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LANXESS Invests In Local Future Scientists
Durban - The LANXESS Merebank plant recently donated science experimental kits to Grade 4 to Grade 7 learners at Thamela Lower Primary School ,in Umlazi, Durban. The initiative is part of LANXESS’ worldwide project, through which chemistry kits are being donated to primary schools and educational institutions located in and around the communities where LANXESS operates.
The experimental kits are meant for use by the science classes under the supervision of a qualified science teacher. Each chemistry kit consists of an experiment case, a box with additional equipment and instruction manuals, for conducting basic experiments and research in primary school chemistry. The manuals have description and instructions for conducting ten different experiments.
Fifty Grade 7 learners gathered in the classroom at Thamela Lower Primary, together with Mr Shabalala, the Deputy Principal, the Heads Of Departments and science teachers. From LANXESS, Rocky Sewkumar (Lab Technician) and Lungi Sikhosana (Remediation Technician), accompanied by Dr Nils Brinkmann (Merebank Site Manager), Kas Moodley (SHEQ and Remediation Manager ) and Lungi Gwambi (Human Resources), conducted and explained the experiments, while learners participated by answering questions on the experiments.
Speaking at the handover event, LANXESS Merebank Site Manager, Dr Nils Brinkmann said, “There is concern in South Africa about the state of science and chemistry education because it has dire consequences for the development of the country. These kits will go a long way in nurturing and shaping these learners’ mind to become professionals in the science fields in the near future.”
He further explained that LANXESS understands the importance of education and this initiative is testimony that the company cares about the educational development of children around the community in which it operates.
The science kits were handed over to the Deputy Principal, Mr Shabalala who was very appreciative and thanked LANXESS for considering their school stating “ We are grateful to LANXESS as the science kits will go a long way to improve the learners knowledge of science.
LANXESS launched its global education initiative in 2008. The specialty chemicals company has so far invested more than EUR 6 million in Germany alone in the campaign. The money was used for a number of purposes including the provision of new laboratory facilities, technical equipment and teaching materials for chemistry, biology, physics and IT classes. In addition, the company has organized many practical workshops for both schoolchildren and teachers.
LANXESS in South Africa
The Merebank plant produces, as its main product, a basic chrome sulphate called Chromosal B and in addition two technically advanced mix products called Chromosal BF and Baychrom A. Sodium dichromate, the raw material required for the production of chrome tanning salts, is obtained from LANXESS CISA (PTY) LTD in Newcastle. Chrome tanning salts are used in the leather tanning industry where it is used to produce durable leather for the fashion, shoe, furniture and automotive industries. The largest portion of the tanning salts produced in Merebank are exported to customers throughout the world.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.0 billion in 2014 and about 16,300 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and DJSI Europe) and FTSE4Good.