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Energy News

Sasol’s new strategy shuns GTL as specialty chemicals emerge as key growth driver

By: Terence Creamer     23rd November 2017 Chemicals and energy group Sasol is preparing to sell several assets, including its Canadian shale gas assets, following an overhaul of its corporate strategy, which eschews any further greenfield gas-to-liquids (GTL) investments in favour of smaller acquisitions and projects of between... 

Shell collaboration helps power London buses with coffee waste

By: Nica Schreuder     20th November 2017 International energy and petrochemicals group Shell, in partnership with London-based clean technology company bio-bean and UK biodiesel producer Argent Energy, is helping power some of London’s buses through a new coffee biodiesel project – launched on Monday – which uses a biofuel made partly... 

Sasol shareholders approve new R21bn BEE structure

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th November 2017 Sasol Khanyisa, a R21-billion broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) ownership structure, has been granted formal approval by Sasol shareholders. “We are delighted with this outcome as it marks a significant milestone in Sasol’s transformation journey. Sasol Khanyisa will be implemented... 

Maintenance programmes crucial for mine cost management

By: Robyn Wilkinson     17th November 2017 In challenging economic times, mining companies are looking to ‘sweat’ their assets, and a key cost management strategy in this endeavour is the implementation of sustainable cost management programmes with structured and proactive maintenance programmes, says mining, materials handling and... 

Maintenance  programmes crucial for mine cost management
UPGRADE AND IMPROVE TAKRAF Africa’s redesign of a bucket-wheel reclaimer features three bolted segments that enable maintenance to be carried out only on the worn parts of the bucket wheel

SNC-Lavalin signs multiyear agreement with Chevron

By: Anine Kilian     16th November 2017 Project management company SNC-Lavalin has inked a multiyear agreement with oil producer Chevron South Africa’s crude oil refinery in Cape Town, which will run until August 31, 2020.     As per the agreement, SNC-Lavalin’s scope of work includes the mechanical maintenance services of various... 

Decentralisation key to empowering energy consumers – WEC

By: Anine Kilian     16th November 2017 Digitisation and distributed energy resources are helping to facilitate a new trend of empowered consumers and, provided that governments and regulators allow for it, consumers can play a key role in the grand energy transition, a new report released by the World Energy Council (WEC) states.... 

Shell, AfriForum, TKAG to discuss Karoo fracking 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th November 2017 Shell South Africa country chairperson Hloniphizwe Mtolo will meet with civil rights and environmental protection organisations AfriForum and Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) to discuss environmental, legal and economic concerns over fracking. The groups received an official commitment from... 

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

By: Anine Kilian     14th November 2017 Trade union Solidarity has ranked South African Airways (SAA) as the most poorly managed State-owned enterprise (SOE) in the country. Speaking at the launch of its latest report ‘South African State Institutions and the Value for Tax Money’, on Wednesday, Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said SAA... 

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

Petrochemicals product supplier launches ball valve

     10th November 2017 Last month, multinational oil and gas product supplier Schlumberger announced the release of the GROVE IST integrated seat technology ball valve. The company, which has an Angolan office that services the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and... 

Student competition fosters innovative energy solutions

By: Nica Schreuder     10th November 2017 In a bid to allow South African engineering students to explore and understand energy efficiency and solutions, Gauteng-based tertiary institution the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has partnered with international energy and petrochemicals group Shell Global for the fourth time to host the... 

Student competition fosters innovative  energy solutions
ECO-MARATHON Fostering an energy efficient-conscious mind-set among students is the first step towards embracing energy efficiency

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right

By: Mia Breytenbach     10th November 2017 The Petroleum Agency of South Africa has granted integrated alternative and renewable-energy business Renergen’s Tetra4 subsidiary environmental authorisation for its Free State natural gas development. The authorisation, the processing of which has taken more than two years, with multiple rounds... 

Gas company secures onshore petroleum production right
PRODUCTION EXPANSION While Tetra4 already produces compressed natural gas, new expansions will include the liquefaction of the gas – the first in South Africa

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities  

By: Simone Liedtke     10th November 2017 A key focus point of the African Energy Indaba (AEI) – which celebrates its ten-year milestone next year – is to provide access to project opportunities across the African continent. 

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities
Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) MD Liz Hart, AEI chairperson Brian Statham and South African Electrotechnical Export Council CEO Chiboni Evans discuss the AEI next year. Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

400 emergency shutdown valves supplied to Oman petrochemicals project

     10th November 2017 Industrial product supplier Metso supplied 400 industry-leading Neles emergency shutdown (ESD) valves for an ethylene cracker as part of the new Liwa Plastics Industrial Complex (LPIC) project in Oman. The new complex will process light ends produced in State-owned oil company Oman Oil Refineries... 

400 emergency shutdown valves supplied to Oman petrochemicals project
SOHAR REFINERY Orpic is undertaking strategic growth projects including the Sohar Refinery Improvement Project and the Liwa Plastics Industrial Complex

Newly inaugurated PV microgrid to supply almost 50% of Robben Island’s electricity

By: Mia Breytenbach     3rd November 2017 Robben Island, a World Heritage Site has gone green with the installation of a R25-million solar energy, lithium-ion battery storage microgrid that will supply almost half of the island’s yearly electricity requirement. The Department of Tourism, together with the appointed engineering,... 

Newly inaugurated PV microgrid to supply almost 50% of Robben Island’s electricity
Photo by Duane Daws
LEON VILJOEN This system makes it the ideal solution, not only for the environment, but also from a business perspective

Global oil exploration dips to 60-year low

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st November 2017 With exploration activity waning, global oil and gas exploration has reached an historic low, according to the latest PwC Africa oil and gas review 2017, which highlights just three new major discoveries in Africa during 2016 and the first half of 2017, compared with 11 in 2015. In 2016, there... 

Global oil exploration dips to 60-year low

Renergen reports modest interim results

By: Anine Kilian     31st October 2017 JSE-listed alternative and renewable energy business Renergen’s revenue increased by 179% to R1.4-million in the half-year ended August 31, bolstered by a higher diesel price following a weaker rand and higher oil prices in the period under review. The company’s cost of sales increased by 381% to... 

Financial results exhibit value-based growth

     27th October 2017 In the 2017 financial year, energy and chemicals company Sasol’s results portrayed value-based growth on a robust foundation owing to a strong business performance across most of the value chain. 

Financial results exhibit value-based growth
STRONG PERFORMANCE The company’s strong cost performance was achieved by the sustainable delivery of its Business Performance Enhancement Programme and Response Plan

Company mitigates refinery industry challenges

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th October 2017 Amid the weak demand and low prices that have hampered strategic decision-making and stalled planning for the oil and gas industry globally, specialised engineering company RTS Africa Engineering says improved technologies facilitating the understanding of process variables allow for cautious... 

Company mitigates refinery industry challenges
MEASURING HYDROGEN The Hy-Optima 2700 series hydrogen analysers uses a solid-state, non-consumable sensor that is configured to operate in process gas streams

Pressure equipment for petrochem industry

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th October 2017 Gas equipment supplier Energas Technologies says it will be beneficial being a local distributor and service provider for Italy-based specialised equipment manufacturer VRV, to local refineries and petrochemicals companies in particular.  

Pressure equipment for petrochem industry
UNDER PRESSURE Energas' core focus is supplying systems and equipment for natural gas and petrochemical industries

Continued volatility impacts on energy and chemicals company

     27th October 2017 Continued volatility in the macroeconomic environment, particularly the stronger rand and low oil price, has adversely impacted energy and chemicals company Sasol’s financial performance, says Sasol CFO Paul Victor. 

Continued volatility  impacts on energy and  chemicals company
Photo by Bloomberg
RECORD PRODUCTION Sasol showed great resilience and character through delivering record production volumes at Secunda Synfuels

CTL beneficial as a synfuel

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th October 2017 Depending on market forces and subsequent regulations, coal-to-liquids (CTL) as a fuel alternative could be beneficial for the synfuels industry, especially for companies that diversify outside of conversion processes to include other capabilities, says synfuel company Synfuels Americas.  

CTL beneficial  as a synfuel
JUDD SWIFT The cost of cleaner resources and technology makes conversion unreasonable for developing economies

First synthetic Blue Crude plant to start operation in 2020

     27th October 2017 The mass production of the environment-friendly synthetic crude oil substitute Blue Crude will become a reality from 2020, says research and development company Sunfire.  

First synthetic Blue Crude plant to start operation in 2020
GOING BLUE Refineries can use Blue Crude as a raw material for waxes, and petrol, diesel, kerosene and even rocket fuel

Initiatives aim to reduce carbon footprint and production costs

By: Simone Liedtke     27th October 2017 Current initiatives in the global synthetic fuels (synfuels) industry are focussing on using coal feedstock more efficiently to reduce operational and capital costs of production, states chemicals process engineering company Holland and Hausberger CEO Dr Brendon Hausberger. 

Initiatives aim to  reduce carbon footprint and production costs
GENERAL PUBLIC PERCEPTION The general public perception is that coal is a dirty and undesirable environment-costly option

Sasol mitigates material matters issues in 2017

     27th October 2017 To mitigate material matters that could substantially affect its ability to create value in the short, medium or long term, as a result of not being able to execute its strategy and the impact thereof on its ability to stay competitive, petrochemicals giant Sasol has outlined a five-step process... 

Sasol mitigates material matters issues in 2017
MANAGING MATTERS Sasol reviews and monitors material matters through stakeholder inclusiveness always keeping a sustainability context in mind

Supplier prepares for maintenance shutdown

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th October 2017 Specialist valve, overpressure, combustion, pipeline, and product storage equipment supplier Heaton Valves Africa (HVA) is gearing up for petrochemicals giant Sasol’s major plant maintenance shutdown, planned for September next year in Secunda, Mpumalanga, which will also affect Sasol’s Sasolburg... 

Supplier prepares for maintenance shutdown
SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE Sasol’s Secunda plant shutdown every eight years gives many suppliers the opportunity to do maintenance and replacements

UCT’s business school to participate in UN programme research council

By: Mia Breytenbach     27th October 2017 The University of Cape Town’s (UCT’s) Graduate School of Business (GSB) has been named as one of nine leading universities to be part of a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to develop a research agenda that will better leverage private investment to finance the... 

Positive prospects for synfuels sector with focus on efficient maintenance

By: Simone Liedtke     27th October 2017 Welding and construction equipment-related supplier Renttech South Africa (SA) sees prospects for the synfuels industry improving, as the recent depressed period - owing to the decline globally in hydrocarbon fuel prices - has seen the petrochemicals industry focusing on efficient maintenance,... 

Positive prospects for synfuels sector with focus on efficient maintenance
TO GROW AND PROSPER The country needs to have an efficient, cost-competitive local petrochemicals industry

Oil prices still struggling but huge potential ahead for Africa

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2017 Experts from UK-based Standard Chartered Bank expect the oil price will remain in the $45/bl to $60/bl-plus range. “We are in a lower for a longer cycle,” Standard Chartered Bank global head of energy and natural resources Peter Gaw told delegates at the Africa Oil Week, in Cape Town. 

US Energy Secretary defends its stance on nuclear and clean coal

By: Kim Cloete     26th October 2017 US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has defended the US government’s suggested pivot towards clean coal and nuclear energy, saying nuclear and coal producers had been discriminated against in the Obama era. “Basically, we’re saying the government is going to be fair to nuclear and coal . . . no... 

US to strengthen energy partnerships in Africa, says US Energy Secretary

By: Kim Cloete     25th October 2017 US Energy Secretary Rick Perry says his government is committed to strengthening its energy partnerships with African countries, but has called for a clear and transparent regulatory environment. “There is no more important message that governing bodies can send to both the US government and the... 

US to strengthen energy partnerships in Africa, says US Energy Secretary
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry

Renergen secures onshore petroleum production right in South Africa; will locally produce LNG

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th October 2017 The Petroleum Agency of South Africa has granted integrated alternative and renewable energy business Renergen’s Tetra4 subsidiary environmental authorisation for its Free State natural gas development. The authorisation, the processing of which has taken more than two years and has involved... 

Renergen secures onshore petroleum production right in South Africa; will locally produce LNG
Renergen CEO Stefano Marani

New AfDB, OpenOil report shows gaps in extractive resources management

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th October 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Berlin-based financial analysis firm OpenOil are hoping to trigger a new debate within Africa’s oil and gas and mining sectors with the publication of a jointly produced report on how African governments use financial models to manage projects. In an effort... 

IDC will invest in infrastructure that unlocks industrialisation

By: Keith Campbell     20th October 2017 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), South Africa’s development finance institution which exists to fund entrepreneurs and projects in the industrial sector, also seeks to use investments in infrastructure to free up industrial development opportunities. This was highlighted by IDC... 

Local gas company trials diesel dual-fuel kits on long-haul trucks

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 As fleet operators increasingly aim to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce costs, natural gas company Tetra4, a subsidiary of JSE-listed energy company Renergen, has started trialling diesel dual-fuel (DDF) kits on two European brands of trucks to establish the advantages of natural gas as a fuel... 

Local gas company trials diesel dual-fuel kits on long-haul trucks
SAVINGS PURSUIT Indicative results can play a role in the development of an alternative cost-saving methodology for fleet owners and in pursuing and encouraging fleet optimisation

Empowered lubricants firm seeks to raise market share with blending plant investment

By: Irma Venter     20th October 2017 Blue Chip Lubricants (BCL) has completed the construction of a new blending plant in Johannesburg, which it hopes will help the company to secure a fifth of the lubricants market in South Africa. The company will be aided in this ambition by the sale of 51% of the business to black-owned firm... 

Renergen interim losses widen

By: Anine Kilian     17th October 2017 JSE-listed alternative energy company Renergen expects to report a loss a share and headline loss a share of between 19.85c and 22.39c for the six months ended August 31. This reflects a 56% to 76% widening on the 12.73c loss a share and headline loss a share for the first half of the prior... 

DA to report minister Brown to public protector and ethics committee over Eskom contract

By: African News Agency      16th October 2017 The Democratic Alliance (DA) will ask Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown for any role she played in awarding lucrative oil contracts worth R1.2-million from Eskom “to her lover and close business associate” despite their lack of expertise in... 

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