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January 16, 2015The price of palm kernel oil, the main feedstock for fatty alcohols of natural origin, should have weakened with the recent collapse in crude oil values, but monsoons in December 2014 and January 2015 destroyed much of Malaysia’s current harvest of palm fruit, and the cost of palm kernel oil has actually gone up....
January 16, 2015Goals for the American Cleaning Institute (ACI; Washington) in 2015 center on advancing advocacy on the organization’s three key strategic priorities: sustainability, chemical management, and education and outreach, says Ernie Rosenberg, ACI president and CEO. ACI will hold its annual meeting and industry convention in Orlando, FL, 26–31 January....
January 14, 2015Chemical demand is expected to strengthen in 2015, with growth expected to exceed 3.0% in both the United States and overall global market for the first time in four years....
December 19, 2014
Novozymes, the leading maker of enzymes globally, has grown solidly in recent years as it expanded into markets in household care, food and beverage, bioenergy, agriculture and feed, and pharma. Now, two new opportunities have the potential to become growth drivers. Demand for the company’s biomass conversion enzymes are forecast to grow now that the first cellulosic ethanol plants are finally coming online. Also, a major bioagriculture partnership with Monsanto holds tremendous potential to unlock value from farmers looking to boost yields....
December 15, 2014
While markets did not appreciate at the breakneck pace of 2013 and activists are increasingly making their voices heard, chemical stocks are still highly valued in public markets. The values of big institutional investors’ chemicals holdings mostly increased, and these investors still see the industry as a sound investment....
December 12, 2014Presentations to the ninth Gulf Petrochemical & Chemical Association (GPCA; Dubai) annual forum, held in Dubai in November, covered future trends in the petrochemical sector in the Mideast and worldwide and challenges facing the Mideast petrochemical industry, such as the dwindling regional supply of advantaged gas feedstock, the slide in the price of oil, competition from a plethora of shale gas–based projects in the United States, and the explosive growth of China’s coal-to-chemicals industry....
December 5, 2014
The chemical industry for decades has embraced sustainability as a means to comply with regulatory schemes, improve efficiency, and meet sustainability commitments to the public and consumer-facing customers. Now, with industry’s innovations poised to provide solutions to meet a number of global challenges, chemical makers are focusing sustainability efforts—and related reporting—on engaging the entire value chain....
November 25, 2014The European Commission has proposed a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for 2030 from 1990 levels and a target of 27% of renewable energy in the total energy mix. Both figures...
November 21, 2014CW’s fourth annual survey of engineering and construction (E&C) firms focuses on the hydrocarbon processing and related industries, including petrochemicals, chemicals, and minerals and metals. Total sales in these markets of the companies surveyed grew by 3.0%, to $122.8 billion, in 2013. This rate is a sharp slowdown compared with the previous year, when sales of the companies surveyed grew by 11%....
November 21, 2014Linde’s plant engineering and construction (E&C) technology group, Linde Engineering, has been a major force in E&C for decades, particularly in the olefins plant business....
November 21, 2014The continuing investment boom in North America, based on cheap shale gas, has created a number of challenges for the engineering and construction (E&C) industry. Chief among them is a shortage of craft workers, which will peak in 2016–17, when the bulk of heavy construction will take place in the United States. The chemical industry, including many foreign companies, is investing $100 billion through 2020 in shale gas–related projects....
November 14, 2014
Mideast producers, after more than three decades of expanding—which established the region as the world’s low-cost supplier—have to rethink expansion strategies and diversify because of a regional shortage of gas, North America’s return to petrochemicals prominence on the rise of inexpensive shale gas, and the explosive growth of China’s coal-to-chemicals industry....
November 6, 2014The distribution market continues to outpace overall chemical industry demand as outsourcing continues to expand....
October 31, 2014
Air Products CEO Seifi Ghasemi, who took the helm 1 July, outlined a major restructuring in September that puts the company’s focus back on its industrial gas core and targets becoming the most profitable industrial gases company....
October 24, 2014
Latin America offers distinct opportunities to the petrochemical industry. Energy reforms and legal and financial changes being introduced or planned in the leading economies—although at differing stages of development—form a key part of a framework that would guarantee access to competitively priced raw materials....
October 24, 2014Biobased chemistry provides a good development opportunity for Brazil’s chemical industry given the strength of the country’s biofuels industry and size of its agribusiness sector. However, the country’s conventional petrochemicals industry faces a number of cost challenges....
October 24, 2014Mexico’s petrochemical sector is mainly seeking the improved availability of raw materials from the Mexican government’s energy reform. Feedstock availability is currently insufficient to support big, new petrochemical investments in the country....
October 24, 2014Jorge de Zavaleta, president of the Petrochemical Institute of Argentina (IPA; Buenos Aires); and Alfredo Friedlander, executive director of IPA, speak to CW about the state of...
October 8, 2014CW wanted to use our centennial as an opportunity to highlight examples of women playing a role in shaping the chemical industry, one of the world’s most fundamental enablers of modern life and society...
October 8, 2014When I asked my 12-year-old son who was the greatest female scientist of all time, after some thought he opted for Marie Curie, the woman who has inspired the United Nations (U.N.)...
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