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Technology & Communications News

Offshore petrol association launched

By: System Author     4th June 1999 THE Offshore Petroleum Association of South Africa (known as Opasa) was officially launched last month in Cape Town. The Department of Minerals and Energy, and others interested in the upstream industry of South Africa, joined with companies involved in the offshore exploration and production of... 

Hi-tech quality-control system proves a wrap

By: System Author     4th June 1999 The accidental packaging of the wrong drug is a nightmare scenario for any company in the pharmaceutical industry. A new quality-control system at Hoechst Marion Roussel, of Silverton, Pretoria, however, is not only capable of detecting missing capsules or tablets, but also rejects items of the... 

New force in IT

By: System Author     4th June 1999 LOCAL telecom integration and networking company NetCom Solutions SA and emerging black company Thaluja Holdings have joined forces in what is likely to become one of South Africa’s foremost information technology (IT) and telecom organisations. Established by a group of entrepreneurs who... 

Time-to-market key for third cell bid

By: System Author     4th June 1999 THE rapid and efficient roll-out of network infrastructure will be crucial to the seamless introduction and success of a third cellular network operator in the South African market. This is the word from Siemens ICN Communication on Air president Lothar Pauly, whose company is extending its... 

Telecom injection for rural medical services

By: System Author     4th June 1999 South African medical services in rural areas will soon be getting a boost with the help of the latest telecom technology. The Department of Health (DOH) first ex-pressed an interest in telemedicine, as it is known, as early as December 1995, but has only now awarded a R10-million tender for... 

Switching system selected

By: System Author     4th June 1999 TELECOM firm Global One, the world-wide joint venture of Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Sprint, has selected a Newbridge/Siemens-developed ATM switching system for the development of the next stage of its world-wide backbone network. The MainStreetXpress multiservice switch is a key feature... 

Contract soon for e-billboards at Jhb stations

By: System Author     4th June 1999 The winner of a contract to erect electronic billboards at 40 Wits Metrorail stations in Johannesburg area will be announced this month. The billboards will improve on the existing system of communicating with passengers regarding train schedules. “The present system is a little clumsy and... 

Ticket machine contract

By: System Author     4th June 1999 A feature of Reunert Communication Systems’ (RCS) exhibit at Africa Rail ’99 will be its redevelopments of ticket-issuing machines. One of the activities of the company is the development, integration and maintenance of ticket-issuing devices, as well as communication networks for... 

New R167-million organic-acid plant

By: System Author     28th May 1999 THE considerable percentage of useful products in Sasol wastewater streams at Sasolburg, and especially Secunda, has also inspired creative initiatives to extract and upgrade some organic acids. A notable recent project was the design, construction and commissioning of Sasol Solvents’... 

New-generation catalysts developed

By: System Author     28th May 1999 New-generation catalysts, developed by Sasol scientists and process engineers for Fischer-Tropsch and downstrean chemical processes, have helped to improve production efficiencies, product yields and catayst production management systems, enabling operations to achieve cost savings and greater... 

Big order placed for distillation equipment

By: System Author     28th May 1999 To ensure the quality of its products, Sasol Solvents, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries (SCI), has ordered distillation equipment from Gauteng testing-equipment supplier Wirsam Scientific & Precision Equipment. The Herzog MP627 automatic distillation apparatus and the Herzog HFP364... 

Unified SA engineering body on the cards

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Companies and professions in South Africa have been bracing themselves against globalisation by consolidating and unifying, but our otherwise forward-thinking engineers seem to be a step behind. After 18 months, a steering committee charged with finding a method of unifying the profession has... 

Vehicle tracking gains interest

By: System Author     28th May 1999 LOCAL expertise in vehicle tracking and fleet management is making an international impact, with requests for a homegrown fleet management system flowing in from Germany, Australia, Eastern Europe, Russia and Francophone Africa. Siemens Mobile Networks in South Africa head Paul McKibbin says the... 

R40-million electrical contract secured

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Electrical and electronics company Standard Electrical Group has been awarded a R40-million electrical contract for the commercial re-development of Old Mutual’s Menlyn Park shopping centre in Pretoria. The Stantronic Group arm will reroute and install an entire high-tension reticulation... 

Technical-achievement award

By: System Author     28th May 1999 recipient of several major international awards for excellence in the field of innovating improved Fischer-Tropsch process technologies Sasol Technology has received yet another coveted technical-achievement award. This time the company clinched a Thomas Kuhn bronze candidate award at the 1998... 

Global interest in proprietary technology

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Worldwide interest in the commercial application of Fischer-Tropsch technology to monetise natural gas is at a high at the moment, said Sasol Technology (Sastech) manager: Fischer-Tropsch technology PR Heydenrich in a paper presented at the AIChe spring meeting held in Houston, Texas, in March.... 

International exhibition for Jhb

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Drives and controls are invaluable tools to industry because they act as a vital interface between the power supply and industrial processes, be they manufacturing or mining. Without them, industry simply could not function. With a market value of around R160 million, drives and controls are... 

VR mining training programme

By: System Author     28th May 1999 s a result of costly real-world training for trainee continuous-miner operators in underground mines, Sasol Mining Projects and Research Services has been able to co-develop an interactive training programme based on virtual reality (VR) technology. The programme was co-developed with hi-tech... 

Frothers and collectors developed for mining

By: System Author     28th May 1999 THE Sasol Mining Chemicals plant at Sasolburg manufactures a range of alcohol-based frothers and sodium dithiophosphate collectors from Sasol Chemical Industries (SCI) and imported feedstocks. The mining chemicals are used to recover copper ores, platinum and other platinum-group minerals such as... 

SA group wins R50m Australian order

By: System Author     28th May 1999 South African electronics giant Altech has received its single largest decoder order to date for the manufacture and supply of digital satellite decoders to Australia. The R50-million order has been placed on group company UEC Technologies of Durban, by Australian TV media company Foxtel. This is... 

R2,2bn projects

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Projects forming part of Sasol Synthetic Fuels’ (SSF) R2,2-billion capital-investment programme are on track with the R317-million, phase-two gas-expansion project at the SSF East site due for commissioning before December this year. The capital-investment programme is focused mainly on... 

Tank farm control system in final stages

By: System Author     28th May 1999 new control system supplied, engin- eered and installed by Honeywell Southern Africa, of Midrand, is in its final stages of commissioning at Sasol’s tank farm in Secunda, Mpumalanga. Known as an oil movement and storage system, the new controls will facilitate the automatic and optimised... 

Innovative engineering feats are promoted

By: System Author     28th May 1999 s part of a greater operational aim of optimising plant operations further to ensure suitable throughputs, optimum plant stability, reduced downtime and maintenance, Sasol Synthetic Fuels (SSF) has continued to promote innovative engineering thinking and practices. This trend, which has the... 

Marketing campaign initiated

By: System Author     28th May 1999 A MEMBER of the SMX group of companies, Sasol Mining Initiators (SMI) has embarked on a full-scale marketing programme for its revolutionary new electronic initiator system (see page 24). The core of the system is the state-of-the-art SMI*IN*IT microchip technology used to initiate a unique... 

Sulphur plant dehumidifying a success

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Following the dehumidifying of Sasol Synthetic Fuels’ (SSF) sulphur plant in Secunda, Mpumalanga, by moisture-control firm Munters, of Edenvale, Gauteng, the company was for the first time able to draw up its own timetable for maintenance of its sulphur plant irrespective of weather... 

Nigerian project is well on track

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Front-end engineering of the natural-gas-to- liquid-fuels joint venture between Sasol and Chevron in Nigeria is expected to start as early as the third quarter of this year following the completion of the feasibility study in March, reports Sasol Synfuels International (SSI) business development... 

Prestigious tech earns awards

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Sasol has developed and commercialised the Sasol Advanced Synthol (Sas) process for converting synthesis gas into petrol and light olefins. This process can be used to manufacture liquid fuels and chemicals from natural gas in a manner similar to the Sasol slurry-phase distillate process. This... 

R14bn, five-year capex spend

By: System Author     28th May 1999 With plans to invest an estimated R14-billion over the next five financial years in significant capital-investment projects, Sasol is continuing its focus on the production and marketing of higher-value chemicals, reports communications manager Alfonso Niemand. During the 1996, 1997 and 1998... 

Stray-current damage combated

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Gauteng firm Westward Electric has embarked on an exercise with Sasol Synthetic Fuels to monitor the company’s rotating machines on all electrical equipment in the gas circuit, air-separation and oxygen plants, reports technical director Sherwin Jerrier. The company will assist the... 

Petchem giant seeks to defy muted market

By: System Author     28th May 1999 How did the group’s performance in 1998 compare to that of 1997, and which factors influenced this performance? In the light of the low to lacklustre international prices for crude oil and many chemicals, the group performed well during its 1998 financial year to June last year compared... 

Synfuel expansion project up in the air

By: System Author     28th May 1999 South African synthetic fuels and petrochemicals giant Sasol has announced that its proposed multibillion-rand Sky High expansion project has been put on hold for at least the next two to three years. As a result of the dramatic plunge in the price of crude oil, fuel and chemicals, in conjunction... 

New foreign investment trend noted in SA

By: System Author     28th May 1999 A new trend in foreign investment has been noted by Investment South Africa (ISA), which sees good-quality investments by world-leading companies that could help speed up South Africa’s globalisation process. “These multinational corporations are socially-responsible corporations that... 

R1,2bn IT outsourcing

By: System Author     28th May 1999 An agreement valued at about R1,2-billion for the purchase of the assets and goodwill of Sasol’s information technology (IT) division has been signed with Q Data Consulting, the professional services division of PQ Africa. This comprehensive outsourcing agreement, which will span ten years,... 

IT upgrade for local transport company

By: System Author     28th May 1999 ROAD transport company Cargo Carriers has installed an end-to-end networking solution comprising a 3Com wide-area network (Wan) and local area networks (Lans). The installation, which is already yielding substantial operational benefits, forms an integral part of Cargo’s multi-million rand... 

Software giant forges greater alliance

By: System Author     28th May 1999 SOFTWARE company Systems Applications and Products (SAP) Southern Africa (SA) has forged closer relationships with two leading SAP R/3 consulting and implementation houses as part of a programme to ensure customer access to the best implementation skills available. Deloitte Consulting and... 

One privatisation a month

By: System Author     28th May 1999 What could amount to a ‘privatisation a month’ is on the cards for R24-billion-a-year transport parastatal Transnet. Deputy MD Mafika Mkwanazi reports that for the rest of this calendar year, Transnet plans to make a series of announcements involving partial privatisations,... 

SAB plc news blackout hits Engineering News

By: System Author     28th May 1999 Is the South African media facing a news blackout from companies which have decided to move their primary listings from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to London? This fear surfaced when South African Breweries (SAB plc) refused to answer any Engineering News questions, citing its London listing... 

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