Tag Archives | EPCA

New US benzene broker TnS links with PCB

Two emails dropped into the Blog inbox this morning announcing the launch of TnS (Trade n Services, a new US benzene broker in the person of Aruanan Mastenbroek. He will be covering the US and co-operating with Wim Buiter of PCB (Petrochemical Brokerage) on the European market, as of 1 October 2008.

They are currently based in Antwerp, but plan to move to Houston eventually. We are all invited to meet them on their opening tour in Houston on 13-17 October.

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EPCA youth report

t may be true that the chemical industry fails to attract a young crowd, but the EPCA youth chapter was out and about in Monte Carlo this week with the enthusiasm of those who can look daisy-fresh on three hours’ sleep.

Some old favourite venues appear to have fallen from favour. Adrian tells me that the SAS Bar has really gone downhill and is now full of Russian prostitutes. Other youthful types reported back that it was dead on Saturday night, but that the dancefloor at Zebra Square on the same night was home to a much more glam clientele including, allegedly, people coming out of the washrooms rubbing their noses.

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Darkness and neglect at Le Balmoral

On the way to dinner at Le Saint-Benoit, we pass the dark and shuttered hulk of the former Balmoral Hotel, looming darkly over the bay. This was a haven to past generations from Shell, Integra and then ICIS, famed for its 1950s wallpaper and candlewick bedspreads and fondly referred to as the “Immoral”. It plays a proud part in petrochemical industry history.

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EPCA to become “more exclusive”

One rumour going the rounds at EPCA on Monday was that after the recent merging of the Annual Meeting and the Distribution conference, there was a feeling amongst the EPCA’s board members that the event had become too large. According to one well-connected visitor to the ICIS suite, it had been mooted that the event should become more exclusive, and that some sectors would be actively excluded.

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The Monte Carlo years are over

So it looks like it’s true. As the Blog reported here in June, EPCA is to abandon Monte Carlo, never to return. Next year it’s in Berlin, and in 2010 it’s Vienna, and after that it will not be coming back, one board member told industry players on the sidelines at the conference.

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The smell of EPCA

What is the defining smell of EPCA? Is it coffee and Gauloises on the warm summer air at the CafĂ© de Paris? Is it Hermes d’Orange Verte soap and body lotion from the hotel bathrooms? Eye-watering perfumes mixed with hairspray amongst the Russian porn starlets at Jimmy’z? Spilt beer and dodgy plumbing at McCarthy’s Irish Bar by the Mirabeau?

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Buried treasure unearthed at EPCA

I heard a tale at a cocktail party last night that had the listeners agog. It seems that one senior trader recently left his company in a bit of hurry, and without troubling to clear his desk. It was not clear whether he had left of his own accord or had been pushed, but some time later, a man from head office arrived to tie up the details and to sort out the desk.

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Ryder Cup players are model for petchems

Watching the opening of the Ryder Cup, which kicks off today in Kentucky, sets me wondering about golf and chemicals. Why is golf the sport of the international petrochemical industry? Even as EPCA has axed the Sunday sailing competition this year, and the tennis numbers dwindle away, but the golf event at the Cannes-Mandelieu Old Course Golf Club is still going strong.

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Fabulous food at ICIS Brussels training seminar

The best thing about this week’s ICIS training seminars in Brussels in the EPCA offices, better even than all the train travel, is undoubtedly the food. It is fantastic. Catered by a local restaurant in the Montgomery suburb of Brussels, it is a sumptuous buffet. There’s lumpfish roe mock-caviar, salmon, rare beef, bottles of wine – all thrown in for less than the regular price of a hotel conference lunch. I’m glad my pricing paper on this first day is on just before lunch and I can relax and enjoy it.

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Countdown to Monaco – EPCA minus 2 weeks

Monte Carlo’s Grimaldi Forum may be heralded as the new hub of EPCA, but I’m curious to see whether the master plan to shift us all from the Fairmont is going to work. We’ve had a couple of previews of the Forum for the Opening Reception and, although it seems an admirable venue for a party – with a wide-open terrace by the sea, indoor buffets, bars and stages – I’m wondering whether all the people who make the conference what it is – the delegates, the non-delegates, the hangers on, the shipping guys – will make the trek away from the Fairmont, especially if it is raining.

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