EPCA ’11: Polimeri strategy changes being discussed - Ferrari

03 October 2011 17:42  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS)--Italy’s Polimeri is in discussions to undertake a fundamental shift in its strategy to focus on technology, globalization and sustainability, a company executive said on Monday.

“We’re about to announce a completely different strategy to move away from the traditional commodity sector and concentrate on elastomers, and the licensing of our technology across the globe,” said Daniele Ferrari, EPCA board member and CEO of Italy’s Polimeri Europa, part of Eni Group.

“We are having discussions this week and are taking the necessary steps to comply with all the different legislations,” he said.

Ferrari was speaking on the sidelines of the 45th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.

The changes will see the producer license chemical processes and then use the equity to invest in joint ventures, he said.

The plans span two to three years and will see the company’s Italian sites with ageing technologies and uncompetitive product being restructured and relaunched in a similar fashion to the changes being made at its Porto Torres facility. It amounts to several million euros of investment, Ferrari said.

Polimeri is closing its 250,000 tonne/year steam cracker as well as its downstream aromatics and polyethylene (PE) units at Porto Torres. These will be replaced by a new 350,000 tonne/year bio-processing complex that is due to come onstream in 2013-2014.

“Something similar will happen with other sites. We will stop the plants that aren’t profitable and replace them with different technologies. I’m sure that many other people in Europe have petrochemical assets that need to be revamped. We have decided to stay in that business but to do it more efficiently.

“At other sites like Priolo we are going to revamp the cracker, change the polyethylene line and produce other elastomers. We are reshaping; it is a big change for us. We want a sustainable, international business. We expect the turnover to remain stable but our profitability will have to improve.

“We are maintaining the same level of employment during the transition – that’s a big commitment for the group and is very important,” he added.

Ferrari said that a couple of joint ventures are being considered outside of Europe during 2012. These will be in China and Latin America, while there is also the possibility of a JV in the Middle East, he said.

“We will be regaining our position in these regions within the next 24 months,” Ferrari  added.

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By: Andy Brice
+44 20 8652 3214

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