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Chemicals News

Unit at Sasol’s Lake Charles plant remains shut after fire

By: Bloomberg     21st January 2020 Sasol is still assessing the damage from an explosion and fire at its Lake Charles plant in Louisiana a week after the incident. The explosion at the low-density polyethylene unit at Lake Charles on January 13 could be heard across southwest Louisiana and blew the hurricane doors off a fire... 

Anglo set to make low carbon fertiliser contribution 

By: Martin Creamer     20th January 2020 The polyhalite-based Poly4 product that Anglo American will market if its bid for Sirius Minerals is successful emits significantly less carbon dioxide (CO2) per tonne relative to both of the other two main fertiliser products.. Poly4 emits 93% less CO2 than the more elaborate processing of... 

Anglo set to make low carbon fertiliser contribution
Photo by Creamer Media
Duncan Wanblad

Fire, explosion latest setback for Sasol’s LCCP 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th January 2020 Integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol on Tuesday confirmed that there had been an explosion and fire at the low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit at its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), in the US. The company said the fire had been extinguished and that all employees and contractors... 

Regional deals to drive merger activity in chemicals sector globally – AT Kearney

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th December 2019 Most chemical industry executives believe global chemicals merger and acquisition (M&A) activity will continue to increase or stay at high levels, as a global trend of coping with challenging economic conditions. Management consultancy AT Kearney in its latest ‘Chemicals Executive M&A’ report... 

France allows cyanide processing at gold mine in French Guiana

By: Creamer Media Reporter      4th December 2019 The French government has authorised the start-up of a cyanide processing plant at a gold mine west of Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana, a decision that TSX-listed Columbus Gold hailed as a “very positive” development. “This development is a major step and a clear message that the French... 

Urgent calls for reform as South Africa’s GDP contracts 0.6% in third quarter  

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd December 2019 South Africa’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.6% in the third quarter. However, on a year-on-year basis, the economy grew by 0.1%, Statistics South Africa statistician-general Risenga Maluleke told media on Tuesday. Previously, Stats SA had revealed that the GDP, in the first quarter of... 

Urgent calls for reform as South Africa’s GDP contracts 0.6% in third quarter
Statistician-general Risenga Maluleke

Sasol scores ‘own goal’ as climate pressure mounts in South Africa

By: Bloomberg     29th November 2019 Sasol, South Africa’s second-biggest polluter, angered some of its investors by refusing to put a resolution on its response to climate change to shareholders and could face legal challenges if it continues to refuse votes on the issue. Sasol dismissed a request by some investors, including Old... 

Sasol pledges climate action

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2019 Sasol, South Africa’s second-biggest producer of greenhouse gases after State-owned Eskom Holdings, pledged more clarity on plans to reduce its impact on the environment. The company, which together with Eskom also produces pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions, said its... 

Climate risk widely acknowledged, but rarely incorporated into strategy  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2019 The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) says that although the majority of South African corporate companies recognise climate change as an already occurring and imminently worsening risk, they are slow to mitigate and manage these risks, at least according to publicly accessible information.... 

Sasol warns of lower interim earnings

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th November 2019 JSE- and NYSE-listed Sasol expects its headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end December 31, to be at least 20%, or R4.65, lower than the HEPS of R23.25 reported for the six months ended December 31, 2018. The company on Monday said its earnings per share (EPS) should be about... 

R400m deal furthers dream of supporting fleet of local vessels

By: Tracy Hancock     22nd November 2019 Mnambithi Group subsidiary Nduna Maritime and petrochemicals company Sasol have entered into a R400-million enterprise and supplier development funding agreement for South Africa’s first locally owned maritime vessel. The landmark event boosts South Africa’s maritime capabilities edging it closer... 

R400m deal furthers dream of supporting fleet of local vessels
ALL HANDS ON DECK South Africa’s rapidly expanding offshore oil and gas activities require a supporting fleet of vessels

Clariant presents study on efficiency of chemical collectors for metallurgical recovery

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th November 2019 Africa is home to an abundance of natural resources, including platinum, copper, iron, diamonds, silver, gold and uranium; however, mining and processing these resources can be challenging for operators on the continent looking to run efficient mines. International specialty chemicals company... 

Sasol, Enaex conclude negotiations to establish explosives JV

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th November 2019 Integrated energy and chemicals company Sasol and Enaex, a subsidiary of the Sigdo Koppers Group, have concluded negotiations to establish a joint venture. The companies will file an application with the South African Competition Commission to seek approval for the merger. 

Sasol mulling several gas supply options as it seeks to reduce carbon footprint   

By: Terence Creamer     28th October 2019 Chemicals and energy group Sasol is investigating several gas-supply alternatives for its coal-heavy South African operations as it seeks ways to reduce its carbon footprint. The JSE-listed group is simultaneously working on a ‘sustainability roadmap’, which will have a strong focus on lowering... 

Sasol mulling several gas supply options as it seeks to reduce carbon footprint
Chemicals and energy group Sasol is investigating several gas-supply alternatives for its coal-heavy South African operations as it seeks ways to reduce its carbon footprint. The JSE-listed group is simultaneously working on a ‘sustainability roadmap’, which will have a strong focus on lowering its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Video and editing: Darlene Creamer 28.10.2019

Sasol seeks to use leadership ‘reset’ to rebuild trust in wake of damning LCCP review  

By: Terence Creamer     28th October 2019 Sasol CEO-designate Fleetwood Grobler insists that he is “realistic” about the challenges still confronting the chemicals and energy group, which parted ways with its previous joint CEOs on Monday, following a damning board review of cost and schedule overruns at the giant Lake Charles Chemicals... 

Sasol seeks to use leadership ‘reset’ to rebuild trust in wake of damning LCCP review
Sasol CEO-designate Fleetwood Grobler insists that he is “realistic” about the challenges still confronting the chemicals and energy group, which parted ways with its previous joint CEOs on Monday, following a damning board review of cost and schedule overruns at the giant Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), in Louisiana, in the US. Video and editing: Darlene Creamer 28.10.2019

Sasol's joint CEOs to step down following US project glitch

By: Reuters     28th October 2019 South African petrochemicals group Sasol said on Monday its joint chief executives, Bongani Nqwababa and Stephen Cornell, will step down following a review of its Lake Charles Chemicals project (LCCP), which has been hit by delays and rising costs. Sasol said both CEOs, who have not been found to... 

Sasol's joint CEOs to step down following US project glitch
Sasol's new CEO Fleetwood Grobler

Sasol provides R400m in financing for first South African-owned chemical tanker

By: Shirley le Guern     9th October 2019 Integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol has provided R400-million to finance the acquisition of the first South African-owned chemical tanker, the Bow Cecil, by empowered entity, Nduna Maritime. Speaking after the 37 000 dwt vessel, which is equipped with 47 tanks, docked in Durban harbour... 

Sasol provides R400m in financing for first South African-owned chemical tanker
The Bow Cecil tanker

Sasol is said to plan sale of its South African coal mining unit

By: Bloomberg     18th September 2019 Sasol is planning to sell its South African coal-mining business, according to people familiar with the matter. The company will begin a formal sales process in the coming weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public yet. The mining business had turnover... 

Sasol is said to plan sale of its South African coal mining unit

Sasol investors suggest co-CEO Cornell leave after Lake Charles costs surge 

By: Bloomberg     30th August 2019 Sasol has been asked by some of the country’s biggest fund managers to consider executive changes including ousting Stephen Cornell, one of two CEOs, over cost overruns at a flagship project, according to people familiar with the matter. The money managers began meeting with Sasol’s board and... 

Sasol investors suggest co-CEO Cornell leave after Lake Charles costs surge
Photo by Bloomberg
Sasol co-CEOs Stephen Cornell and Bongani Nqwababa

Sasol's Louisiana ethane cracker reaches beneficial operation

By: Creamer Media Reporter      28th August 2019 Chemicals and petrochemicals group Sasol says its world-scale ethane cracker – the heart of its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), in Louisiana, in the US – has reached beneficial operation. The ethane cracker is the third and most significant of the seven LCCP facilities to come on line and... 

Sasol lowers LCCP Ebitda guidance, but says no further increases in capital cost

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th August 2019 JSE- and NYSE-listed petrochemicals giant Sasol has resolved an issue related to a large heat exchanger on its ethane cracker at the Lake Charles Chemicals Project, in Louisiana, in the US. On August 16, Sasol announced that the problem had interrupted the ethane cracker operation for several... 

Omnia appoints Seelan Gobalsamy as its new CEO

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd August 2019 JSE-listed Omnia Holdings on Thursday announced the appointment of Seelan Gobalsamy CEO, effective immediately, after Adriaan de Lange stepped down for personal reasons. Gobalsamy will also remain as CFO until a successor is appointed, while De Lange will remain available to Omnia in an advisory... 

Omnia prices R2bn rights offer, to publish circular at month-end

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th August 2019 JSE-listed chemicals manufacturer Omnia Holdings on Monday announced details of its previously announced R2-billion rights offer, which it will use to reduce debt. The company said that 100-million shares would be issued at a subscription price of R20 a ordinary share – a discount of 41% on... 

Sasol chooses Enaex as preferred explosives partner

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th July 2019 As part of the process of incorporating a strategic partner into its explosives and rock fragmentation division, JSE-listed petrochemicals company Sasol has selected Chile-headquartered Enaex as its preferred partner. The two companies will now negotiate the terms for potentially establishing a... 

Sasol warns of lower full-year Ebitda on the back of LCCP costs, low prices

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th July 2019 Petrochemicals multinational Sasol on Thursday said a number of noncash adjustments had contributed to a decrease in its earnings a share for the financial year ended June 30. The company explained in a trading statement that the largest of these adjustments was the sizable impairment of... 

Sasol warns of lower full-year Ebitda on the back of LCCP costs, low prices
Sasol's Lake Charles Chemicals Project

AECI’s interim earnings down 20%

By: Simone Liedtke     24th July 2019 JSE-listed explosives and speciality chemicals group AECI on Wednesday reported headline earnings per share (HEPS) and earning per share (EPS) of 365c and 367c, respectively, for the six months ended June 30. Both HEPS and EPS were 20% lower than the 458c reported in the first half of 2018. 

AECI’s interim earnings down 20%
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
AECI CEO Mark Dytor

AECI realignment projects offer long-term benefits

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th July 2019 As a result of the strategic realignment projects completed by it in June, JSE-listed explosives and specialty chemicals group AECI expects to report a 22% year-on-year decrease in headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months ended June 30. HEPS were likely to be between 357c and 376c... 

Compressors to play important role in new nitrophosphate plant

12th July 2019 Diversified technology provider Johnson Controls’ Sabroe compressors, which power a custom-build ammonia chiller plant, will play an important role in diversified chemicals group Omnia’s newly operational R670-million nitrophosphate plant in Sasolburg. Omnia lead process engineer Kripal Daby... 

Sasol opens new alkoxylation plant in China

By: Schalk Burger     11th July 2019 JSE-listed chemicals and energy multinational Sasol has launched its new alkoxylation plant, in Nanjing, China. The plant would expand Sasol's current alkoxylation capability to about 150 000 t/y, the company said in a statement this week. 

Omnia to restructure as it seeks to reduce overextended balance sheet 

By: Schalk Burger     25th June 2019 Diversified chemicals group Omnia will, over the next two years, focus on improving the profit margins of its companies’ services and products, ensuring that its assets and investments deliver value, as well as on pursuing international expansion of intellectual property-based businesses that... 

Omnia posts full-year loss on mix of negative drivers

By: Reuters     25th June 2019 Omnia Holdings, a South African chemicals and fertiliser maker, reported a full-year loss on Tuesday as a volatile currency, droughts, changes in the mining industry and difficult global trading conditions dented its business. The company, which also produces explosives, posted a headline loss... 

DTI forges ahead with product standardisation task

By: Mamaili Mamaila     14th June 2019 Following Mining Charter III’s call to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to develop a “Standardised Coding and Product Identification System in the Mining Supply Chain” whereby products can be identified using a unique name and code, the department has established a multistakeholder... 

DTI forges ahead with product standardisation task
INDUSTRY GROWTH The DTI looks forward to exchanging lessons and experiences to unpack challenges and identify solutions for growth across the manufacturing sector

Havenstein to succeed Humphris as Omnia chair

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th June 2019 JSE-listed chemicals company Omnia Holdings has announced the retirement of its chairperson Rod Humphris, who had served on its board for 20 years. Humphris will retire from the board in September during the company’s annual general meeting, but has decided to step down as chairperson with... 

Havenstein to succeed Humphris as Omnia chair
Photo by Creamer Media
Omnia outgoing chairperson Rod Humphris

Oil giants' chemical lifeline threatened by plastic-trash crisis

By: Bloomberg     6th June 2019 As the world strives to wean itself off fossil fuels, oil companies have been turning to plastic as the key to their future. Now even that’s looking overly optimistic. The global crackdown on plastic trash threatens to take a big chunk out of demand growth just as oil companies like Saudi Aramco... 

Second Lake Charles facility reaches beneficial operation

By: Nadine James     3rd June 2019 Petrochemicals company Sasol on Monday said the new ethylene oxide/ ethylene glycol (EO/EG) production facility at its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), in Louisiana, in the US, had reached beneficial operation. The EO/EG unit is the second of seven LCCP production facilities to come on stream. 

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