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OVERVIEW by 19% and revenue from the same source went up by 23%. These products make up 91% of the company’s output. Extruded products make up the remainder. Previous problems that the company experienced in getting LPG have been resolved and exports to the automotive industry in the USA are on the increase. Two large oil refineries and a sophisticated sugar milling and refining industry underpin provincial chemical manufacturing. The chemicals and petrochemicals subsector makes up 17% of the manufacturing output of KwaZulu-Natal, with industrial chemicals accounting for nearly a third. The group headquarters of Africa’s biggest pharmaceutical manufacturer, Aspen, are located in La Lucia Ridge. German chemicals group Lanxess has built a carbon dioxide concentration unit at its existing plant in Newcastle. The company makes tanning raw materials at Merebank in Durban and rubber chemicals in Isithebe north of Durban. Newcastle is a chemical manufacturing hub. The big steel works of Arcelor Mittal produce by-products such as ammonium sulphate, and large companies such as Karbochem, Bayer, African Amines and SA Calcium Carbide also operate in the area. AECI has a big presence in the province under the Chemical Services banner. Chemical Initiatives runs an elemental-nutrient sulphur plant in Umbogintwini. SA Paper Chemicals operates a big plant at

Isithebe. Protea Chemicals, has a large manufacturing plant at Mobeni. Sappi Saiccor’s Umkomaas plant is the biggest producer of specialised cellulose in the world with production edging upwards every year towards full capacity of 800 000 tons per annum. Illovo Sugar manufactures downstream products such furfural (used in lubrication oil), furfuryl alcohol, diacetyl (a flavouring in margarine) and ethyl alcohol. Kynoch makes fertilizer at plants in Durban and Richards Bay. Foskor’s acid division manufactures sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid and granular fertilizer in Richards Bay. ChemSpec makes paint at Canelands. KwaZulu-Natal produces nearly a third of South Africa’s plastic requirements. Nampak has several packaging facilities in the province and MPact’s Pinetown facility specialises in FMCG containers. Mcbean Beier Plastics and PCI also operate out of Pinetown.

Textiles Shanghai, with which KwaZulu-Natal has signed a new memorandum of understanding, has agreed to run an exchange programmes focussing on clothing and textiles. Thirty local students will study in Shanghai in the first phase of the project. Canvas and Tent Manufacturing has more than 400 employees in Ladysmith. There are 219 clothing companies in the province (Coface). Ninian & Lester has about 1 500 employees. The footwear sector is showing good recovery after taking a battering from Chinese imports. The purchase of 39% of Eddels Shoes by management and staff has paid off, with 385 staff employed in making 2 700 leather shoes every day. Two international safety footwear firms operate out of Pinetown: Bata Industrial and Beier. The latter company joined forces with three other South African safety footwear manufacturers in 2014 to form the BBF Safety Group. Carpet manufacturers Belgotex Floorcoverings and Ulster Carpets have facilities in Pietermaritzburg and Durban respectively. Home appliance manufacturer Defy, which became part of Turkish group Arçelik in 2011, employs about 2 600 people. Böhler Uddeholm in Pinetown produces tooling materials and welding consumables.


CONTACT INFO Aluminium Federation of South Africa: Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association: Manufacturing Circle: www. National Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers: National Department of Trade and Industry: Plastics SA:


KwaZulu-Natal Business 2017/18  

KwaZulu-Natal Business 2016/17 is the eighth edition of this highly successful publication that has since its launch in 2007 established its...

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