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Jubail petrochemicals complex, Saudi Arabia

By: Sheila Barradas     12th October 2018 The joint development agreement of the front-end engineering and design for the complex has been signed.  

Jizzakh refinery, Uzbekistan

By: Sheila Barradas     12th October 2018 Jizzakh Petroleum plans to build five-million-ton-a-year crude oil refinery to produce clean-burning gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. 

China swoops in on Canadian oil that's $50 below US crude

By: Bloomberg     11th October 2018 Chinese oil buyers are making a beeline for a bargain across the Pacific. With Canadian oil over 60% cheaper than US benchmark West Texas Intermediate and global marker Brent, China’s refiners are being lured to the heavy, sludgy crude. That’s because – apart from being a source of fuel – it’s... 

First Cobalt eyes restart of Canadian refinery

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th October 2018 Dual-listed First Cobalt has undertaken three independent studies to assess restarting its refinery in Ontario, Canada. The First Cobalt refinery was commissioned in 1996, and has a nominal throughput capacity of between 12 t/d and 24 t/d. 

Mt Peake gets Native Title Agreement

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th October 2018 ASX-listed TNG has signed Native Title Agreement for its Mount Peake vanadium/titanium/iron project, in the Northern Territory. The agreement was struck with the Central Land Council and the Eynewantheyne Aboriginal Corporation, the body corporate for the native title holders of the land. 

Commission recommends tribunal approve RPM buyout of Mototolo

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th October 2018 The Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that it approve Rustenburg Platinum Mines’ (RPM’s) acquisition of the Mototolo Joint Venture (Mototolo JV) and the movable assets of the Mototolo chrome recovery circuit. The commission found that the proposed transaction... 

Hydro CEO says focus on full output at Alunorte, no layoffs

By: Reuters     10th October 2018 Norway's Norsk Hydro is focused on a return to full output at its Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil and is not contemplating layoffs there, CEO Svein Richard Brandtzaeg told Reuters on Wednesday. Hydro had said last week it would close down the world's largest alumina refinery and lay off 4... 

RioZim to sue central bank over dollar payments

By: Reuters     9th October 2018 Zimbabwe's gold miner RioZim on Tuesday said it would take legal action to force the central bank to pay it in US dollars for part of its output, signalling impatience by mining companies over acute dollar shortages afflicting the economy. The shortages have worsened since 2016 and are the... 

Hydro restarts Brazil alumina refinery at half capacity

By: Mariaan Webb     8th October 2018 Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro will restart its Alunorte alumina refinery, in Brazil, at 50% capacity, following approval by federal environmental agency IBAMA to use its press filter technology for processing bauxite residues. The “exceptional” authorisation, which was granted on... 

Nene's involvement with son's business dealings questioned

By: News24Wire      5th October 2018 Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has been pulled into the orbit of a questionable investment by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) in Mozambique, after it emerged that a business partner of his son scored millions of rand in the deal.  The Mail & Guardian and amaBhungane reported on Friday... 

Brazil authorities question Hydro move to halt Alunorte operations

By: Reuters     5th October 2018 The Brazilian state of Para on Thursday said it was surprised when Norsk Hydro decided a day earlier to halt operations at Alunorte, the world's largest alumina refinery, and asked for a report explaining the decision. Brazilian regulators in February ordered Hydro to slash output by half at the... 

Hydro shuts Brazil alumina refinery and bauxite mine

By: Mariaan Webb     3rd October 2018 Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro on Wednesday announced that it would shut down its Alunorte alumina refinery and its Paragominas bauxite mine, in Brazil, owing to a dispute with authorities over water discharges from the refinery. The refinery – the world’s largest alumina producer – has... 

Mini-refineries race billionaire to fix Nigerian fuel crisis

By: Bloomberg     2nd October 2018 In the race to solve a fuel-import crisis in Nigeria, Africa’s richest person faces competition from a swarm of tiny challengers. Billionaire Aliko Dangote is building a 650 000 barrel-a-day refinery in Nigeria that will help cut the nation’s $7-billion annual fuel-import bill. Such is the... 

Lynas calls for transparency in rumored Malaysia review

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd October 2018 Mineral sands miner Lynas has written an open letter to the Malaysian government calling for transparency and fairness in a potential review of the company’s plant. Local media reports in Malaysia have been speculating about a review of the Lynas refinery, with a long-time anti-Lynas campaigner... 

Engen Refinery Emergency Exercise

28th September 2018 Engen Refinery places the highest premium on safety and carries out regular emergency response exercises to test and perfect preparedness for dealing with incidents that could potentially put people at risk. As such, plant personnel supported by emergency services conducted a major simulated... 

Glencore backs $1bn acquisition of Chevron South Africa by black-owned consortium

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2018 Black economic empowerment (BEE) consortium Off The Shelf Investments (OTS) confirmed on Friday that it had acquired Chevron South Africa (CSA) in a deal valued at $1-billion and financed by its technical and financial adviser, Glencore. CSA, which owns the Chevron refinery in Cape Town and the... 

Albemarle eyes future as pure-play lithium market leader

By: Reuters     28th September 2018 Albemarle Corp, the world's largest lithium producer, aims to eventually end its dependence on two smaller units to fund growth as global appetite surges for electric-powered vehicles and consumer goods, its chief executive said in an interview. Tesla and other automakers have helped make... 

Post-Mugabe policies raising expectations for Zim platinum-sector growth

By: Nadine James     28th September 2018 Amid Zimbabwe’s policy changes after former President Robert Mugabe’s removal in November 2017 and the subsequent air of expectation, the country’s platinum sector is poised for positive growth, if not for the challenges presented by the depressed global platinum market.  The Zimbabwe Geological... 

Local strides to hydrogen economy tempered by cost, industrialisation questions

By: Schalk Burger     27th September 2018 The use of platinum group metals-based fuel cells in electricity and mobility applications is expected to provide ample commercial opportunities for South Africa, in line with worldwide trends to decarbonise electricity generation and transport. However, the high cost of these technologies,... 

Base case confirms Gabanintha vanadium project fundamentals

By: Mariaan Webb     26th September 2018 An initial base case for the Gabanintha vanadium project, in the Murchison province of Western Australia, has indicated robust economics, with a net present value (NPV) ranging between $191-million and $2.37-billion, depending on pricing assumption. The upper-end of the NPV range is estimated at... 

Rare earth miner Lynas to face review in Malaysia - media

By: Reuters     24th September 2018 Australia-listed rare earths miner Lynas Corp said on Monday that reports an opponent of its refinery in Malaysia will head a government review of the plant "raise concerns", as its shares lost nearly a quarter of their value. Lynas is the only major miner outside China of the metallic elements,... 

On-The-Air (21/09/2018) 

By: Martin Creamer     21st September 2018 Japan is forecasting a massive market for fuel cells that use South African platinum; South African company Isondo this week reported that it is at the ready to produce fuel cell components locally; and Global commentators this week called on resource-rich African countries to use their wonderful... 

CNN-flighted advert projecting huge growth for platinum-using fuel cells

By: Martin Creamer     18th September 2018 French company Air Liquide, a member of the Davos-launched Hydrogen Council that includes platinum-mining company Anglo American, is currently flighting an advertisement on the global television network CNN, which forecasts exceptional growth for the hydrogen and fuel cell market. Quoting the... 

Engen operations in nine African countries transfer to Vivo Energy in March 2019

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th September 2018 Oil company Engen Holdings’ operations in nine sub-Saharan African countries will be transferred to JSE-listed downstream petroleum company Vivo Energy on March 1, 2019. The $203.9-million transaction will see Vivo’s retail service station network expand from 15 to 23 countries in Africa,... 

Kidman and SQM ‘firmly committed’ to WA lithium venture

By: Mariaan Webb     17th September 2018 Joint venture (JV) partners Kidman Resources and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM) have confirmed their commitment to the Mt Holland lithium project, in Western Australia, despite a recommendation that Kidman’s request to be exempt from minimum expenditure obligations over certain... 

Nexa says to invest $1.17bn in Peru, Brazil in five years

By: Reuters     17th September 2018 Brazilian mining company Nexa Resources plans to invest some $1.17-billion in copper and zinc projects in Peru and Brazil over the next five years, the company's general manager Ricardo Porta said on Friday. About $816-million will be invested in Peru, including $555-million in copper projects... 

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... 

Tribunal approves OTS’s acquisition of controlling share of Chevron South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     13th September 2018 The Competition Tribunal on Thursday approved, with conditions, the proposed merger between Off The Shelf Investments 56 (OTS) and Chevron South Africa (CSA). The approval follows after the tribunal heard the second bid to acquire the controlling 75% stake in CSA and after receiving a minor... 

Ghana on hook for $2bn China deal if bauxite plan stalls

By: Bloomberg     10th September 2018 Ghana will have to use alternative sources to pay back China’s Sinohydro Corp. for $2-billion in infrastructure if the revenue from an earmarked bauxite project is insufficient to meet installments. Sinohydro agreed to a deal with the West African nation in May to build bridges, roads, hospitals... 

Engen support advances rapid growth of David Swartz Engineering Services

7th September 2018 Petroleum giant’s Enterprise & Supplier Development fund provides an encouraging stimulus for a South Durban engineering firm. David Swartz grew up hard in the Durban township of Wentworth, where opportunities were scarce. His dreams of becoming an architect, thwarted by the modest financial... 

Engen support advances rapid growth of David Swartz Engineering Services

7th September 2018 Petroleum giant’s Enterprise & Supplier Development fund provides an encouraging stimulus for a South Durban engineering firm. David Swartz grew up hard in the Durban township of Wentworth, where opportunities were scarce. His dreams of becoming an architect, thwarted by the modest financial... 

Welding company embarks on massive expansion

7th September 2018 Secunda-based welding company Hydra Arc – ISO 3834 certified by the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) Certification has grown into a leading South African specialised welder that provides services for Southern Africa’s petrochemicals, power, mining and minerals processing industries.... 

S African refineries pulled in two

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     7th September 2018 Local oil refineries will find it difficult to adjust to the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO’s) new sulphur cap of 0.5% by 2020 for residual marine fuels, and the Clean Fuels Two Programme in South Africa, says South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) head of strategic... 

Significant growth expected in flame arrestor market

7th September 2018 The global flame arrestors market is estimated to be $713.8-million in 2018 and is projected to reach $924.7-million by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 5.31%, according to research company Research and Markets. In their report titled ‘Flame Arrestors Market by Type (In-Line and... 

New oil refinery for Uzbekistan

7th September 2018 Jizzakh Petroleum, a joint venture of Uzbekistan’s State-owned Uzbekneftegaz and Russian oil exploration company Gazprom International’s subsidiary Gas Project Development Central Asia will use American multinational conglomerate Honeywell Universal Oil Products (UOP) technologies to build a new... 

New partnership offers turnkey STO solutions

7th September 2018 At Marcus Evans' tenth annual Chemical/Petrochemical and Refinery Shutdowns and Turnarounds Event in San Antonio, Texas, in May, US-based business management consultant KAP Project Services and US-based industrial workforce management company Mobideo Technologies announced a strategic partnership... 

Two new refineries in the works for Nigeria

7th September 2018 As part of its refinery collocation initiative designed to boost local refining capacity to end the era of petroleum products importation, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has hinted of plans to establish a 100 000 bbl/d brownfield refinery in both Port Harcourt and Warri in... 

Norsk Hydro working to convince Brazil to resume full output at Alunorte refinery

By: Reuters     6th September 2018 Norsk Hydro is working to convince Brazilian authorities to allow it to resume full output at its Alunorte plant, the world's biggest alumina refinery, following two deals pledging social and environmental action, a top executive said. The deals, signed late on Wednesday in Brazil, were "an... 

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