History

2013

  • Shareholders approve AECI’s new Memorandum and Articles of Association, as required in terms of the Companies Act, No. 71 of 2008, of South Africa.

    SA Premix acquired and merged into the Chemfit business. SA Premix produces and distributes animal feed formulations that fortify and enhance the nutritional content of feeds.

    The AECI Group reaches agreement with Shanghai Zendai Property Limited for this company to acquire the bulk of the Group’s surplus land (about 1 600 hectares), and its property development business, for a cash consideration of R1 061 million. The transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent.

    AEL’s Initiating Systems Automated Plant at Modderfontein is commercially complete and its 120 million detonator output capacity is verified.

    Safety performance improves again, with the achievement of a Total Recordable Incident rate of 0,52.

2012

  • The remaining B-BBEE transactions (including an AECI Employees Share Trust and the AECI Community Education and Development Trust) are approved by AECI shareholders and effected.

    AECI enters into an agreement with General Electric (“GE”) to acquire its world-class Chemical and Monitoring Solutions business in Africa, for a total consideration of US$20 million. The acquisition is merged into ImproChem, which is leading the Group’s strategic growth thrust to become the supplier of choice for specialty water treatment and process chemicals and services in Africa. The geographies covered by the acquisition are Africa (excluding Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) and the Indian Ocean islands of Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, Rodrigues and the Seychelles.

    AECI negotiates the acquisition of a 42,6% minority shareholding with PT Black Bear Resources Indonesia (“BBRI”) for US$23 million. This three-phased investment in BBRI’s ammonium nitrate facility will give AEL in-country access to a secure source of this feedstock.

    Also acquired was 80% of Afoodable which was merged into Lake Foods, expanding the company’s product and service offering to include liquid marinades and sauces.

    Cellulose Derivatives acquired. It is a strategic addition to the mining chemicals portfolio.

    After a detailed strategic review AECI sells its 50% interest in Resitec in Brazil to its joint venture partner, the MeadWestvaco Corporation.

    Mark Dytor, an AECI Executive since 2010 and a Director of Chemserve prior to that, will succeed Graham Edwards as AECI Chief Executive on 1 March 2013.

    Best-ever safety performance achieved, with a Total Recordable Incident Rate of 0,53.

2011

  • B-BBEE transactions proposed that will result in 11,5% B-BBEE ownership of AECI’s enlarged share capital. The total value of the proposed transactions is R1,1 billion.

    As part of the B-BBEE transactions, AECI acquires the KTH consortium’s 25,1% interest in AECI’s explosives business in exchange for 4,18% of AECI’s enlarged issued ordinary share capital (excluding Treasury shares).

2010

  • Corporate restructuring undertaken: AECI and Chemserve Head Offices merged; all businesses in the Group now report to a single Executive Committee and, via this Committee, to the AECI Board. The benefits of the new structure will be faster decision making, better focus, better communication and transparency. It will also provide improved accountability and a framework for enhanced corporate governance across all business units.

    Best-ever safety performance achieved, with a Total Recordable Incident Rate of 0,58.

2009

  • The R2 billion capital expansion project programme in explosives and mining chemicals, which commenced in 2007, is essentially complete and new plants are in ramp-up phase.

    The AECI Group experienced a material year-on-year decline in sales volumes in 2009 as the global economic crisis took its toll, particularly on companies serving primarily the mining and manufacturing sectors.

2008

  • Good progress is made in AECI’s capital investment programme.  In terms of a strategy formulated in 2007, the Group is investing about R2 billion in its future growth.  Most capital projects will come on line in 2009.

    After protracted but unsuccessful attempts to sell the nylon light industrial fibres and polyethylene terephthalate businesses of SANS Fibres as going concerns, AECI announces that it intends closing all operations at SANS Fibres’ Bellville site, Western Cape, at the end of March 2009.  SANS Technical Fibres, at Stoneville, USA is not affected and will run as a stand-alone company for the foreseeable future.

    Senmin, a subsidiary of Chemical Services Limited, concludes a joint venture agreement with Ciba UK plc to build and operate a world class plant for manufacturing acrylamide and polyacrylamide, using Ciba technology, at Sasolburg in the Free State.

2007

Graham Edwards, managing director of AEL since 1999, will succeed Schalk Engelbrecht as chief executive of AECI with effect from 1 March 2008.

SANS Fibres exits the nylon high decitex industrial (HDI), the polyester HDI and polyster light industrial (LDI) yarn businesses in December. Partners or purchasers for the balance of the SANS Fibres businesses are being sought.

AECI sells its decorative coatings business, trading as Dulux, to ICI for a cash consideration of R745 million.  The sale includes the South African operations as well as the subsidiaries in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia.

2006

Group revenue and profit from operations exceed R10 billion and R1 billion respectively for the first time.

Chemical Services’ first foray into Brazil, via the acquisition of 60% of Resitec, delivers pleasing results and will be used as a platform for expansion there AEL successfully commissions Project Bernice, which will produce 40 million detonators a year and is the first phase of a R620 million investment to automate production at Modderfontein.

The Group’s 61 hectare site at Milnerton is remediated and sold for R260 million.

2005

The Group's property activities deliver outstandng results with record operating profit of R185 million and net cash flow of R270 million.

AEL accelerates its factory modernisation and automation programme at Modderfontein and the first phase, at a cost of R75 million, nears completion.

Chemical Services spends R207 million on acquisitions including Chemiphos and bolt-on Mineag, JLM, Orlik, Nobel Industries and Leochem.

The Tiso Group acquires a 25.1 per cent equity interest from Chemical Services, for R94 million, in ImproChem (water treatment business).

SANS Fibres' joint venture in the USA delivers profit (US$1.5 million) for the first time on the back of good volume growth.

2004

The Group becomes the first empowered major supplier of explosives, initiating systems and services to South Africa's mining industry. This is in terms of an agreement whereby an empowerment consortium, led by the Tiso Group, acquires a 25.1 per cent interest in AECI's South African and African explosives operations for a cash consideration of about R401 million.

Chemical Services reaches agreement for the acquisition of two separate businesses, for a combined consideration of about R150 million. The companies concerned are those of UAP and Chemiphos.

2003

Schalk Engelbrecht succeeds Lex van Vught as AECI's chief executive.

AECI acquires, from the minorities of Chemical Services Limited, the balance of the shares in this company that it did not already own. Chemical Services is delisted from the JSE Securities Exchange SA by year-end.

AECI and Dyno Nobel of Norway sign heads of agreement for the establishment of a 50:50 joint venture company, DetNet International, that will be responsible for all future design, manufacture, promotion and support of electronic detonator systems. The JV is a major step in gaining access to international markets for AECI's highly specialised, world class electronic detonators.

2002

SANS Fibres commissions its joint venture manufacturing facility at Stoneville, North Carolina, USA.

The Group's transformation completed with the disposal of Kynoch Feeds, AECI Aroma and Fine Chemicals, and AECI's 40 per cent interest in Huntsman Tioxide.

Chemical Services concludes an agreement to acquire the mining and alkylate chemicals businesses of Sentrachem.

Headline earnings of 340 cents per ordinary share for the 2002 financial year are 32 per cent higher than in 2001, further extending the robust growth trend established since 1998.

2001

At a general meeting of ordinary shareholders in AECI Limited on 10 January, the Company is authorised to buy back 40 per cent of its issued shares from majority shareholder, Anglo South Africa (Pty) Limited. As a result AECI purchases 61.9 million shares from Anglo, of which 51.6 million are cancelled and 10.3 million are now held as treasury shares.

AECI's remaining 50 per cent interest in Kynoch Fertilizer sold to Norsk Hydro. The transaction completes the Group's exit from the non-core retail fertilizer business.

Dulux's Protective and Marine coatings business sold to Sigma Coatings. Dulux will continue to manufacture branded products on Sigma's behalf for the next two years, on a toll basis.

Agreement concluded to dispose of AECI's 60 per cent interest in AECI Bioproducts to Zarara Energy Limited.

Heads of agreement concluded in terms of which AECI will dispose of its animal feeds business, Kynoch Feeds, to Kemira Oy of Finland with effect from 1 April 2002.

For the first time since it began its transformation programme in 1998, AECI Limited returns to the international finance markets. It concludes an agreement with a syndicate of six banks to raise US$75 million by way of a three year revolving credit facility.

Anglo American plc’s South African subsidiary disposes of a further 13.5 million shares in AECI (being 12.95 per cent of AECI's ordinary share capital) to two institutional buyers for an undisclosed amount.

2000

Sale of AECI's 50 per cent shareholdings in both Resinkem and Specialty Minerals South Africa to Chemical Services Limited for R40 million. The consideration is satisfied through the issue of 3.33 million additional Chemserve shares to AECI, increasing AECI's shareholding in Chemserve from 60.9 per cent to 62.7 per cent.

Disposal of Autoplastic to SAI Automotive AG, the automotive activity of the Sommer Allibert Group.

Sale of AECI's 50 per cent share in Goldchem to its partner, Rand Refinery Limited.

Sale of AECI's 50 per cent share in Alliance Peroxide to Degussa-Hüls AG of Germany.

Announcement by SANS Fibres of a R60 million investment to double PET polymer production at its Bellville site.

Joint venture in technical coatings with PPG Industries of the USA. In terms of the agreement signed, the technical coatings unit of Dulux becomes a separate company, AECI Coatings, with AECI holding 80 per cent of the equity.

Conclusion of the sale of AECI's acrylics business to UK-based Ineos Acrylics for a total consideration of R70 million.

SANS Fibres announces R40 million investment in a new spinning platform for its Bellville site, and the expansion of its global position in light industrial yarns through the investment of some R80 million in the USA.

Redundant ammonia/urea plants at Modderfontein sold for R21 million for re-erection in China.

Agreement reached in principle between AECI and Chemserve for Chemserve to purchase Industrial Urethanes, Kynochem and AECI Coatings from AECI. The transaction, with an estimated consideration in excess of R300 million, is subject to the approval of the minority shareholders in Chemserve, the statutory requirements of the JSE and other formal consents.

AECI and Sasol Chemical Industries (SCI) reach agreement for SCI to acquire AECI's 50 per cent interest in the Fedmis Phalaborwa partnership, subject to approval by the Competition Commission.

AECI Limited publishes a cautionary announcement advising shareholders that it had reached agreement in principle, subject to certain conditions, with Anglo South Africa ('Anglo'), regarding a potential repurchase by AECI of a portion of Anglo’s shareholding in AECI.

1999

Transformation in full swing. Key events: Research and Development facility sold to the CSIR; sale of Polifin holding to Sasol; ammonia supply agreement, signed with Sasol, will mean the closure of ammonia/urea production at Modderfontein and ammonia/LAN production at Milnerton; joint venture in Kynoch Fertilizer with Norsk Hydro of Norway as controlling 50 per cent partner.

Strategy refined to three core clusters: mining solutions; specialty, fine and industrial chemicals; specialty fibres.

1998

Sasol bids R30 per share to acquire 100 per cent of AECI Limited. The bid is withdrawn after strict conditions on the proposed transaction are set by the Competition Board.

AECI announces a transformation strategy that will result in the formation of five business clusters (explosives; specialty and fine chemicals; specialty fibres; biotechnology; agricultural products) and the unbundling of the Kynoch group of companies.

1997

AECI Head Office moves to The Woodlands, an AECI Pension Fund office park in Sandton.

Kynoch Modderfontein refurbishes and upgrades ammonia and urea plants.

Kynochem acquires Aluminium Chemicals.

Chemical Services merges its South African water treatment interests with those of Nalco Chemical Company of the USA, to form Nalco-Chemserve.

1996

Southgate Industrial Park development announced, at Umbogintwini.

Group exports exceed R1 billion.

AECI Industrial Chemicals changes its name to Kynochem.

Some 18.3 million AECI shares, previously held by Afex Holdings, placed with domestic and international investors at R23 per share.

Modderfontein celebrates its centenary.

1995

ICI sells its remaining 13 per cent shareholding in AECI.

Soda Ash Botswana liquidated and then rescued, under the name Botswana Soda Ash. Operational responsibility moves from AECI to Anglo American.

Polifin listed on the JSE.

First lysine produced by AECI Bioproducts, at Umbogintwini.

AECI Explosives announces closure of explosives manufacture at Somerset West.

Sulphur stockpile catches fire at Somerset West. Two residents from nearby Macassar die from fume inhalation.

1994

AECI Explosives will close Bethal Factory.

Plan announced to develop Klipfontein View, at Modderfontein, as a residential area.

1993

AECI Explosives and Chemicals Limited focuses on explosives and becomes AECI Explosives while AECI Industrial Chemicals becomes a subsidiary of Kynoch.

AECI Operations Services formed to offer services to companies operating on multi-user AECI sites.

R300 million plant to manufacture lysine, at Umbogintwini, announced.

Chlorine gas leak at Umbogintwini results in first Community Awareness and Emergency Response Committee being formed.

AECI and Sasol agree to the formation of a joint company - Polifin. AECI owns 40 per cent, via its contribution of AECI Chlor-Alkali and Plastics.

Formation of AECI Aroma and Fine Chemicals and construction of a plant on a new site at Richards Bay announced. The plant will make food anti-oxidant tertiary butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ).

An asset swap sees ICI exchange 25 per cent of its share in AECI Limited for 51 per cent of AECI Explosives Limited.

1992

Sales of surplus Modderfontein houses and stands begins.

Retail development (Somerset Mall) launched by the AECI Pension Fund at Somerset West.

1991

R7 million carbon dioxide plant announced for Modderfontein, with a capacity of 130 t/d.

AECI Paints changes name to Dulux.

Development of the AECI Pension Fund's Woodlands office park begins.

President QKJ Masire opens new soda ash and salt project at Sua Pan, in Botswana.

Ballengeich Factory will be sold to Karbochem.

1990

HCFC 22 plant at Midland Factory is to be built. AECI will recover and rework CFCs.

Goldchem, a 50:50 venture with Rand Refinery Limited, formed to make gold potassium cyanide.

Fashiontex Coatings closes.

Chemplex sold to the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe.

1989

Agrochemical interests of AECI and ICI merge to form ICI-Kynoch Agrochemicals.

Gas project implemented by AECI Chlor-Alkali and Plastics to pipe methane from a Johannesburg refuse site to the Klipspruit cyanide factory.

1988

AECI Converters reorganises with five operating companies: AECI Plastic Systems, Autoplastic, Fashiontex Coatings, Polycon and Vynide.

AECI takes over the CSIR's anaerobic microbiology division, plus its equipment, to bond with the Biotechnology facility at Research and Development Department.

AECI acquires the Cape operations of Sentrachem's Fedmis.

Also purchased: 50 per cent of Sentrachem's phosphoric acid production facility at Phalaborwa (joint venture between AECI and Sasol).

AECI Chlor-Alkali and Plastics and CG Smith Sugar enter into 50:50 venture for a hydrogen peroxide plant at Umbogintwini.

R920 million Soda Ash Botswana project announced - business partners: AECI Limited, Anglo American, De Beers and the Botswana Government.

AECI exceeds R4 billion sales turnover.

1987

Triomf Fertilizer's Potchefstroom assets acquired.

Coalplex plant at Midland Factory uprated to increase annual production of chlorine, caustic soda and PVC.

AECI Explosives and Chemicals' Klerksdorp Factory begins operations.

AECI Paints opens a manufacturing facility at Umbogintwini.

AECI Converters acquires Polycon.

AECI's Duropenta and Everite's Pipekor merge to form DPI Plastics with 50:50 shareholding.

1986

New explosives factory and distribution centre opens at Bethal to produce Energex explosives and to distribute explosives and accessories.

New company, AECI Converters, formed. It incorporates the activities of Duropenta, Sterkolite and Vynide.

Modderfontein and Umbogintwini health committees upgraded to full Town status.

Kynoch Chemicals formed to handle all aspects of the Group's agricultural chemicals business.

Chemical Resources formed to develop, manufacture, market and service a range of specialty chemicals.

1985

Polymer Convertor Holdings disbands.

Modderfontein's Ammonia 4 plant uprated from 1 000 to 1 300 t/d.

Nitroglycerin explosives manufacture at Somerset West Factory to be phased out.

Government gives green light to phase two of AECI's synfuels study.

1984

AECI aquires Sentrachem's 40 per cent share in Coalplex, for R60 million.

AECI Explosives and Chemicals announces decentralised factories at Bethal, Welkom and Klerksdorp.

Sales top R2 billion.

AECI and Triomf Fertilizer part company and Kynoch Fertilizer is reborn.

1983

New safety fuse plant at Manwke Factory comes on stream.

Poly 1 plant at Midland makes its one millionth ton of Alkathene low density polyethylene and AECI's total ammonia production exceeds 7 million tons.

No. 3 Ammonia plant at Umbogintwini closes.

Manufacture of Energan bulk heavy Anfo and Powergel emulsion explosives begins.

Industrial Urethanes created as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

1982

The AECI Pension Fund's combined assets top R237 million and membership exceeds 23 000.

Mankwe explosives factory opens in Boputhatswana. Production: 100 million capped fuses a year and 80 000 tons of Anfex.

A Linear Low Density Polyethylene plant to make Aecithene commissioned at Midland. Capacity: 15 000 t/a.

Restructuring of AECI. Following a policy of divisionalisation begun in 1978, the Company's five divisions' manufacturing and marketing operations are restructured into three wholly-owned subsidiaries: AECI Explosives and Chemicals, AECI Chlor-Alkali and Plastics, and Polymer Convertor Holdings. AECI Group now comprises six operating companies - the three named above, and SANS Fibres, Dulux and Chemical Services Limited.

1981

AECI Group turnover exceeds R1 billion.

1980

Polyfos, a 50:50 joint venture between AECI and Samancor, commissions a plant to make sodium tripolyphosphate. Capacity is 4 000 t/a, for use in detergents.

A R3.4 million plant, Welvic 2, officially opened at Midland.

Prolux Paints renamed AECI Paints (and subsequently Dulux).

AECI announces a research programme for using methanol as a fuel in diesel and petrol engines.

Zimbabwe's first explosives factory opens to make Sinex Z cartridges.

AECI acquires 56 per cent of the issued capital of Chemical Services Limited from Debincor in exchange for the issue of 1 725 000 new AECI ordinary share.

1979

Multi-purpose organics plant commissioned at Modderfontein to produce a range of small volume, high value chemicals.

Holland Electro Chemical Industries (HECI) becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary.

1978

Coalplex officially opened. The complex consists of five linked plants: carbide, acetylene, chlorine, VCM and PVC. Principal products are PVC, caustic soda and lime hydrate (all 100 000 t/a).

1977

SANS Fibres becomes wholly-owned subsidiary and builds a R25 million polymer plant to make 50 000 t/a of polyester polymer.

Anikem, a joint venture with Nalco Chemical Company of the USA, commissions a plant at Umbogintwini for 8 000 t/a of specialised water treatment chemicals.

1976

As part of its funding package for the PVC Coalplex project, the Company raises R83 million on the JSE by means of a rights issue, the largest ever undertaken in South Africa. The Company raises the full amount by issuing over 50 million R1 shares at 165 cents a share.

Company name changes to AECI Limited and a new corporate image is created.

1975

In a joint venture with German chemical company BASF, Resinkem constructs a plant at Umbogintwini for the manufacture of formalin and urea formaldehyde resins.

1974

Large nitrogen complex commissioned at Modderfontein. Ammonia capacity 300 000 t/a, with nitric acid, ammonium nitrate and other ancillary products. Uses coal as a basic raw material rather than relying on imported oil.

Outside interests in Prolux Paints taken over, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Also, whole of Duropenta Holdings, makers of PVC piping and allied products, taken over.

1973

World oil crisis. Company authorised to import ammonia, low density polyethylene and PVC to meet national shortfall.

Kynoch Feeds, a wholly-owned subsidiary, formed to market animal feeds.

1972

Company name abbreviated to AE&CI Limited.

Coated fabric and vinyl sheet division of Duropenta taken over.

1971

Plant to make fuseheads for electric detonators on line at Modderfontein, making company independent of imported components for blasting accessories.

Merger of Rhodesian fertilizer and crop protection interests with Albatros-Fisono to form the Rhodesian Fertilizer Corporation.

1970

Formation of new company, Triomf Fertilizer, in which AE&CI has a 49 per cent holding.

Merger of AE&CI's paint interests with those of Protea Holdings. New company formed, Prolux Paint Holdings, in which AE&CI holds 50 per cent.

Second vinyl calender installed, with ability to produce rigid and semi-rigid sheet previously imported.

1968

Exports of chlorinated solvents, PVC, polyethylene and urea to South America begin. Development of slurried exposives and on-site mixing techniques; both of great importance in open cast mining.

New sulphuric acid plant commissioned at Modderfontein.

1967

Start-up of chlorine, Arcton and plastics complex at Midland. Increases Company output of chlorine and PVC, and adds range of new chemicals.

New type of ammonia plant commissioned at Umbogintwini, with ancillary urea plant.

1966

Company undertakes production of a range of organic peroxides.

Manufacture of Perspex acrylic sheet begins at Umbogintwini.

Centre of paint manufacture moved from Somerset West to Port Elizabeth.

Plant built to make porous ammonium nitrate at Modderfontein and to permit full-scale production of Anfex, a new blasting agent.

AE&CI becomes a quoted company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with initial placing of 12 million shares.

1965

Alkathene brand of polyethylene in production at Midland.

1964

First plant at Midland Factory, Sasolburg, goes on line to produce calcium cyanide for gold extraction.

Annual Group sales exceed R100 million.

1963

Company acquires minority interest in Titan Products (now Huntsman Tioxide Southern Africa) and SA Nylon Spinners (now SANS Fibres).

Start-up of superphosphate plant at Modderfontein, to use Phalaborwa rock.

1961

Capacity of chlorine plant at Umbogintwini trebled.

Authority given to exploit the phosphate rock deposits at Dorowa, Rhodesia.

Methanol, formaldehyde and urea formaldehyde resin plants in production at Modderfontein.

Safety fuse in production at Modderfontein.

1960

First urea plant in Africa goes on line at Modderfontein.

Ammonia capacity raised to 145 000 t/a.

1959

Development of Freflo, a loose explosive for pouring into vertical drillholes, and Dynagel for use in wet conditions. Both attract worldwide attention.

First calender for printing vinyl sheet installed at Somerset West.

1958

Rodia starts fertilizer production in Rhodesia.

1957

Production of igniter cord starts at Modderfontein.

1955

Ammonia capacity trebled to meet mines' and farmers' needs.

Entry into plastics manufacture.

PVC manufacture at Umbogintwini (in conjunction with chlorine production).

1949

Paints and leathercloth plants established at Somerset West.

Combined explosives production by Modderfontein and Somerset West tops 2 900 000 cases.

Profits exceed £1 million for the first time.

1947

AECI Pension Fund established, replacing an existing provident fund, and one of the earliest in the country to be run by a single industry.

1946

Modderfontein celebrates 50th anniversary of the founding of the South African explosives industry.

New factory at Klipspruit, south of Johannesburg, begins production of calcium cyanide for extraction of gold from ore.

Board approval given for various major developments.

1944

Name changes to African Explosives and Chemical Industries to recognise the increasing importance of chemical manufacture.

Research and Development Department established.

1942

Range of Ammon dynamites accepted by the mines; nitroglycerin finally displaced by ammonium nitrate for certain applications.

1932

Ammonia synthesis plant, the first in South Africa, on line at Modderfontein. Resulting production of ammonium nitrate starts research into the substitution of ammonium nitrate for glycerin in explosives manufacture.

South Africa goes off the gold standard.

Great increase in mining activity, and in secondary industries.

Company diversifies production of industrial chemicals.

1930

Superphosphate bagging unit opens near Salisbury, and named Rodia.

1926

Agricultural interests stepped up with the takeover of fertilizer importing companies, including one in Rhodesia.

Manufacture of ingredients for cattle dips, sprays and insecticides begins.

First paint manufacturing commences (Durban).

1924

African Explosives and Industries (AE&I) registered as a company on 21 March, with headquarters in Johannesburg. Formed by a merger between the South African interests of Nobel Industries (UK) and the manufacturing arm of De Beers Consolidated of Kimberley. Primary purpose is to provide blasting explosives and detonators to the gold and diamond mines but AE&I is also the only South African producer of phosphatic fertilizer. Factories at Modderfontein, Transvaal (1896), Somerset West, Cape of Good Hope (1903) and Umbogintwini, Natal (1908).

All rights Reserved.