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American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
International Petrochemical Conference 2014
Conference Daily Published by
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING® Sunday/Monday | March 30/31, 2014
A vibrant petrochemical manufacturing sector
CHARLIE DREVNA, President, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
Welcome to San An-
tonio and the 39th Inter-
Conference. We have a
great program planned
to keep you engaged
and informed. During
the next few days, you
will hear from industry
experts and be able to
contribute to conversa-
tions focused on global
shale development and the challenges of meeting today’s workforce needs.
As the industry advances, we are seeing changes in many of the faces at this annual event, including a growing number of women in all areas of petro- chemical manufacturing. This year we will recog- nize these positive changes with the rst networking reception for Women in Petrochemicals and provide those who are here the opportunity to connect.
Also on the schedule is a private screening of the movie FrackNation, which will be followed by a discussion led by the lm’s New Media Director, Daniel Richards. Finally, we will close the event by having the distinct honor of welcoming Dr. Condo- leezza Rice, the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, to the stage as our keynote luncheon speaker.
But rst, a theme you will hear throughout the event will be the impact of increased U.S. ener- gy production on manufacturing in the U.S. and around the world. The decline in the price of feed- stocks and energy costs, along with advantages in infrastructure, diverse manufacturing capabili- ties and the ability to innovate quickly, have put America in a competitive position in chemical manufacturing for the rst time in decades. The result has been a dramatic reversal from the mid- 2000s, when the U.S. was one of the world’s most expensive locations for manufacturing chemicals, to today when it is among the most affordable.
Shale development has since been instrumental in generating a wealth of natural gas liquids, a nat- ural resource that supplies our nation’s manufac- turers. Responsible development of these reserves has allowed the U.S. petrochemical industry to enjoy its best competitive advantage in more than 30 years.
As a result, chemical companies around the world have taken notice and have announced planned or possible investments in the U.S. worth more than $91 billion. More than half a million manufactur- ing jobs will be supported by unconventional oil and gas development by 2025 and, along with en- ergy-related chemicals, will contribute nearly $533 billion annually to the gross domestic product.
A vibrant petrochemical manufacturing sector, however, is just the rst step in a resurgence of the manufacturing sector. Petrochemicals provide a ripple effect on the manufacturing industry as a whole because they are a key component of the supply chain for many other industries. A strong overall manufacturing sector can foster a robust and stable economy and grow the middle class with well-paying jobs that are vital to our way of life.
The members of the American Fuel & Petro- chemical Manufacturers are committed to the realization of a manufacturing renaissance. Af- ter a decade of almost zero capacity expansion in U.S. petrochemicals manufacturing, shale de- velopment has prompted many to invest billions of dollars in ethane cracker capacity to harness vast new supplies of natural gas liquids for petro- chemical manufacturing and in new technologies to improve ef ciency and reliability. Powered by ingenuity and industriousness, our industry will work to take the right steps to ensure responsible development of our resources that allow cheaper energy feedstocks and the revival of the petro- chemical sector.
We will talk about all these things and more at the International Petrochemical Conference. Thank you for coming and for your continued sup- port of AFPM. •
Frank Popoff to receive 2014 Petrochemical Heritage Award
Frank Popoff, retired chairman and chief executive of cer of The Dow Chemical Company, will receive the 18th annual Petrochemical Heritage Award during Monday morning’s general session. Mr. Popoff’s career with Dow lasted over 41 years and included his serving as president and CEO from 1987 through 1995, chair- man from 1992 through 2000, and president of Dow Chemical Europe from 1980 through 1985.
CHF and the Founders Club es- tablished the Petrochemical Heritage Award in 1997 to recognize individu- als who made outstanding contribu- tions to the petrochemical community; to inspire achievement; and to promote public understanding of the modern sciences, industries and economies.
Mr. Popoff was kind enough to grant Hydrocarbon Processing an in- terview to discuss his achievements and the state of the petrochemical in- dustry. The resulting transcript of the interview is included here.
Re ections on his time as Dow CEO...
I came back from Europe in 1986 and became CEO. Dow has a rule that
you can’t be CEO past the age of 60, so I was CEO for about eight years and then it was time to move on, but they let me remain as chairman until 2000.
On what he plans to speak about...
I plan to speak to the folks at the ses- sions about the fact that, yes, lots has changed since I retired, but there are still many similarities. It has been evo- lutionary more than revolutionary. I am a little concerned; we need to empha- size the relevance of our industry to the marketplace, because these issues will determine how well we will do in the future. We need to address our issues and get the bottom line right, anticipate problems and get ahead of them.
On the shale gas revolution in the U.S...
This is the most dramatic change... I lived through the Gulf Coast advan- tage in the 1930s and 1940s. Dow was the pioneering company in Freeport, Texas, the site was once the largest petrochemical site. We chased hydro- carbons. We watched that situation ourish. If companies want to be in- ternational, make the high capital ma- terials on the Gulf Coast, ship interme-
diates to Europe and build derivatives around the world so you build a mar- ket base for investments.
Suddenly, the advantage from the Middle East to Texas Gulf Coast has swung back and forth. They don’t are much anymore in the Middle East, as they know what a Btu is worth, and so do we. Now, there will be Middle East production, but the Gulf Coast has reemerged. That is revolutionary, it is not cyclical.
What is Mr. Popoff up to these days?
I am working as a senior advisor for American Express. I am also a director at Shin-Etsu in Japan. It was a natural t, because Shin-Etsu once built a plant across from a Dow fa- cility. We would pipe petrochemicals across the fence, and Shin-Etsu would use them to become the world’s PVC producer. They asked me to join their board, and Japanese companies seem to venerate age, there are a lot of guys that are 80 in that room.
On what he is during IPC...
I will be giving three talks. At the Founders Dinner on Saturday, then
at a Sunday dinner and nally some remarks Monday at the general ses- sion. My message to all is that we are a great industry and we should never be apologists. Our history is amaz- ing. People said 100 years ago that if we put together organic synthesis and catalysts, we can rid the world of hunger and disease, and it happened along the banks of the Rhine in Ger- many and in the U.S. with the high
See POPOFF, page 9
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