NPRA ’09: ExxonMobil exec sees strong chemicals future

30 March 2009 02:14  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--The US recession and the global economic downturn may continue for some time, but economic fundamentals remain and the long-term future for the chemicals sector is strong, a top executive said on Sunday.

Bruce Macklin, senior vice president of global operations at ExxonMobil Chemical Company, told an International Petrochemicals Conference (IPC) audience that “We feel very strongly about the future of this industry and its ability to meet the needs of a growing global population”.

“ExxonMobil is committed to this industry,” he said.

Speaking to some 350 industry executives, Macklin said that while the US and global economies may continue to be constrained over the next two years, “the chemicals industry will be strong over the long term because of its essential and critical role in our world”.

Macklin said that growing world population will be the fundamental driver of an eventual economic recovery, noting that the global population is projected to grow from about 6bn today to 8bn people on the planet by 2030, with 60% of that growth concentrated in Asia.

In that same period, he said, global gross domestic production is expected to increase three fold to some $70,000bn (€52,500bn).

However, Macklin said, the chemicals industry must work to meet present needs of a growing population without compromising the future, “and that means sustainability”.

Citing the growing number of attacks on chemicals and derivative products - such as community bans on plastic shopping bags and campaigns against phthalates and bisphenol-A (BPA) - Macklin urged industry executives to work proactively with their customers and policymakers to convey the value of chemicals in everyday living.

The three-day IPC runs through Tuesday and is sponsored by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA).

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Joe Kamalick
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