EU Court Upholds Toxic Designation for Chemical BPA

| July 12, 2019

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A trade group for the plastics industry failed to persuade the European General Court on Thursday that the industrial chemical BPA should not be classified as toxic. The European Commission labeled Bisphenol A, as the compound is otherwise known, as “toxic for reproduction” in 2016, and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) issued a recommendation shortly thereafter to have the compound listed under a regulation known as REACH, short for Registration,  Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. BPA is ubiquitous in plastic products, and the group PlasticsEurope reacted swiftly when the European Chemicals Agency updated the candidate list of REACH substances to include BPA in 2017. The European General dismissed the challenge Thursday, finding that a substance cannot be exempted from the REACH Regulation just because it has intermediate uses, such as in the manufacture of polymers. (The ruling offers the example of thermal paper /manufacturing as a nonintermediate purpose of BPA.) “The contested decision is consistent with the objective of sharing information on substances of very high concern within the supply chain and with consumers,” the opinion states. “The fact that certain substances of very high concern used as intermediates may benefit from the special conditions for registration … does not call into question the need to subject such substances to the information-sharing regime.”

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Al Kout Industrial Projects Co. Shuaiba, Kuwait

We are a regional leader in the Chlor-Alkali industry established in 1993 and in 2000 became Kuwait's first privatized industrial company. We are listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange since 2002. We provide essential industrial sector products and services. We serve local, regional, and international markets. We strive to deliver consistent value to our stakeholders and we are continuously optimizing, acquiring, and excelling. We are committed to and dedicated to global health, safety and environmental standards and ethics.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Southeast polyolefins demand growth could be negative again in 2021

Article | July 13, 2021

BEFORE the pandemic, GDP growth rates in the developing world were always higher than in developed economies.And because developing economies had much lower levels of petrochemicals consumption than their rich counterparts, it meant that the multiples over GDP were higher than in the rich word, where consumption was pretty much saturated. For instance, polyethylene (PE) demand in a developed country such as Germany might have grown at 0.3% times GDP whereas in Indonesia the growth could have been one or more times higher than the rate of growth in GDP.But as The Economist wrote in this 11 July article: “In 2021 the poorest countries, which are desperately short of vaccines, are forecast to grow more slowly than rich countries for only the third time in 25 years.” Might the multiples over GDP growth also be adversely affected in the developing world, trending lower than the historic norms? They will almost certainly remain higher than the rich countries. But here is the thing: as millions more people are pushed back into extreme poverty by the pandemic or are denied the opportunity to achieve middle-income status, I believe that developing-world multiples may well decline.Escaping extreme poverty means being able to, say, afford a whole bottle of shampoo for the first time rather than a single-serve sachet, thereby raising per capita polymers consumption.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Pandemic’s third wave seems unlikely to damage global petrochemicals demand

Article | July 22, 2021

Petrochemical stocks plunged worldwide on 19 July ahead of the Q2 earnings season. The declines were consistent with those in economically sensitive sectors such as steel, copper, automotive and housing,” wrote my ICIS colleague, Joseph Chang, in this Insight article.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Reimagining the Workforce with Anglo American

Article | June 21, 2021

“At Anglo-American, we’re really focused on finding the best ways to attract the most talented people in the industry and effectively equipping our existing workforce based on what they need today and what the future will mean for their careers. We’re also committed to providing learning opportunities that lead to growth and development in the communities in which we operate. Our people are a strategic advantage. We want to ensure that continues to be the case as the mining industry evolves and faces more disruption.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Energy portfolio restructuring: Charting the future

Article | June 17, 2021

Consumer needs and preferences in the energy industry are evolving. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns are becoming more acute—inspiring action and shifting value towards low-carbon solutions. These trends accelerated in 2020 and for the first time, market capitalization of leading low-carbon solutions companies began to overtake those of oil and gas (O&G) majors. This is despite the majors laying out energy transition strategies, setting low carbon energy targets and generating higher revenues by an order of magnitude.1 In response to this radically changing landscape, energy companies are charting divergent courses for their futures. Some continue to bet on their ability to generate returns from the O&G value chain. They are focusing on growing margins and lowering carbon intensity. Others are supplementing their capabilities with low-carbon energy solutions or exiting hydrocarbons altogether. This blog focuses on the path forward for the energy majors in Europe who are betting big on diversification.

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Spotlight

Al Kout Industrial Projects Co. Shuaiba, Kuwait

We are a regional leader in the Chlor-Alkali industry established in 1993 and in 2000 became Kuwait's first privatized industrial company. We are listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange since 2002. We provide essential industrial sector products and services. We serve local, regional, and international markets. We strive to deliver consistent value to our stakeholders and we are continuously optimizing, acquiring, and excelling. We are committed to and dedicated to global health, safety and environmental standards and ethics.

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