Global Chlor-Alkali & Vinyls Conference Day 1

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Session Details

Global Chlor-Alkali & Vinyls Conference Day 1

Tuesday, 7 May
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Session 1: Global Outlook – Decoding Market Fundamentals

Hazel Kreuz, Vice President, Global Inorganics Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Carlo Barassa, Vice President Energy Insights, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
A breakdown of the economic and energy outlooks as a foundation for projected chlor-alkali and vinyls market dynamics.
Dewey Johnson, Senior Vice President & Global Chemicals Lead, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
As the energy and chemical world shifts to renewables, it’s set to reshape traditional oil and gas practices and the relationship of fossil fuels to chemicals. This presentation will explore implications of energy decarbonization with respect to chemicals, the acceleration of “Big Oil” investment in crude to chemicals, and the implications for industry structure and centers of production.
Carlo Barassa, Vice President Energy Insights, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
The ethylene outlook; an essential consideration for the chlor-vinyls industry.
Joe McCabe, President & CEO, Autoforecast Solutions
Disruption and Uncertainty define the current state of the global automotive industry. We are in the center of a constant battle between internal-combustion and electrification, legacy OEMs and new players, geo-political pressures, supply chain constraints, and many other issues that make critical decision making a very difficult task. Joe McCabe, President & CEO of AutoForecast Solutions LLC (AFS), will provide a comprehensive view of the global automotive outlook and the key points shaping the industry today and into the future. Topics on regional production forecasts, legacy/new players, electrification, the China influence, and much more will be discussed.
Moderator: Hazel Kreuz, Vice President, Global Inorganics Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS 
Connect and engage with industry peers, sessions resume at 1125.  

Session 2: European and Asia Chlor-vinyl Market Outlooks

Henry Warren, Director, Chlorine and Vinyls EMEA Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
The European chlor-vinyls industry has been subject to immense pressures over the last two years. Demand collapsed, imports surged, and challenging export conditions catalyzed deep PVC operating rate cuts. Margin decline followed. What is the outlook? Is the European PVC market headed for more of the same, or is a recovery on the horizon? Can European PVC remain competitive? What are the implications going forward for supply, sourcing options and profitability? This presentation will explore these and other strategic considerations with critical insights and analysis, as the industry searches for a path towards a sustainable future.
Angel Fernandez, Director, Europe Caustic, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Is Europe a high-cost region long term and, if so, are imports the answer?
Wilson Loh, Director, Asia Chlor-alkali Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS 
Slowing growth in the largest chlor-alkali market is still significant growth
Moderator: Hazel Kreuz, Vice President, Global Inorganics Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
  Sessions resume at 1425.  

Session 3: North America & the World – The Big Picture

Ana Lopez, Director, Vinyls Americas Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
North American domestic PVC supply and demand were balanced at the beginning of 2024, but at a much lower level than during the 2021 peak. Producer inventories closed 2023 at relatively high levels, while export volumes reached a new monthly record. After the dramatic North American PVC demand drop in 2023, what can we expect for the PVC market in 2024 and beyond? What is the project update from the U.S. Infrastructure and Jobs Act? When will the stimulation from that legislation reach the domestic PVC market? What other factors are anticipated to fuel a market recovery … and when? This presentation will provide expert analysis on the current North American PVC market and the forecast for upcoming years.
Nick Kovics, Vice President, Global Chlor-alkali, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Slowing growth in the largest chlor-alkali market is still significant growth.
Moderator: Eddie Kok, Executive Director, Global Vinyls, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Connect and engage with industry peers, sessions resume at 1605.  

Session 4: Vinyls – Asia’s Impact and Global Perspective

Detlef Sagnar, Tricon International, Ltd.
Caustic Soda and EDC trading has become more globalized with markets more transparent than ever before. Various circumstances have changed the landscape; environmental protection and sustainability, economic and political changes as well as market consolidation are playing a role.
Eddie Kok, Executive Director, Global Vinyls, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Over the past 18 months, global PVC demand has been anemic, and the industry has faced price and margin erosion. However, as interest rates decline, we anticipate that PVC supply and demand dynamics will shift. Demand has been weak in China, but other pocket of bright spots such as India and Southeast Asia are mitigating the fallout from slowing mainland China.
Moderator: Hazel Kreuz, Vice President, Global Inorganics Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Will caustic soda recover before chlorine after a demand-driven trough?
Hazel Kreuz, Vice President, Global Inorganics Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Join Chemical Market Analytics and industry peers to connect, interact and engage.  
Session Speakers

Carlo Barrasa Vice President, Energy Insights Team Lead Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Carlo Barrasa is the Vice President of Energy Insights at Chemical Market Analytics In this role, Carlo stewards the development of energy market content to help Chemical Market Analytics’ clients navigate the complexities of the oil, gas & natural gas liquids markets. Previously, Carlo led the North American Light Olefins service, which provides clients with valuable insights into the regional market dynamics of cracker feedstocks, ethylene, and propylene. Before joining Chemical Market Analytics, Carlo was a Senior Strategy Advisor at Anadarko Petroleum, where he was responsible for guiding the company's market strategy for its natural gas liquids business. After beginning his career in various downstream and chemical roles with ExxonMobil, Carlo held senior consulting and research positions at IHS Markit legacy companies PFC Energy and CMAI.

Hazel Kreuz Vice President, Global Inorganics Chemical Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Hazel Kreuz serves as the Vice President of Global Inorganic Chemicals at Chemical Market Analytics, which includes Chlor-alkali chemicals, Vinyls, Bleaching Chemicals, and Soda Ash. Ms. Kreuz brings four decades of chemical industry experience to the Chemical Market Analytics Inorganic chemicals insights team. She joined the IHS Markit base chemicals business (now known as Chemical Market Analytics) in 2016 as Chlor-alkali Chemicals Global Service Lead. Ms. Kreuz was promoted to her current role leading the Global Inorganic chemicals insights team in April 2019. She leads twenty analysts that analyze, forecast, and report on chlor-alkali chemicals, vinyls, bleaching chemicals, and soda ash from five global locations. Ms. Kreuz has a background in petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals; she held a range of functional roles in several companies prior to joining Chemical Market Analytics. Hazel began her career in ethylene oxide and glycols manufacturing with Union Carbide Corporation; she also held ethylene oxide derivatives, HS&E, risk analysis, financial analysis, and marketing management positions with Union Carbide. She was a recipient of Union Carbide Corporation's prestigious Chairman's Award for the development of the Corporations' Episodic Risk Management System, which Arthur D. Little praised as "elegant and sophisticated". Hazel moved to the inorganic chemicals world joining Canadian Occidental, which subsequently became Nexen Petroleum, and then Canexus, where she held management positions in chlor-alkali chemicals and sodium chlorate marketing, strategic planning, and investor relations. She returned to the US chemical market, joining Huntsman Corporation and serving as global marketing manager for mining chemicals, pulp & paper chemicals, and water treatment chemicals in the Performance Products division. Hazel holds a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA.  

Eddie Kok Executive Director, Global Vinyls Service Lead Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Eddie Kok is the Executive Director of Global Vinyls Service Lead at Chemical Market Analytics Eddie Kok is the Executive Director and Global Service Leader for Chemical Market Analytics (CMA) Global Vinyls Market Advisory Service. During his time with the company, he has held various responsibilities within the Inorganics value chain, including Asia Lead for the chlor-alkali and vinyls market coverage. With over 20 years of chemicals sector research experience, Eddie is a crucial resource within the business for understanding and providing insight into chlor-alkali and vinyls markets. Eddie’s currently focuses on vinyls markets, directing a team of researcher colleagues around the globe to monitor and understand market developments within the vinyls value chain and provide CMA clients with insights and critical analytics that facilitate decisions. Eddie also researches and analyzes Asian KOH markets and works closely with his global Chlor-alkali colleagues in other ways to provide an integrated view of the chlor-alkali and vinyls businesses. Before joining Chemical Market Analytics, Eddie held multiple roles with CCM, a chlor-alkali producer based in Malaysia. His responsibilities at CMM included product portfolio management, production planning and regional sales. Mr. Kok holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Campbell University, North Carolina, United States. He is currently based out of the Singapore office.

Nick Kovics Vice President, Global Inorganic Chemicals Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Nick Kovics is the Vice President of the Global Inorganics team at Chemical Market Analytics. Nick Kovics serves as the Vice President of Global Inorganic Chemicals at Chemical Market Analytics, which includes Chlor-alkali chemicals, Vinyls, Bleaching Chemicals, and Soda Ash. Nick brings over 25 years of chemical industry experience to the Chemical Market Analytics Inorganic Chemicals insights team. He was promoted to his current role in 2024, where he leads twenty analysts who research, forecast, and report on chlor-alkali chemicals, vinyls, bleaching chemicals, and soda ash from five global locations. Previously, Nick held a variety of roles in the Inorganics value chain at Chemical Market Analytics, including leading the Chlor-alkali, Bleaching Chemicals, and Battery Materials advisory services. Nick held various functional roles in several companies before joining Chemical Market Analytics. He began his career as a process engineer in the chlor-alkali sector at Canadian Occidental. Nick next moved into the energy sector as a field engineer with Schlumberger Canada cementing and hydraulic fracturing services. He transitioned from oil and gas to new energy and spent a decade in the hydrogen fuel cell sector in technical, commercial and financial roles. Nick continued in the electrochemical industry by joining Canexus (now Chemtrade) and held commercial leadership roles in chlor-alkali and sodium chlorate marketing. Nick is originally from Canada and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Simon Fraser University. He is a registered Canadian Professional Engineer and a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant. He has resided in Houston, TX, since joining Chemical Market Analytics in 2017.

Wilson Loh Director, Asia Chlor Alkali Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Wilson Loh is the Director for Asian Chlor-alkali at Chemical Market Analytics. Wilson Loh is a Research and Analysis Director in the Chemical Market Analytics Global Chlor-alkali Team. Before joining, he gained extensive experience through his decades of work in commercial and trading positions in chlor-alkali and other chemical industries. Wilson’s deep experience facilitates his work in conducting extensive research and analysis on the chlor-alkali markets in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. He authors the Asian report section of the Global Chlor-alkali Market Report (GCR), which covers his assessments of chlorine and caustic soda markets across Asia. He also provides long-term projections for Asian markets through his contributions to the World Chlor-alkali Analysis. Before joining Chemical Market Analytics, Wilson spent years at Basic Chemical Solutions (BCS) and Univar in chlor-alkali products distribution and trading in the Asian market. His work at BCS and Univar was preceded by several years in a commercial position at Chemical Industries Far East, a chlor-alkali producer. Mr. Loh holds a BBA and MBA degree from the University of San Francisco. He joined Chemical Market Analytics in 2017 and is currently based in the Singapore office.

Ana Lopez Director, Americas Vinyls and Global Sodium Sulfate Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Ana Lopez is the Director of Americas Vinyls and Global Sodium Sulfate at Chemical Market Analytics. Ana Lopez is the Americas Director of Vinyls (PVC, VCM, EDC) research at Chemical Market Analytics. In addition, she is responsible for the global market analysis of sodium sulfate. She has held several roles across numerous product areas during her time with the company. With over 25 years of experience, Mrs. Lopez is a key resource within the business for understanding and insight into the chlor-alkali & vinyls sectors of the chemical industry. Within North America and South America, she works closely with the chlor-alkali and vinyls industries, bringing her experience from the commodity markets. Her current area of focus includes contributions to the ‘Global Vinyls Report as well as primary input and insight for the World Sodium Sulfate and World Vinyls analyses. Her prior experience includes covering caustic soda, chlorine, and hydrochloric acid. In this role, she was responsible for contributing to the Global Chlor-Alkali Report and World Analysis Chlor-Alkali. Before joining Chemical Market Analytics, Mrs. Lopez spent several years with Pemex International Trading Company (PMI) in Mexico City in petrochemical commercial operations and market analysis, preceded by a few years with the EPC company ICA Fluor Daniel. Mrs. Lopez has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana and a Master of Business Administration from Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico, both in Mexico City. She joined Chemical Market Analytics in 2007 and is based in the Houston office.

Paulo Pereira Executive Director, Latin America Caustic Soda and Bleaching Chemicals Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Paulo Pereira is the Executive Director of the LAT Chlor-Alkali and Bleaching Chemicals business at Chemical Market Analytics. Paulo Pereira is an Executive Director responsible for Caustic Soda and Bleaching Chemicals market research and analysis for Latin America. During his tenure with the company, he also covered the North American caustic soda market in 2023. In addition, Paulo also provides regional support in the Chlor-alkali World Analysis reports. Before joining Chemical Market Analytics, Paulo worked in the chemical industry for many years. Immediately after university graduation, he joined Dow Chemical in their operations at the Guaruja Site in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After several international transfers and 22 years of operating Epoxy and Polyurethanes facilities and sites in Brazil, the US and Italy, Paulo joined Dow’s Technology Centers division, leading global PU and Alkoxylation technology teams. In 2019, he was seconded to Sadara Chemical Company in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, as Technology Director, and repatriated to the US in 2021, retiring from his 37-year career with Dow. Mr. Pereira holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Maua Engineering School in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has lived and worked in leadership positions in Brazil, the United States, Italy and Saudi Arabia. Throughout his career, he developed a deep understanding of petrochemical chain integration, operational aspects and cost & capital perspectives for many technologies, from olefins to PU-formulated systems specialties. Paulo has resided in Houston, TX, since 2017 and joined Chemical Market Analytics in December 2022.

Henry Warren Director, EMEA Vinyls and Middle East Caustic Soda Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Henry Warren is the Director of EMEA Vinyls and Middle East Caustic Soda at Chemical Market Analytics. Henry Warren is an integral Global Vinyls and Chlor-alkali Market Advisory Service member. Since joining the company in 2001, he has focused on vinyls, from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) through its precursors - ethylene dichloride (EDC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). Since early 2024, he also assumed responsibility for caustic soda in the Middle East. During his time at the company, he has held various additional positions, including responsibility for chlorine, hydrochloric acid, chlorinated solvents, TiO2 and caustic potash. Along with the stakeholder relationships he has built over several decades, his in-depth understanding of the industry contributes to the unparalleled insight that Chemical Market Analytics brings to the vinyls and chlor-alkali sector. Henry provides coverage, analysis and insight into the vinyls value chain in EMEA and caustic soda in the Middle East in the Global Vinyls and Chlor-alkali Reports, respectively. He is also a key contributor to our Vinyls and Chlor-alkali World Analysis services. With a regional and global perspective, he works closely with clients across regions to provide support in relevant areas of the vinyls and chlor-alkali industries. He entered the field of chemical market analysis in 1996, analyzing feedstocks and several polyolefin value chains in Europe, North America and Latin America. Mr Warren holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Humberside, UK. He is a native English speaker, fluent in Spanish, proficient in French and resides near Oxford, UK.

Angel Fernandez Director, Chlor-Alkali Research EMEA Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Angel Fernandez is the Director of EMEA Chlor-alkali Research at Chemical Market Analytics Angel Fernandez is the Director of EMEA Chlor-alkali Research at Chemical Market Analytics. Angel joined the Chemical Market Analytics team through the legacy IHS Markit Base chemicals team in 2021. During his time with the company, he has held various roles in the Inorganics value chain, including potassium hydroxide research and analysis and Global Service Leader for bleaching chemicals. Angel leads the EMEA chlor-alkali team and provides market coverage for European caustic soda in the Global Chlor-alkali Report and Chlor-alkali World Analysis. He works closely with clients in all regions to provide support and guidance on chlor-alkali chemicals. Angel has over 20 years of experience in trading, shipping, market research and analysis of the chemical industry. He started his career at BP Chemicals, followed by five years at Sojitz UK, where he was involved in the trading and shipping of aromatics, methanol and solvents. Before joining the IHS Markit Base Chemicals business (now known as Chemical Market Analytics), he spent ten years researching and analyzing oxo alcohols, plasticizers and chlor-alkali markets at a market data provider. Angel holds Master’s degrees in Chemistry and International Relations. He is based out of the London office.

Dewey Johnson Senior Vice President, Global Head of Chemical Market Analytics Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Dewey Johnson is Senior Vice President & Global Lead of Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones Company (“Chemical Market Analytics”). IHS Markit Global LLC (“IHS Markit”) was acquired by S&P Global in February 2022. As part of the merger, IHS Markit Base Chemicals was spun off and separately acquired by Dow Jones and renamed “Chemical Market Analytics” in June 2022. Dewey is responsible for the global business, including insight and research covering the major chemical value chains including Aromatics and Fibers, Olefins and Derivatives, Inorganics (chlor-alkali, vinyls, and soda ash), Plastics and Polymers, and Syngas Chemicals (methanol, acetyls, and ammonia). Dewey is based in Houston. Prior to Chemical Market Analytics, Dewey joined IHS Markit (through legacy CMAI) in 2009. His experience in the petrochemical industry covers all aspects of the business- financial, commercial, operations, research, strategy design and business planning, business development, as well as consultancy. Prior to IHS Markit, he was with Eastman Chemical Company, where he spent more than 25 years in strategic and commercial roles with various business groups and corporate functions. Dewey held management positions in commercial development, global sourcing, P&L for key businesses, market development, and market & strategic analysis of chemical markets and businesses. Dewey has led multiple complex engagements in strategy development and execution, global sourcing of Aromatics & olefins derivatives and industrial gases, business simulation & game theory and dynamic modeling, sales/ marketing, and business development. Dewey received BS and MS engineering degrees from Tennessee Technological University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He also earned an MBA in General Management. Dewey has been a frequent guest lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, UVA Darden School of Management, and SUNY at Albany School of Public Policy.

Joe McCabe President & CEO AutoForecast Solutions LLC (AFS)

As President and CEO of AutoForecast Solutions LLC (AFS), Joe leverages his decades of industry experience and knowledge to provide production forecasting and advisory services to the global automotive community. Joe manages the automotive turnkey operations at AFS including the global light vehicle, powertrain, drivetrain, and alternative propulsion forecast as well as a suite of AFS proprietary opportunity and sales planning software. AFS supports all tiered suppliers, VMs, government agencies, financial institutions, and the academic community with data, planning solutions, and a personalized support to help identify new business opportunities while mitigating risk. Joe’s 25+ year career in automotive forecasting ranges from his tenure at AutoFacts, PwC, AutomotiveCompass, and now as founder of AutoForecast Solutions LLC (AFS). Joe earned his Bachelors of Chemical Engineering degree at Villanova University and an MBA at Pennsylvania State University.

Detlef Sagner Chlor-Alkali Manager NWE Tricon Energy Ltd.

Mr. Detlef Sagner is a Senior Trader in Tricon Energy Ltd., for their Chlor-alkali business and his primary role is the Caustic and EDC trade, specializing in West Europe region. He is based out of their Germany office in Cologne. He is married to Marlies and has three kids.

Tricon Energy Limited, is a USA based trading and distribution company in petrochemicals, polymers, fuels and dry bulk, serving > 4500 customers, sourcing from > 400 suppliers. The Tricon Group has operations in more than 20 countries and a global presence in over 120 countries, trading in excess of 16 million MT and over US$10 Billion in revenues.

Detlef went through a commercial/chemical education program in Bayer AG Germany. He was also deputed on an overseas assignment to Mexico to handle the sales and distribution in the USA/Mexico region before coming back to Germany as the Export Head of former Bayer Caustic business, now Covestro.

Detlef joined Tricon Energy in early 2011 and has more than 30 years of Global experience in the Product management, distribution and trading of Chlor/Alkali products, having worked for German major, Bayer AG for 13 years and then subsequently working as a Business Manager and Global trader for Caustic Soda and EDC.

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