More bad news for Sasol’s giant Lake Charles Chemical Plant

The bad news from Sasol’s chemical project in Louisiana keeps stacking up. South Africa’s biggest fuel and chemicals producer said the Lake Charles Chemicals Project will make a smaller contribution to earnings, cutting its guidance for the second time in five months. The stock fell as much as 12% to the lowest level since November 2008. The shares are down 22% this year, the worst performer in an index of South Africa’s 40 largest companies.

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Conferences still vital despite tough trading conditions

Despite a challenging trading environment over the years, trade shows are well supported, which indicates their relevance across various industries, says event organiser Specialised Exhibitions MD Gary Corin. “Although exhibitors are cautious about the way in which they participate at exhibitions, they . . . still feel the urgency to participate. The fact that most of our shows either take place yearly, biannually and/or triennially enables the sectors that the shows serve . . . to plan for the shows so that they are relevant to the target market.”

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CESA proposes measures to get infrastructure investment going

Creamer Media’s Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about a proposal by Consulting Engineers South Africa to inject private engineering skills into the public sector, as well as other measures to get more infrastructure investment projects going.  

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Atterbury hands R150m showroom over to WeBuyCars

Property developer Atterbury on Wednesday handed over a new R150-million purpose-built showroom to car resale specialist WeBuyCars, in the Western Cape. The dealership development comprises 13 500 m2 of car floor space, which is able to accommodate about 700 cars, and 800 m2 of office space.

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Cosatu wants infrastructure funded by pensions

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), a key ruling party ally, is pushing senior members of government to consider its proposals to rescue the State’s indebted power utility before next month’s budget. In addition to suggestions it made in a November document that civil servants’ pensions and a state-run unemployment fund be used to cut Eskom Holdings’ debt by more than half to R200-billion, Cosatu wants the government to consider making it mandatory for private pension funds to invest part of the money they control in infrastructure. It also wants workers to be represented on Eskom’s board.

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Consortium of three companies to build Egypt’s first dry port – minister

A consortium of three companies has been awarded a contract for a $176-million project to build Egypt’s first dry port, the first of eight ports the government plans to set up, the transportation minister said on Wednesday. The companies are Egypt’s El Sewedy Electric and 3a International and Germany’s DB Schenker Egypt, Kamel al-Wazir told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

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Engineers call for restarting of ‘successful’ IPP programme to address power crisis

Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) president Sugen Pillay urged government on Wednesday to urgently restart its “successful” renewable-energy procurement programme to help address the country’s prevailing electricity crisis. Briefing the media in Johannesburg, Pillay said CESA was particularly keen for the fifth bid window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) to be initiated, as the REIPPPP was a stand-out example of a public procurement scheme that had worked.

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Demolition works underway at Melrose Arch

ICON Earthworks, part of the ICON Group, has been awarded a R2.5-million contract for the demolition of four buildings by property development company Amdec. Mc’Kyla Nortje has the story.

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Use private engineers to boost State’s ability to plan and execute infrastructure projects – CESA

Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) is calling on government to consider immediately boosting the capacity of State departments and municipalities to plan and execute infrastructure projects by opening the way for an injection private engineering skills and expertise into the public sector. In a speech on Tuesday, CESA president Sugen Pillay said such an intervention could help address a long-standing dichotomy in the distribution of infrastructure skills, which were currently heavily skewed in favour of the private sector.

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Standard Bank helps Coca-Cola Beverages expand in Ethiopia

Financial institution Standard Bank has successfully arranged and structured $50-million in financing facilities for Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) to support its expansion strategy in Ethiopia over the next five years. The Coca-Cola Company holds a majority stake in CCBA, which is the largest bottler of Coca-Cola beverages in Africa – serving 13 countries on the continent – and eighth-largest in the world by revenue.

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