In the program of the conference three thematic sessions were included. The first named The Market fundamentals for OXO Chain presented a global view on European chemical and petrochemical markets, and the conditions of OXO alcohol market. The panel was opened by Hardeep Parmar, Specialty Chemical Director in a British consulting company Kline. In her lecture she described two decades of transformations of European chemical manufacturers, with particular emphasis put on the change of production from commodity to specialty chemicals characterized by greater demand and more attractive margins. Then, Mike Beal, Chemical Consulting Director in IHS Markit, commented on the state and prospects for global chemicals markets. He paid special attention to the growing demand for chemical products. Especially relevant in his view is the Chinese market and its increasing production capacity, as well as the prospects for the development of American production assets located in the Gulf of Mexico. The session was closed by Jeremy Pafford, Managing Editior of ICIS Americas, who emphasized that it is a good time for companies functioning in chemical industry, because each player, regardless of location, has the chance to be competitive.
The next panel named The OXO Downstream applications was concentrated on the usage of OXO products in the industry of paints and varnishes, fuels and plasticizers. Ying Ho Lee, Marketing Manager in a German company Synthomer, opened the session. Some positive trends were announced by the following speaker – Joanna Imiołczyk from Nitroerg S.A. – We see a clear global tendency towards higher standards for engine fuels. Not only in terms of efficiency but also ecology – she commented after the presentation “OXO based fuel additives”. The final theme of the session – “Projections for plasticizer market developments” – was presented by Maciej Budner, Strategic Marketing Manager, the representative of the conference’s host – Grupa Azoty ZAK S.A. In his speech he focused on current and future macro trends analyzed on the basis of key markets: Asian, American and European.
The concluding session was devoted to the lengthening of the value chain in the segment of plasticizers. Among the speakers were prof. dr hab. Kazimierz Piszczek, representative of UTP University of Science and Technology in Bydgoszcz, and Piotr Sułkowski, Purchasing Director in ERGIS Group specializing in plastic processing and production of PVC, PET and PE. In the lecture “PVC films and market trends in plastics converting”, the representative of ERGIS Group described recent market challenges associated with plasticizers and economy of closed circuit, that is recycling. The speaker approached the company’s efforts to introduce a “second life” for the produced polymers.
During this year’s conference the artistic accent was not missing. The guests had the opportunity to admire the paintings of the famous impressionist Maria Wollenberg-Kluza during a vernissage. – I thought that at such serious conference, a music break would not harm. Although we do not hear music here, we can observe it in expressed colors – commented the painter.
This year’s second edition of The OXO Conference was summarized on behalf of the host Grupa Azoty ZAK S.A. by its President Paweł Mortas. – The Oxo Conference is an initiative which allows us to promote our OXO Segment and all the accomplishments achieved with our business partners. While the first edition of the conference focused on OXO technology, this year’s program brought closer the use of OXO products, focusing mainly on the market aspect. We are delighted by the excellent attendance and the fact that our prestigious speakers, who have a global perspective, shared knowledge. The conference attracts representatives of many business segments and consulting companies, which adds value. I would like to invite you to the next edition, during which other experts will share their knowledge – says Paweł Mortas.
The OXO Conference was inspired by the 30th anniversary of the OXO installation in Grupa Azoty ZAK S.A. Its first edition was held in November 2016 in Wrocław. The event has once again brought together representatives of the business segments involved in the production of OXO alcohols and plasticizers. The second edition of the OXO Conference was a summary of the efforts of Grupa Azoty ZAK S.A. on the OXO market and an attempt to highlight the enormous impact the company and its partners have on the market.