Tag Archives | EPCA

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Time for leadership at EPCA

The chemical industry has a turnover of $3.4trn, and is the world’s 3rd largest industry. It matters to the global economy. Many of its leaders are about to meet next weekend in Berlin for the annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting. The blog strongly believes that this should not be seen as a ‘business as […]

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International Year of Chemistry 2011

2011 has been named International Year of Chemistry by the United Nations. The date coincides with the centenary of Marie Curie winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. A range of activities is being planned on a national and international basis to support the Year. It gives the industry a welcome chance to promote the positive […]

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Uncertainty rules in petrochemicals

The blog’s former ICI colleague, Tom Crotty, aptly summarised the mood of most petchem players at this week’s meeting in Budapest, Hungary, when telling ICIS’ Nigel Davis that “2011 is a very tough call to forecast”. Crotty is this year’s president of EPCA (European Petrochemical Association), and it was clear from the blog’s discussions that […]

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Ralf Kuhlmann retires

The blog sends its very best wishes to Ralf Kuhlmann of ExxonMobil, who retires this week as Business Director, Basic Chemicals Europe. The phrase “a pillar of the industry” might have been invented to describe Ralf. He was President of APPE (Assoc of Petrochemical Producers in Europe) until recently. He was also an EPCA Board […]

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Petchems prepares for a new reality

My first European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting was in 1985. Since then, I have found that it provides an unique opportunity to look back over the current year, and focus on what might happen next. Thus in October 2007, just after I began writing the blog, my discussions led me to warn that we were […]

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Cost, knowledge and speed

There is increasing evidence for the blog’s belief that the auto industry is embarking on a fundamental shift in its approach. An interview in just-auto with Daimler’s R&D head, Thomas Weber, provides some important insights into the opportunities that may develop for chemical companies as a result. Weber notes that “cost, knowledge and speed” are […]

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Blue skies disappear

A year ago, the blog was in a minority of one, with its forecast for 2008. Its heading was ‘Budgeting for a Downturn’. By contrast, the consensus post-EPCA was for $70bbl oil, debt market problems to be contained, and for chemical margins to remain at 2007 levels. This year’s EPCA mood was different. There was […]

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$100 crude – US manufacturing close to recession

Oil prices touched $100/bbl today, a new record in nominal and inflation-adjusted terms. At the same time, the US Institute of Supply Management (ISM) index signalled that the manufacturing sector ‘failed to grow in December’, with ‘industries close to the housing market struggling more than others’. All the ISM’s main indicators were negative, with inventories […]

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EPCA 2007

It seems likely that this week’s European Petrochemical Association annual meeting in Berlin will mark a turning point in the petchem cycle. Looking back over 2007, Boy Litjens, CEO of Sabic Europe, told ICIS@EPCA that performance this year had been ‘excellent’, and that they would ‘definitely report the best results ever’. He was also hopeful […]

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