South African steel industry is an industry in distress
South African Iron and Steel Institute secretary-general Charles Dednam

Company to improve processes with new furnaces

By: Cameron Mackay     6th March 2020 Local metalworking company Thomas Foundry is set to improve and increase the efficiency of its metalworking and manufacturing processes with the purchase of four new induction furnaces. The order was placed in September last year to replace three decommissioned furnaces – a 1 t furnace and two 5... 

Company to improve  processes with new furnaces
FORGING AHEAD The company has purchased 4 new furnaces to reduce electricity consumption, improve quality and productivity, improving environmental compliance and reducing maintenance costs

Localisation to boost industries

By: Cameron Mackay     6th March 2020 Government’s intention to increase demand for locally manufactured content to at least 60% across industries will have a positive impact on the local casting, forging and machining sector, says nonprofit entity the Casting, Forging and Machining Cluster (CFMC) of South Africa project leader Steve... 

Localisation to boost industries
CLUSTER COLLABORATION The CFMC is a development purposed vehicle which will enable companies to work together to achieve what could not be achieved individually

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

Numsa heads to Constitutional Court to have Aveng Trident Steel workers reinstated 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th March 2020 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has approached the Constitutional Court to seek the reinstatement of 733 workers who were dismissed by Aveng Trident Steel. The steel fabricator in 2015 issued a Section 189 notice, informing workers of its plans to restructure the... 

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... 

Iron-ore soars as China port stocks dip, stimulus hopes grow

By: Reuters     2nd March 2020 China's iron-ore futures hit the upside limit on Monday as declining stockpiles at ports indicated steel mills' improving appetite for the raw material, while expectations grew Beijing will roll out further support for its paralysed economy. iron-ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange ended up 5.8%... 

Sector in dire need of transformation

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The manufacturing industry, and particularly the metals and engineering sector, is in much need of transformation, says national employer federation the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa). 

Sector in dire need  of transformation
MICHELLE NORRIS Women working in the metals and engineering sector are predominantly found in administrative job functions

Stainless steel growth unlikely in 2020

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The level of activity in the local stainless steel sector’s value chain has dwindled in the past decade, mainly owing to international competition, low steel prices and the slow growth of the local economy. 

Stainless steel growth unlikely in 2020
FULL OF VIGOR Stainless steel is one of the youngest industrial materials globally, managing to positively change people’s lives

Digitalisation beneficial for steel producers

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 Digitalisation will become an increasingly important strategy for steel producers to achieve a competitive advantage in the market, says metallurgical industry plant and integrated systems provider SMS group MD Pieter Bezuidenhout. 

Local steel industry still holds much potential 

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The current capacity and capabilities of the local steel industry are still largely understated, says export trade promotion agency the International Steel Fabricators (ISF). 

Local steel industry  still holds much potential
International Steel Fabricators CEO Neels van Niekerk discusses the South African steel sector. Camerawork: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 30.01.2020

Volatile steel prices to continue in 2020

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The volatile prices of domestic steel producers and domestic steel merchants are likely to continue in 2020, says national employer federation Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) chief economist Dr Michael Ade. 

Volatile steel prices  to continue in 2020
MICHAEL ADE 2020 is still going to be a difficult year for the metals and engineering sector, with ongoing pressure on margins

SAISC calls for the revival of the steel sector

28th February 2020 The steel industry has significantly contracted over the last four years and shed thousands of jobs, as many of South Africa’s long-standing and successful construction companies closed down or went into business rescue, South African Institute for Steel Construction (SAISC) CEO Paolo Trinchero... 

Market feels project pinch

By: Mamaili Mamaila     28th February 2020 The lack of significant public infrastructure spend to boost steel consumption and construction activity are some of the challenges that the local steel tube market has to deal with, says steel industry association the Association of Steel Pipe Manufacturers (ASTPM). 

Market feels project pinch
KEITUMETSE MOUMAKOE The influx of cheap small-bore steel tube imports has not aided the industry

Turning challenges in the steel sector into opportunities

28th February 2020 Despite the local steel sector currently experiencing tough challenges, some businesses within the steel supply chain have seized the opportunities presented by these challenges to grow their success. One such business is nitrogen generation equipment manufacturer and supplier NitraLife which... 

First bauxite cargo from Chalco's Guinea mine arrives in China

By: Reuters     27th February 2020 The first cargo of bauxite shipped from Aluminum Corp of China's Boffa mine, in Guinea, has arrived in China, a spokesperson for the company, which is also known as Chalco, said on Thursday. The 55 000 t cargo arrived at the port of Rizhao in eastern China's Shandong province on Wednesday after... 

Global steel output rose 2.1% y/y in January – worldsteel

By: Reuters     26th February 2020 Global crude steel production rose 2.1% to 154.4-million tonnes in January from the same month a year ago, figures from the World Steel Association showed on Tuesday. Crude steel output from China, the world's top producer and consumer of the alloy, gained 7.2% to 84.3-million tonnes in January. 

PSV considers clawback offer with DNG as part of restructuring strategy

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th February 2020 AltX-listed industrial engineering group PSV Holdings on Wednesday announced that its board was considering a turnaround strategy for the business. The turnaround strategy includes a potential clawback offer whereby liquefied natural gas infrastructure provider DNG Energy Proprietary will... 

Record stash of steel in China as demand slammed

By: , Bloomberg     25th February 2020 The world’s largest steel industry just sent out another warning flare as producers grapple with the coronavirus outbreak: nationwide stockpiles of reinforcement bar have swelled to the most on record. The surge is a reflection of the dislocation caused by the disease and efforts to fight it.... 

Kumba pays out 92% of HEPS to shareholders as iron-ore prices lift earnings 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th February 2020 JSE-listed miner Kumba Iron Ore delivered a payout ratio of 92% of headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year ended December 31, exceeding its 50% to 75% dividend payout policy. The company declared a final cash dividend of R15.99 apiece, which, combined with the interim dividend of R30.79... 

Kumba pays out 92% of HEPS to shareholders as iron-ore prices lift earnings
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Kumba Iron Ore CEO Thamba Mkhwanazi

Bushveld sees battery storage potential beyond EVs  

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2020 While the energy transition is gaining a lot of traction, integrated primary vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo laments that the battery storage narrative is “still dominated by electric vehicles (EVs)”. He tells Engineering News & Mining Weekly that there is still a lack of... 

Bushveld sees battery storage potential beyond EVs
Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo chats to Engineering News & Mining Weekly about the energy transition, how vanadium plays a role in this as well as how this fits into the company's growth plans. Video: Creamer Media's Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Metals, engineering sector set for ‘unremarkable’ growth this year  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th February 2020 Last year was generally challenging for both the domestic and global economy, as weakening demand, manufacturing and trade and investment restrained progress, with extended negative implications for the metals and engineering (M&E) sector, which is poised for “unremarkable” growth this year.... 

Metals, engineering sector set for ‘unremarkable’ growth this year
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Dr Michael Ade

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

Tribunal approves AMSA’s acquisition of Highveld Structural Mill

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th February 2020 The Competition Tribunal has unconditionally approved steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA’s) acquisition of the manufacturing and production of structural steel and rail business of Highveld Structural Mill (HSM), a subsidiary of Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium. HSM, in... 

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