“It’s been an eventful 2012 with major shifts in the global chemical landscape taking place, including impacts from the US shale gas boom,” said Joseph Chang, Global Editor of ICIS Chemical Business
“Headed into an uncertain period in 2013 fraught with political and macroeconomic risks amid slowing growth, these leaders face a great challenge in guiding their businesses through the turmoil,” he added.Taking the top spot in 2012
is Andrew N. Liveris, chairman, president and CEO of US-based Dow Chemical. He was also awarded top billing in 2010. The winner in 2011 was LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogly.
“Liveris is placing the big bets in the most cost-advantageous feedstock regions in the world – the Middle East and the US. Its US Gulf Coast expansions along with the Sadara joint venture project in Saudi Arabia with Saudi Aramco should position Dow with a low cost base for its higher-margin chemicals and polymers,” said Chang.
“The Dow team is aligned and our priorities are clear,” said Andrew N. Liveris. “We moved swiftly in 2012 and took action to protect our growth path and continue to be squarely focused on ensuring an aggressive “offense”.
“We are capitalizing on the world-class, integrated portfolio we have built, and key catalysts we already have in place to accelerate near-term value growth. Execution of our strategy is top priority and we remain firmly committed to further strengthening our balance sheet, accelerating prioritized growth, and rewarding shareholders,” he added.
The Dow CEO has responded decisively to the global economic slowdown with a restructuring plan aimed at delivering $1bn in cost and cash savings by 2013 and $1.75bn on a run-rate basis by 2014.
This will involve the shutdown of 29 plants and the elimination of around 8% of the workforce, as well as reductions in capital expenditures.
But importantly, its key expansions on the US Gulf Coast and Sadara in Saudi Arabia will remain on track.
The centerpiece in the US will be a world-scale 1.5m tonne/year ethane cracker at Freeport, Texas, to start up in 2017.
In the meantime, it is on track to restart its 380,000 tonne/year cracker in St. Charles, Louisiana, by the end of 2012 and building a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant with 750,000 tonnes/year of propylene capacity in Freeport for start-up in mid-2015.
Dow is also proceeding with the largest petrochemical project in the modern world – the Sadara joint venture with Aramco. The complex will include a worldscale cracker, along with capacity of 3m tonnes/year of polyurethanes, propylene glycol (PG), butyl glycol ethers, amines, polyethylene (PE), polyolefin elastomers and other products.
The first units are expected to be operational in the second half of 2015, with all units expected to be running by 2016.
Coming in at number two in the ICIS Top 40 Power Players ranking is Tom Crotty, CEO of Switzerland-based INEOS Olefins & Polymers, followed by Axel Heitmann, CEO of Germany’s LANXESS.Download the ICIS Top 40 Power Players on ICIS
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