20 November 2013 08:33 [Source: ICIS news]
DUBAI (ICIS)--Sustained innovation across the board and supporting free trade are key to the development and growth of the petrochemical industry, President of ExxonMobil Chemical Stephen Pryor said on Wednesday.
“Success requires sustained innovation across the value chain. That means innovation in feedstock, innovation in manufacturing process and innovation in products that benefit our customers,” Pryor said in his keynote address to the 8th annual Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals (GPCA) Forum in Dubai.
Pryor said there was rising protectionism in the world and our “industry must advocate for free trade under all circumstances”.
He said feedstock flexibility was key to remaining competitive in the ever-changing business environment.
“Major feedstock decisions must consider the interplay between energy and chemical markets in the near term and over time,” he added.
In addition, building a competitive advantage is how companies manage their “feedstock molecule”, he said.
He said shale gas is clearly a game changer, which has shaken the chemical industry in the US.
“But I think some perspective is in order,” he added, explaining that there are other trends in the industry and the feedstocks that were unfolding and needed attention.
“Well certainly shale gas has dominated the industry headlines. Shale has given the US producers a major advantage in feedstock and energy cost, but shale is not the first major feedstock development to shake up our industry. It is not the first and it won’t be the last,” he told ICIS on Tuesday.
Pryor said the petrochemical industry must remain vigilant to the dynamic nature of the business and embrace changes.
“While we don’t know what changes are, we do know they are coming,” he said.
The GPCA 2013 Forum runs on 19-22 November.
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