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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Egypt's Carbon Holdings secures $1.25bn to build petrochemicals complex

By: Reuters     10th December 2018 Egypt's Carbon Holdings has secured $1.25-billion in financing to build a giant petrochemicals complex in the Red Sea port of Ain Sokhna. The Tahrir Petrochemicals Complex, a $10.9-billion project, would be the largest in the Middle East and is expected to create 48 000 jobs. 

Delays in biofuel framework hinder industry

By: Paige Müller     7th December 2018 Despite the local sugar industry championing a bioethanol fuel subsidy as a potential method to relieve the burden on sugar through demand diversification, Ethanol Producers Association of Southern Africa secretary, Alf Stevens, suggests that this may not have the timely impact that the local... 

Delays in biofuel framework hinder industry
Photo by Bloomberg
SLOW PROGRESS Even if the Biofuels Regulatory Framework is attractive, the first ethanol for biofuel would only reach the petrol blenders by the end of 2021 at the earliest

Ventilation key to genset safety

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     7th December 2018 Gensets that are stored indoors should be stationed in a well ventilated area to avoid the temperature of the genset rising too high, says fire risk management and support company ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk. 

Ventilation key  to genset safety
MICHAEL VAN NIEKERK Generators can be a potential source of fire ignition, owing to the high temperatures of the manifold, if not stored correctly

Stakeholder development support aids growth in WC

By: Thabi Madiba     7th December 2018 Continued development support offered by Western Cape organisations will aid manufacturing growth in the Western Cape, says event organiser Siyenza MD Liz Hart. These organisations comprise the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, Wesgro;... 

Stakeholder development support aids growth in WC
ON DISPLAY Manufacturers exhibited their products during the Manufacturing Indaba

Two South African entrepreneurs shortlisted for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

By: Simone Liedtke     4th December 2018 Pelebox Smart Lockers and the Hybrid Five-Axis Machine Tool are two South African innovations that have been shortlisted for the Royal Academy for Engineering’s (RAE’s) Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, accelerated by the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi).   

Two South African entrepreneurs shortlisted for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation
Pelebox Smart Locker system developer Neo Hutiri

Sasol anticipates rise in H1 earnings

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st November 2018 Petrochemicals giant Sasol expects to deliver a solid set of results for the six months to end December 31, underpinned by higher Brent crude oil and product prices, a weaker average rand exchange rate and good performance from its global asset base. Sasol on Wednesday said it was likely to... 

Sasol anticipates rise in H1 earnings

Vaal River pollution: 'There have been challenges to compliance', Sasol says

By: News24Wire      21st November 2018 Petrochemicals giant Sasol has denied that it is responsible for pollution in the Vaal river. However, it has admitted struggling to interpret some compliance requirements with regard to regulations on the discharge of waste. According to a report by the Department of Water and Sanitation... 

Regulator approves restart of NTP’s isotope production facility 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th November 2018 NTP Radioisotopes on Friday confirmed that the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) had given it the go-ahead to resume production of essential medical radioisotopes at its Pelindaba facility. NTP, which is a subsidiary of State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), will start with... 

Regulator approves restart of NTP’s isotope production facility

Lack of funding worsens skills shortage

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     16th November 2018 A lack of government funding is exacerbating the shortage of skilled coating technologists and accredited paint applicators, says paint industry representative South African Paint Manufacturing Association (Sapma) executive director Deryck Spence. The Chemical Industries Education and Training... 

Lack of funding worsens skills shortage
LEAD FREE Sapma is advocating for the removal of lead from all paint

Repair, maintenance vital for infrastructure life span

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     16th November 2018 Preventive maintenance and the timeous repair of infrastructure can save significant costs and extend the life of infrastructure, says specialised construction products supplier a.b.e. Construction Chemicals general construction sales manager Warren Trew. “Unfortunately, many players in the... 

Repair, maintenance vital for infrastructure life span
BRIDGE RESORATION a.b.e. Construction Chemicals is involved in the restoration of bridges on the N17 and N14

Sappi mulls further Saiccor expansion as it moves ahead with R7.7bn project 

By: Terence Creamer     15th November 2018 JSE-listed forest products group Sappi has confirmed that it is considering a further expansion of its giant Saiccor dissolving wood pulp (DWP) mill in KwaZulu-Natal, having only recently pulled the trigger on a R7.7-billion investment to expand output at the facility by 110 000 t/y. An... 

Sappi mulls further Saiccor expansion as it moves ahead with R7.7bn project
The Saiccor mill

Omnia shares fall as it warns of interim loss

By: Simone Liedtke     12th November 2018 Local chemicals company Omnia Holdings’ share price on the JSE fell by more than 16% on Monday after it announced that it expects to swing to a loss a share for the six months to September 30. It expects to report a loss a share of between 85c and 170c, compared with the earnings a share of 423c... 

Demand increases for thermoplastic valves

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th November 2018 Demand for thermoplastic materials over conventional alloy metals has increased since engineering consumables and components distributor BMG was appointed exclusive distributor of UK-based manufacturer SAFi Thermoplastic Valve Solutions’ (SAFi’s) products, says BMG industrial valves national... 

Demand increases for thermoplastic valves
PROCESSING PLANT BMG’s SAFi range of valves can be used in mining, energy, environmental, process plant, agriculture, and food and beverage applications

Lack of valve traceability hampers local industry

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     9th November 2018 The local valves industry has become extremely competitive, especially since there has been an influx of products that have no traceability, says industrial automation, valve and control supplier Fluid Control Services owner Allen Maguire. Many products are entering the local market from the... 

Lack of valve traceability hampers local industry
VALVE STANDARD The local valves industry needs to conform to a certain standard in terms of traceability

Sealing solution prevents shaft damage

By: Paige Müller     9th November 2018 Split roller bearing specialist OE Bearings (OEB) has developed and patented a new sealing solution to prevent costly shaft damage in the event of bearing failure. OEB founder and MD Warwick Steinhobel tells Engineering News that the company first undertook the development of the new sealing... 

Sealing solution prevents shaft damage
INDUSTRY CONCERN OE Bearings has identified that shaft damage caused by undetected bearing failure is costly

NTP awaits NNR’s signature of approval to restart production

By: Simone Liedtke     7th November 2018 State-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) CEO Phumzile Tshelane remains hopeful that production at its subsidiary NTP Radioisotopes’ facility will resume within the next two weeks, pending approval from the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR). Production at the facility was shut... 

NTP awaits NNR’s signature of approval to restart production
Photo by Dylan Slater
(Left) Necsa CEO Phumzile Tshelane and (Right) Necsa board chairperson Kelvin Kemm

Lightweight window cleaner developed for industry

By: Halima Frost     2nd November 2018 Cleaning equipment manufacturer and supplier Kärcher Industrial’s Window Vac Professional 10 (WVP 10 Adv) is now available to the South African market following the good reception received by participating contract cleaners, retailers and prospective clients in its test samples. Having made the... 

Lightweight window cleaner developed for industry
BETTER SQUEEGEE The handheld steam and vacuum window washer is available from Kärcher

Local cleaning product supplier receives GreenTag certification

By: Halima Frost     2nd November 2018 Cleaning chemicals manufacturer Blendwell Chemicals is the first South African company to be awarded the international GreenTag certification for its Enviroblend range.  GreenTag, which is recognised by the Green Building Council of South Africa, is an international certifying body that claims... 

Local cleaning product supplier receives GreenTag certification
GREEN GREASE Green degreaser chemicals supplied for industrial applications are available from Blendwell Chemicals

Good reception for cleaning system

By: Halima Frost     2nd November 2018 Following the launch of its KaiVac 1750 No-Touch cleaning system at last year’s Cleantex Cleaning Expo, held from June 12 to 14, cleaning solutions provider Goscor Cleaning Equipment says the system has since been taken up by the top five contract cleaning service providers in the country. The... 

Good reception for cleaning system
UPSTANDING PRODUCT The vertical unit has a smaller footprint, thereby allowing for easier access to tighter areas

enX records increased Ebit, undertakes key investment

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th October 2018 Diversified industrial group enX achieved an increase in adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) to R815-million for the financial year ended August 31, compared with an Ebit of R736-million in the prior financial year. enX has three business segments – enX Industrial Equipment (EIE),... 

Study examines impact of strikes on South African economy

26th October 2018 Amid continued protest action at chemical and petrochemicals heavyweight Sasol, university-led research foundation the Mandela Initiative has released conclusions on its research into the topic of local strikes and labour unrest. Sasol employees and members of trade union Solidarity have been on... 

Study examines impact of strikes on South African economy
Photo by Bloomberg
PROLONGED INDUSTRIAL ACTION Sasol employees and members of trade union Solidarity have been on a go-slow since September of this year

Sasol poised to improve operational performance in 2019

26th October 2018 Integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol reported that it is well positioned to continue improved operational performance in the 2019 financial year despite electricity supply interruptions, as its sales volumes increased by 1% for its performance chemicals business owing to robust market... 

Sasol poised to improve operational performance in 2019
LOWER VOLUMES Liquid fuels sales volumes for Sasol were down 2% as a result of lower production volumes and a challenging local retail liquid fuels market

Automatic shut-off valves improve plant safety

By: Paige Müller     26th October 2018 Valves, steam and combustion system solution provider Heaton Valves Africa (HVA), states that its extensive range of German-made Albrecht-Automatik safety shut-off systems and components, significantly improve combustion system operational safety in the industries it serves. HVA combustion... 

Automatic shut-off valves improve  plant safety
SAFETY SHUT-OFF Albrecht-Automatik safety shut-off systems have a closing time of between one and five seconds during control function

Industries must address legacy contamination – firm

By: Paige Müller     26th October 2018 Despite a significant improvement in the parameters outlined by current environmental policy – often diligently upheld by the local chemicals and petrochemicals industries – multidisciplinary engineering consultant SRK Consulting states that historic practices caused by lack of knowledge have... 

Industries must address  legacy contamination – firm
CONTAMINATED SITE Significant harm has arisen from a legacy of poor waste management, particularly within the chemicals industry

Progress made to deliver value-based company strategy

By: Paige Müller     26th October 2018 Integrated chemical and energy company Sasol’s 2018 financial year – which came to a close in June of this year – has proven positive in terms of realising the company’s strategy. “The company has made significant strides in bettering its organisational culture and advancing opportunities in its... 

Progress made to deliver value-based company strategy
REMAIN COMPETITIVE Sasol is looking to further enhance its performance by ensuring it is able to remain competitive at an oil price of $40/bl

African Chemicals Imbizo registers impressive growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th October 2018 The fourth African Chemicals Imbizo, to be held in Durban from October 24 to 25, is expected to be the largest one in its four-year history. Starting as a modest concept of meetings between members of the Durban Chemicals Cluster (DCC) – a public-private partnership between eThekwini municipality... 

Imbizo to promote green chemistry in South Africa

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th October 2018 The National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) is working steadily behind the scenes to promote and develop the concept of green chemistry, as part of a global initiative driven by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Yale University’s Center for... 

Opportunities abound for Italian entrepreneurs expanding into Africa

By: Shannon de Ryhove     12th October 2018 The Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries says Italian companies are becoming increasingly positive about the opportunities offered by South Africa, which is being acknowledged as a hub from which to expand and invest into surrounding African countries, says Italian-South African... 

Petrochemicals becoming largest driver of global oil demand – IEA

By: Simone Liedtke     5th October 2018 Petrochemicals are becoming the largest drivers of global oil demand, ahead of cars, planes and trucks, a study undertaken by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has revealed. Petrochemicals, which are components derived from oil and gas that are used in all sorts of daily products such as... 

Necsa hopeful that radioisotope production will restart soon

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th October 2018 South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) CEO Phumzile Tshelane told “Engineering News Online” on Thursday that it was hoped that production at its subsidiary NTP Radioisotopes would restart in the near future. Operations at NTP were shut down in June following a breach in safety... 

Necsa hopeful that radioisotope production will restart soon
Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media
Necsa’s Pelindaba complex, which includes its NTP operation

Davies to follow up on Saudi Arabia’s $10bn investment pledge

By: Simone Liedtke     1st October 2018 Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies will, this week, co-chair the eighth session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC), in Saudi Arabia, while simultaneously following up on Saudi Arabia’s $10-billion investment pledge to South Africa. This session of the JEC will... 

Solidarity says Sasol’s Khanyisa in breach of Mining Charter 3

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th September 2018 Trade union Solidarity is of the view that petrochemicals giant Sasol now finds itself on the wrong side of Mining Charter 3, which was gazetted this week. According to the charter, employees must share in company shareholding and all employees must benefit from employee share ownership plans.... 

Solidarity says Sasol’s Khanyisa in breach of Mining Charter 3

Ascendis launches new strategic focus, announces positive FY18 results 

By: Nadine James     25th September 2018 JSE-listed pharmaceutical company Ascendis Health on Tuesday announced a new strategic focus prioritising pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare. The company, which also reported on its results for the financial year ended June 30, plans to divest its biosciences businesses. 

Ascendis launches new strategic focus, announces positive FY18 results
CEO Thomas Thomsen discussing the company's new strategy and the need for divestment. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd

Sasol, Solidarity unable to reach agreement

By: Schalk Burger     19th September 2018 Trade union Solidarity and petrochemicals major Sasol were unable to reach an agreement during talks at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on Wednesday. Solidarity CE Dr Dirk Hermann said the mediation was deferred to get more clarity on the final Mining Charter’s... 

Rolfes to drive new products, regional footprint growth in FY19

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th September 2018 JSE-listed chemical specialist Rolfes Holdings has reported steady progress on strategic and foundational issues during the financial year ended June 30. It declared a final dividend of 4c apiece, maintaining full-year dividend guidance of 8c apiece.  

Rolfes to drive new products, regional footprint growth in FY19
Rolfes CEO Richard Buttle

In situ measurement of hydrogen made possible

14th September 2018 The reliable in situ measurement of hydrogen in multiple gas process streams is something that refinery and petrochemical plant process control engineers would like to have been able to do previously, but have never had the capability to, until this year. In a global first, Norwegian laser-based... 

In situ measurement of  hydrogen made possible
HYDROGEN ANALYSER Neo Monitors has developed a method of measuring hydrogen in situ – the LaserGas II SP H2

Aspen sells global nutritional business

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th September 2018 Pharmaceutical manufacturer and supplier Aspen has concluded an agreement to sell its global nutritional business to French-based multinational dairy corporation Lactalis Group for a fully funded cash consideration of €739.8-million, or about R12.9-billion. The company disclosed this during a... 

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