Safripol Piet Retief

Safripol Piet Retief

Safripol Piet Retief produces various urea formaldehyde (UF) resins for the panel industry and is the largest producer of wood panel resins in Africa.  It also supplies formaldehyde into more than 30 different industries in South Africa.

The Woodchem production facility in Piet Retief is the largest in sub-Saharan Africa, producing more than 106kt of UF resin annually.

UF is produced in a continuous-flow process using methanol and oxygen.  Air extracted from the atmosphere contains the oxygen that reacts with the methanol through a catalytic oxidation system to produce formalin (the base product for formaldehyde and UF).  The methanol reacts with the oxygen at a concentration level of 11%.

To increase the methanol flow, and ultimately the final product, a greater volume of oxygen had to be added to the system to ensure a consistent concentration level and methanol conversion rate.

A turbocharge (pressurisation fan) was installed in the continuous-flow system, enabling the plant to extract a higher volume of air from the atmosphere to maintain the required level of oxygen concentration.  The increased volume of air directly increased the volume of methanol being processed, which ultimately enabled the factory to produce at higher volumes.

Industry Memberships

Our Piet Retief site is the largest producer of Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde based resins in South Africa.  Continuous research and development in partnership with world-renowned third-party laboratories in their fields of expertise ensures that we stay abreast with new and current technology and enables them to be the market leader in their industry in sub-Sahara Africa.

WoodChem Plant - Piet Retief

Corporate Citizenship

Based on state of the art technology, we pride ourselves on striving to be the best in their niche in the supply chain.  Due to the global need for more efficient factories and lower carbon emissions, we attempt to have as low a Carbon footprint as possible.


Being in a business environment with high barriers for entry we provide the best possible technology at an affordable price to their customers to ensure affordable, reliable products at the end of the supply chain.