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Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals News

Seeing opportunity beyond immediate skills threat

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2007 Possibly more than any other South African company, Sasol, which has been built on the unique application of science and technology, is reliant on having the right skills at the right place and at the right time. 

Chemicals enabling capture of full FT value

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2007 Despite a fall-off in the percentage contribution from Sasol's chemicals businesses to group turnover and earnings over the last few years as the synfuels business rides high on strong oil prices, the head of the group's chemicals cluster insists that the twin fuels and chemicals strategy remains... 

At what cost, lower prices?

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2007 In recent years, much ink has been spilt (this publication being no exception) over the potential employment benefits that could flow from more competitively-priced basic materials, particularly carbon steel. 

Packaging group mulling other rigid-plastics prospects following R90m investment

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2007 Leading business personality Cyril Ramaphosa - who some still believe could make a late entry into the increasingly fraught contest for leadership of the African National Congress - might have described himself as a "failed politician" at a Mondi Packaging South Africa (MPSA) factory... 

Fire-damaged facility recommissioned, upgraded

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     5th October 2007 Resin manufacturer Rolfes Chemicals have invested about R1,5-million in computer software, the company announced at the re-commissioning of its chemicals plant in Alberton, in Gauteng, last week. 

Lonrho buys stakes in Zimbabwe telecoms, chemicals firms

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     2nd October 2007 African investment firm Lonrho has acquired an 80% stake in offshore company Blueberry International Services for $5,45-million in cash.  

Sasol opens chemical-solvents sales office in China

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th September 2007 Petrochemicals giant Sasol on Wednesday announced that it had opened an office in Shanghai to market its chemical solvents in the country. 

Sasol chief travels with SA delegation to China

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th September 2007 Synthetic fuels producer Sasol CEO Pat Davies has accompanied South Africa�s Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on her visit to China, Engineering News Online has learnt. 

'Failed politician' Ramaphosa stresses social dimension of R90m packaging investment

By: Terence Creamer     25th September 2007 Leading business personality Cyril Ramaphosa - who some still believe could make a late entry into the increasingly fraught contest for leadership of the African National Congress - might have described himself as a "failed politician" at a Mondi Packaging South Africa (MPSA) factory... 

Rolfes boosts earnings 62%, still acquisitive

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     19th September 2007 AltX-listed manufacturing and technology company Rolfes Technology Holdings reported an operating profit of R30,6-million for the year ended June, which is a 42% increase from the previous year. 

Sasol says gas-to-liquids problem 'solved', but project cost to rise by $50m 

By: Terence Creamer     10th September 2007 South African energy group Sasol claims to have substantially overcome the technical problems afflicting its high-profile Oryx gas-to-liquids (GTL) joint venture, in Qatar, success at which is viewed as vital to proving a technology that could offer a serious alternative transport-fuel source. 

Sasol considers Free State, Waterberg sites for new coal-to-liquids plant  

By: Mariaan Webb     10th September 2007 Sasol's proposed new coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant, which would significantly increase much-needed inland refining capacity in South Africa, would either be built in the Free State or in the Waterberg, in Limpopo, executive director Benny Mokaba confirmed on Monday.  

Business wants industrial policy implementation to be accelerated

By: Terence Creamer     3rd September 2007 The South African business community is displaying none of the reticence partially attributed to it in reports following the release, by Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa, of the National Industrial Policy Framework (NIPF) in early August, and would, in fact, like to see its... 

Omnia buys chemicals firm Zetachem for R206m

16th August 2007 Specialist chemicals services group Omnia has acquired Zetachem, which supplies speciality chemicals and chemical management systems to the water treatment and pulp and paper industries, for R206-million in cash. 

AECI in talks with several potential partners for speciality fibres unit

By: Mariaan Webb     3rd August 2007 South African chemicals firm AECI was in talks with 'a number' of interested parties to find strategic partners, or owners, to add value to all or part of its speciality fibres business Sans Fibres. 

Black economic empowerment gaining pace, survey shows

By: Matthew Hill     2nd August 2007 Local auditing firm KPMG said on Thursday that 90% of the companies in its 2007 black economic empowerment (BEE) survey had an empowerment strategy in place, 10% up from last years figures, but there were still obstacles preventing economic gains flowing through to the vast black majority. 

Mbeki identifies scaled-up local manufacture as top priority

By: Terence Creamer     29th July 2007 Large-scale value-added local manufacture had been identified as a top priority for the next two years, the President Thabo Mbeki said on Sunday, in his report back to the media on the outcomes of the mid-year Cabinet Lekgotla.He also revealed that embattled Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi... 

Industrial chemicals workers agree to 8% pay hike

By: Nelendhre Moodley     27th July 2007 A wage agreement by trade union Solidarity and the South African Chemical Workers Union (SACWU), and employers in in the industrial chemicals sector, on Friday averted a possible strike, the unions said. 

Empowered chemicals firm targets 30% efficiency improvement

By: Nelendhre Moodley     27th July 2007 South African chemical company Safripol expects to increase efficiency in the short term by some 25% to 30%, with "small investments" to decrease bottlenecking and improve technology, Safripol CE Joaquin Schoch said on Thursday afternoon.  

Sasol under pressure as it confirms 'prolonged' gas-to-liquids ramp-up

By: Terence Creamer     26th July 2007 Petrochemicals group Sasol confirmed on Thursday that its “back-up solution” for its underperforming Oryx gas-to-liquids (GTL) joint venture, in Qatar, was likely to take until the middle of 2008 to develop, but stressed in a newsletter that “these events are not expected to... 

Sasol boosts 3yr capex plans to R65bn

By: Mariaan Webb     26th July 2007 Petrochemicals company Sasol is stepping up its capital expenditure programme, with some R65-billion earmarked for expanding and enhancing its operations. Capex amounted to R12-billion in the 2007 financial year, which was R2-billion lower than forecasts, but the company planned to more than... 

Workers in the glass manufacturing sector threaten strike

By: Nelendhre Moodley     26th July 2007 Following a wage negotiation deadlock between workers in the glass sector and employers on Tuesday, a strike certificate was issued to employers in the glass sector of the chemical industry on Wednesday afternoon. 

Chemicals firms, unions in last-ditch talks to avert strike

By: Nelendhre Moodley     24th July 2007 Wage negotiations, between the industrial chemicals sector and employee representatives, on Wednesday will determine whether industrial strike action would follow early next week, trade union Solidarity spokesperson Jaco Kleynhans said. 

AECI in talks with potential partners for speciality fibres unit

By: Mariaan Webb     24th July 2007 South African chemicals firm AECI was in talks with "a number" of interested parties to find strategic partners, or owners, to add value to all or part of its speciality-fibres business Sans Fibres, it said on Tuesday.  

AECI interim headline earnings 34% lower

By: Mariaan Webb     24th July 2007 Chemicals and explosives firm AECI's headline earnings a share fell by 131c a share in the first six months of the year to 247c a share, when compared with the same period last year when the disposal of Cape Town property boosted earnings by some 200c a share, it said on Tuesday.  

Construction, infrastructure-linked firms in BEE group�s

By: Olivia Soraya Spadavecchia     20th July 2007 Empowerment equity investor Safika Investments has acquired a 26% stake in chemicals distributor Chemimpo South Africa. 

Chemicals sector workers threaten strike next week

18th July 2007 Workers in the chemicals industry may down tools next week, after final talks between employers and unions deadlocked on Wednesday, trade union Solidarity said in an emailed statement. 

AECI sells coatings unit Dulux for R745m

By: Matthew Hill     17th July 2007 Speciality chemicals group AECI has agreed to sell its paint business, Dulux, to British Imperial Chemical Industries, which already owns the coatings brand outside Southern Africa and Australia, for R745-million in cash, the JSE-listed firm said on Tuesday.  

Unions may accept revised 8% wage offer, avert petrochemicals sector strike

By: Mariaan Webb     17th July 2007 Petroleum companies in the chemicals industry had provisionally raised its wage offer to 8%, from an initial offer of 7%, trade union Solidarity said on Tuesday.  

Chemicals and petroleum workers in last-ditch wage talks with employers

By: Mariaan Webb     16th July 2007 Trade union Solidarity said it would consider "any improved" offer from employers in the chemicals sector, but reiterated that its members would down tools if a settlement could not be reached at Monday's meeting. 

Fuel pipelines regulations released for comment

By: Creamer Media Reporter      6th July 2007 South Africa’s Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) said on Friday that government had in June gazetted the draft petroleum pipelines regulations for public comment.  

AECI H1 headline earnings to fall 30%

By: Mariaan Webb     29th June 2007 South African chemicals and explosives firm AECI expects its interim headline earnings and attributable earnings to fall by 30% and 38% respectively.  

SA chemicals, petrochemicals firms face strike

By: Nelendhre Moodley     28th June 2007 Strike action in the chemicals and petroleum sector seems imminent after employers and workers failed to reach a wage agreement this week, trade union Solidarity said on Thursday. 

Sasol closes US, Italian plants in O&S unit restructuring

By: Mariaan Webb     28th June 2007 South African petrochemicals firm Sasol has started the restructuring of its Olefins & Surfactants (O&S) business by closing its head office in Germany and consolidating its linear alkyl benzene (Lab) production plants, the company said on Thursday. It would shut its Lab plants, which... 

Chemicals cracker plant needed to stimulate local sector

By: Nelendhre Moodley     27th June 2007 For South Africa to propel growth in the chemicals sector and establish a balance between chemicals imports and exports, the construction of a cracker plant in the country would be a key step, a Sasol�s research and development manager for chemical technologies Desmond Young said on Wednesday. 

Sasol '07 headline earnings could rise 10%

By: Mariaan Webb     25th June 2007 Petrochemicals company Sasol expects its headline earnings a share to increase by between 5% and 10%, and attributable earnings a share to jump by between 55% and 65% for the 2007 financial year. 

Surging agriculture, mining demand bolsters Omnia outlook

By: Matthew Hill     20th June 2007 South Africa's biggest fertiliser manufacturer Omnia said on Wednesday that it expected demand for the fertiliser, mining explosives and chemicals that it supplied to grow exponentially, as the world's grain stocks were the lowest in decades, and companies scrambled for minerals in the... 

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