Category Archives: Conferences

The Future of Oleochemicals – Neil Burns at PIPOC 2015

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As I said in the previous post, it was a great honour to talk in front of 2,500 people at this year’s International Palm Oil Conference (PIPOC), produced by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. Here’s a video of the talk. If you are expecting an exposition of Angelina Jolie, that’s not me, it’s Carl Bek-Nielsen of United Plantations (a superb talk and speaker). In my talk, however, you will get a story around little packets of salt and a hugely abbreviated history of oleochemicals from the time of the “big bang” to the present day. If you like some of the themes explored here and the manner in which I explore them, I encourage you to join me for a day and a half in Singapore, November 19 – 20th (Thursday and Friday) for our Fifth Asian Surfactants Conference.

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Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s PIPOC 2015 – Review

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Notes on MPOB’s PIPOC in Malaysia October 6 – 8th, 2015 The excellent MPOB’s international palm oil congress (PIPOC) attracted about 8,000 to the KLCC in central Kuala Lumpur this month. I was honoured to be asked to speak again after my last appearance there in 2011. This being Malaysia and Palm Oil, the event was a big deal. Oil palm represents about 6% of Malaysian GDP, over 60% of exports and an employer of over 600,000 people. The industry is a key driver of the country’s ongoing transition to beyond emerging market status. The event was attended and opened by the Minister of Planation Industries and Commodities, Malaysia, YB Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas. Numerous members of government and ambassadors to Malaysia attended the opening ceremony. The six plenary lectures in the opening session set the tone for the entire event and took place in front of an attentive crowd of around 2,500. Here a few comments and my take on each:” Carl Bek-Nielsen, CEO of United Plantations Berhad opened with a talk on sustainability in the oil palm business. A remark which has stayed with me is the following “Like it or not, the proboscis monkey and the…

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4th ICIS Asian Surfactants Conference – Singapore 2014

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Here are my thoughts and opinions on some of the highlights from our surfactant conference held recently in Singapore. This was the 4th in Asia and the 11th in the series of conferences, produced by me and ICIS. It was the biggest and, in my opinion, the best yet. Opening up the proceedings, I gave some introductory remarks, building on my theme for 2014, which is “What have Surfactants done for us?” This of course, building on a classic sketch from Monty Python.

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3rd ICIS Asian Surfactants Conference

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3rd ICIS Asian Surfactants Conference As we do periodically, I am happy to bring you a summary of what I think were the key points from the 3rd ICIS Asian Surfactants Conference in Singapore, November 14th and 15th. As you know, for the full benefit of these events, you just have to be there and I encourage you to join us at future surfactant conferences in Asia, Europe and the USA. In my opening remarks, we discussed the global surfactant supply chain and how different companies pursue strategies which depend on the specific part of the value chain that they occupy. We studied the latest update of the surfactant vertical integration grid and located a number of company groupings focused on very different sections of the business. We also discussed some recent company investments that highlighted their approach to vertical integration. Next up, Sarah Yarger Kienzle, managing partner of Linden Tree Partners gave a global updated of the surfactant market. One fascinating piece of data (for me) centered on the per capita consumption of surfactants for different regions of the world. The mature market consumption is dropping on a per capita basis, while emerging market are growing. The North American…

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BASF, Unilever and Brenntag Headline 1st ICIS European Surfactant Conference

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In less than two weeks over 100 thought leaders from the European surfactant industry will gather in Budapest for the 1st ICIS European surfactant conference at the historic Meridien Hotel. Some big names from the surfactant and consumer product value chain will speak, like Unilever, BASF and Brenntag The one and a half day event will include over papers and networking covering a range of critical topics for the industry and enable networking at the highest levels in one of Europe’s most beautiful and dynamic cities.

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