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KwaZulu-Natal Business 2021-22

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The 2021/22 edition of KwaZulu-Natal Business is the 13th issue of this unique guide to business and investment in KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa. Launched in 2008, this annual journal has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the province. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there is a special report on the prospect of increasing exports on the back of the signing of a continental free trade agreement. The province’s export infrastructure is examined and the diversity and export successes of several companies in a wide range of sectors are noted. The increasing importance of the Oceans Economy to the future of the provincial and national economy is relevant to any examination of the economy of KwaZulu-Natal. This applies as much to trade and ship-repair as it does to the exciting gas discoveries which have been made off the coast of Mozambique and South Africa. To complement the extensive local, national and international distribution of the print edition, the full content can also be viewed online at Updated information on KwaZulu-Natal is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to online at

OVERVIEW Engineering A

OVERVIEW Engineering A respected university unit is expanding its brief. SECTOR INSIGHT The steel industry is under pressure. Credit: WASH Centre The Pollution Research Group (PRG) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has a new name and an extended brief. It has been re-established as the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Research and Development Centre (WASH R&D Centre). The unit (pictured) continues to fall under Chemical Engineering, where 34 staff contribute to lecture modules in a variety of fields but which now go far beyond the original brief of water in industry. Having seen a total of 22 PhD and 93 Masters’ students graduate under the supervision of unit staff, the WASH R&D Centre has expanded its research scope to include agricultural economics, crop and soil sciences, microbiology, mechanical and civil engineering and development studies. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is among the unit’s funders. In addition to Chemical Engineering, the School of Engineering offers a range of degree options in nine areas of specialisation including Bioresources, Electronic and Computer Engineering and Land Surveying. All of the province’s biggest industries require sophisticated engineering skills: aluminium smelters in Richards Bay and steel works in Newcastle, Richards Bay and Cato Ridge. There are also chemicals and plastics production plants, and large automotive works. Marine repair and engineering are important, with established companies such as EBH South Africa offering comprehensive services at the ports of Durban and Richards Bay. Dormac, which is headquartered in the Bayhead area of the Port of Durban, is best known for its marine engineering but it ONLINE RESOURCES Consulting Engineers South Africa: South African Wire Association: Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering: Wash R&D Centre: offers specialised services to the sugar industry and provides machinery for industrial giants like Toyota and Defy. One of the largest independent wire manufacturers in the country, Hendok Group, is steadily increasing its exports to other African countries. With more than 1 000 employees at the factory in the Phoenix Industrial Park in Durban, the company makes a wide variety of wires and is the country’s biggest producer of nails. ArcelorMittalSA is Africa’s biggest steelmaker and it has a plant at Newcastle, but tough times in the steel business have meant that the company has shut down some of its facilities. The first to be shuttered was Saldanha in the Western Cape and an analysis of the profitability of other centres is underway. A big project that has created a lot of work for engineers is the multi-year Western Aqueduct project to bring fresh water to greater Durban. The Transnet Engineering (TE) plant in the Port of Durban houses six business units and has 3 555 employees. The Port Equipment Maintenance unit and units specialising in wheels and locomotive overhaul are other entities. ■ KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2021/22 32

OVERVIEW Oil and gas A new tanker will improve port services. African Marine Solutions has acquired a new tanker to deliver oil to ships in the Port of Durban. The vessel will deliver high and low sulphur oil and fuel oil in Africa’s busiest port as part of a contract which the company has signed with Shell Downstream South Africa. The Port of Richards Bay is also investing in new infrastructure. The supply of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is set to be made much easier and more reliable with the erection of the 22 600-ton Mounded LPG Facility at Richards Bay. Bidvest Tank Terminals has constructed the R1-billion storage facility for Petredec, which trades, transports and distributes LPG and other commodities. South Africa’s annual consumption of LPG, currently at 400 000 tons, is expected to rise to 600 000 tons. KwaZulu-Natal is home to two major oil refineries and is the first link in the pipeline chain that links Gauteng province, the industrial heartland of South Africa, with vital fuels. The Port of Durban handles 80% of South Africa’s fuel imports. If a private partner can be found, an LNG plant will produce 2 000MW at Richards Bay. This forms part of national government’s allocation of 3 126MW to natural gas in its medium-term energy policy to 2030. The National Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) allocated one of the first two gas-to-power plants to be constructed under the Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme to Richards Bay. This has the potential to turn the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) into an energy hub. The fact that neighbouring Mozambique has significant offshore deposits is a factor in this plan. To produce its allocation of 2 000MW, the plant would have to use a million tons a year of LNG. ONLINE RESOURCES National Energy Regulator of South Africa: Petroleum Agency SA: South African National Energy Association: South African Petroleum Industry Association: SECTOR INSIGHT Two oil refineries are located in KwaZulu-Natal. Credit: African Marine Solutions Eni, one of the world’s biggest energy companies, has an agreement with Sasol Petroleum International to explore for hydrocarbons off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal. The regulator and promoter of oil and gas exploration in South Africa, Petroleum Agency South Africa, has awarded coalbedmethane-gas exploration rights in KwaZulu-Natal to NT Energy Africa, which has a partnership with the Central Energy Fund. These awards are for onshore exploration. The Petroleum Agency SA is an agency of the National Department of Energy. Getting fuel to the province of Gauteng is the key mission of the new multi-purpose pipeline (NMPP). Refined products such as jet fuel, sulphur diesel and both kinds of octane petrol are carried. The infrastructure of Transnet Pipelines is said to reduce the number of fuel tankers on South African roads by about 60%. ■ 33 KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2021/22

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