JOHANNESBURG – AN executive in the petrochemical industry will eventually shrug off the falling oil prices, a crumbling mining sector and local economic uncertainty in South Africa.
Noddy Ramroop, Operations Executive: Petrochemical for Unitrans, said the challenges were not necessarily bad news for the supply chain.
“While market demands have shifted drastically toward cost-savings as the primary concern, the supply chain has to maintain extremely high safety and quality standards while reducing costs,” he points out.
“Despite the challenges, it is not the first time we are facing this issue. Following the 2008 global economic downturn, we initiated the introduction of new innovations to extract additional value from the petrochemical supply chain, a process we continue to this day.”
South Africa’s mining sector, the country’s oldest and most established industry, shed 23 000 jobs in 2015 after falling commodity prices and subdued demand from China left the sector with massive financial losses and much lower production output.
The mining sector is the second largest consumer of petrochemical products after retail.
The reduced demand from this critical sector – in addition to the historically low global oil prices that fell from $110 a barrel to just over $40 a barrel puts huge pressure on petrochemical companies.”
Unitrans is a wholly-owned subsidiary of KAP, a Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed industrial holding company with a market cap of in excess of R18-billion.
Unitrans operates 130 depots, employs 10 000 staff and its 3 000 vehicles travel more than 250-million kilometres per year.
The petrochemicals business unit of Unitrans has a presence in all South Africa’s commercial centres.
Over a number of decades, Unitrans has invested in Africa in petrochemicals, agriculture, mining and infrastructure.
Its petrochemical business unit traditionally operated in South Africa, BNLS (Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, and Swaziland) and cross border transportation into Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
– CAJ News