AFPM IPC '19: State of US petrochemical industry, program overview

Opening the 44th International Petrochemical Conference (IPC), Chet Thompson, President, CEO at American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) addressed the state of the US petrochemical industry. Thompson said the industry is very strong, citing unprecedented growth and progress from companies around the world.

(L) Chet Thompson, President, CEO AFPM, (R) Robert Kaplan, Managing Director Eurasia Group
(L) Chet Thompson, President, CEO AFPM, (R) Robert Kaplan, Managing Director Eurasia Group

“As I talk to you this morning, I am very pleased to report that the state of the petrochemical industry is strong, very, very strong. A growing middle class has created a huge boom in petrochemical demand that will be felt for decades,” Thompson said.

Thompson noted that with growth comes new challenges, including sustainability/plastic waste, life cycle management, and a changing political landscape. He stressed that the industry must do its part to continue to engage in conversations with governments and work to address the key issues challenging society.

 “We must do our part to address our most challenging issues. Thompson said. “We must continue to collaborate with other stakeholders and do our part to find reasonable paths forward.”

Thompson highlighted the petrochemical sector's efforts and success in innovating and increasing the performance of products and the industry.

"You are a noble industry; you support millions of jobs; you are good stewards of the environment; you support and enrich your communities. The products you make have transformed the world and have been drivers of innovation and human progress," Thompson said. 

Raphael Crawford, Chairman AFPM Petrochemical Committee, President, Catalyst Solutions, Albermarle Corporation.
Raphael Crawford, Chairman AFPM Petrochemical Committee, President, Catalyst Solutions, Albermarle Corporation.

Following Thompson’s opening presentation, AFPM Petrochemical Committee Chairman, Raphael Crawford gave an overview of this year’s IPC Conference program which included discussions on life cycle management, sustainability, the role of petrochemicals in the new mobility landscape and a presentation by best-selling author Robert Kaplan on changing geopolitics and the impacts of global petrochemical trade. 

“You will hear from CEOs and senior executives from industry-leading companies, leading academic minds in human behavior, materials science, sustainability, and even Silicon Valley investors,” Crawford said.

The AFPM association tackles issues facing the petrochemical sector. One of the biggest, Crawford notes, is the changing nature of the relationships between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The IPC program offered a Petrochemical Luncheon that featured a panel of North American leaders, Dick Cheney, 46th Vice President of the United States, Stephen Harper, 22nd Prime Minister of Canada and Felipe Calderon, 56th President of Mexico.

“We are excited that you will get to hear what people with real experience in this area think about the current state of affairs and the challenges of getting these three nations to work together,” Crawford said.

Crawford noted that nearly 3,000 people from over 40 countries were in attendance at AFPM IPC.

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