Energy & chemicals
Possible careers within this industry:
Construction manager – Plant manager – Chemical or Mechanical engineer – Geophysicist
outh Africa’s energy needs have dominated news headlines over the past year, as the country battled load shedding and talk of an imminent nuclear deal was rife. Positively, much progress has been made in the development of renewable energy and the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (phew!) is well under way. The government is not only calling on independent power producers to provide renewable energy, it has recently stepped up efforts to incorporate independent coal power producers onto the national grid as well.
South Africa’s chemicals industry dates back to the late 19th century, according to a recent paper from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), which notes that the first coal-to-liquids plant was built in Sasolburg in the 1950s and today, petrochemicals comprise about 55% of all chemicals produced. Companies such as Sasol, BASF, AECI, Afrox, Anchor Chemicals and Merck are among some of the big players in the chemicals and pharmaceuticals space.
What to study
A tertiary degree in the engineering or science fields is what you’ll need to workin the technical departments of companies such as Sasol, AECI and other energy and chemicals firms. Bear in mind though that large energy and chemicals concerns also have financial managers, in-house auditors, marketers, communications specialists and more.