WSA 2024 – Day 1

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Session Details

WSA 2024 – Day 1

Thursday, 10 October
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Nick Kovics, Vice President, Global Inorganics, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS 

Session 1: Global Outlooks

Carlo Barrasa, Vice President, Energy Insights, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
A breakdown of the economic and energy outlooks as a foundation for projected soda ash market dynamics.
Marguerite Morrin, Executive Director, Chemicals, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
In 2023, the market saw the dichotomy of historic high growth for soda ash in China, led by solar glass and lithium carbonate versus a sharp drop in soda ash demand in the rest of the world. World solar glass production grew strongly in 2023 while flat glass growth was modest and container glass demand struggled. What opportunities does the current landscape provide for the industry?
Jonathon Pascoe, Director Research & Analysis, McCloskey by OPIS
This speaker will discuss the global outlook for coal and coke and the impact to the soda ash market.
Moderator: Nick Kovics, Vice President, Global Inorganics, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
Make new connections or join familiar faces during this dedicated break. Sessions to resume at 1055.

Session 2: Global Market Outlooks

Alasdair Warren, CEO, WeSoda
Hear from a prominent producer in the soda ash market discuss the state of the current market, challenges and implications for the future.
Hear from a prominent producer in the soda ash market discuss the state of the current market, challenges and implications for the future.
Moderator: Marguerite Morrin, Executive Director, Chemicals, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Session 3: Regional Market Overviews

Kamil Majczak, CEO, Ciech SA
Key producer discusses steps that they have in place to position themselves for a low carbon future.
Hasan Copur, Associate Director, Global Soda Ash, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS
What opportunities and challenges does the European market face and how does it impact the global market.
What are the opportunities for soda ash in India and is there an impact to the global market?

What are the opportunities for soda ash in Southeast Asia, a developing region, exclusively reliant on soda ash imports?
Moderator: Nick Kovics, Vice President Global Inorganics, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS 
Make new connections or join familiar faces during this dedicated break. Sessions to resume at 1620.

Session 4: Regional Soda Ash Market Outlooks

Dennis Ngonela, COO, Ngaresero Soda
The presentation will analyze the supply and demand of soda ash in Africa where the soda ash per capita consumption is the lowest in the World.
Lu Jin, Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange
The Soda Ash Futures of the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (ZCE) is the only futures contract in the world based on the product of soda ash. In this presentation, I will introduce Soda Ash Futures from three aspects. Firstly, we will discuss the soda ash market in China and address the main considerations when designing and launching the Soda Ash Futures. Secondly, I will examine the performance of Soda Ash Futures over the past years. Finally, I will review the Contract Specifications to understand how it is traded and delivered.
Moderator: Hasan Copur, Associate Director, Global Soda Ash, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS 
Nick Kovics, Vice President Global Inorganics, Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS 
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.

Hasan Copur Associate Director, Global Soda Ash Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Hasan is the Associate Director of the Soda Ash team at Chemical Market Analytics. Hasan is an associate director within the inorganics team and has expertise in the global Soda Ash Market Advisory Service. Over 15 years in commercial roles, Hasan has acquired international chemical industry experience while holding various sales and business management roles. He engaged in diverse sectors using inorganic chemicals as raw materials and helped develop a portfolio of global clients. During his time with the company, he has provided soda ash market coverage for each region of the world, offering insight and intelligence across the soda ash value chain, emphasizing Europe and the Indian subcontinent. Hasan spent over ten years with Sisecam, a global glass and soda ash manufacturer, managing international sales activities for their chemicals group in its multiple locations. He spent four years in China, leading the regional business. Before joining in 2021, he spent three years working in trading in the UK, overseeing a range of basic chemicals and metals in the international markets. Hasan holds a Bachelor’s in Economics from Istanbul University and an MBA from Yeditepe University. He joined the company in 2021 and resides in London, UK.

Lu Jin Senior Manager Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange

Lu Jin joined Zhengzhou Commodity Exchage in February 2015. As the Senior Manager of Commodity Products III Department at Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, she has made significant contributions to the exchange's growth and success. With her expertise in the field of commodities trading, she has been instrumental in the design and launch of Soda Ash, Sodium Hydroxide futures, and options. Her team is responsible for the research and development of Flat Glass, Soda Ash, Sodium Hydroxide Futures, and Soda Ash, Sodium Hydroxide Options. Under her guidance, they have added to the exchange's offerings and helped meet the needs of the industry.

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.

Kamil Majczak CEO Qemetica

Since June 2022, he held the position of a Member of the Management Board of CIECH S.A. responsible for the strategy and business transformation. Kamil Majczak has been associated with the CIECH Group since 2018, when he took the position of Strategy Director at CIECH S.A. responsible for formulating and implementing the Group's strategy. In 2020-2021, he simultaneously held the office of the President of the Management Board of CIECH Żywice and a Member of the Management Board of CIECH Ventures, a company focusing primarily on cooperation with young businesses developing modern technologies related to chemistry, sustainable industry and agriculture. So far, his most important achievements at CIECH have been: preparation of the Group's strategy for 2019-2021 and 2022-2024 as well as support in their implementation, coordination of activities related to improved efficiency in the soda business (digitisation), preparation of a plan to modernise energy sources in accordance with the adopted ESG Strategy, as well as a review of the Group's businesses, including the sale of the CIECH Żywice business for PLN 160 million in 2021. Between 2018 and 2021, he was employed at Kulczyk Investments. Professional Experience From 2018 to 2021, Kamil Majczak also worked for Kulczyk Investments. His previous professional experience includes working for the strategic consulting firm Bain & Company in Warsaw and Melbourne from 2014 to 2018, as well as for the advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in London from 2012 to 2014. Education Kamil Majczak is a graduate of a master-degree programme in economics at the University of Cambridge and a bachelor-degree programme in economics at the Warsaw School of Economics.

Marguerite Morrin Executive Director, Global Soda Ash Service Lead Chemical Market Analytics

Marguerite Morrin is the Executive Director of Global Soda Ash Service Lead at Chemical Market Analytics. Marguerite Morrin is the Executive Director of Soda Ash research at Chemical Market Analytics (CMA). Marguerite launched the Global Soda Ash Market Advisory Service (MAS) in 2008. Before launching the soda ash MAS, she held various responsibilities in the Inorganics value chain, including European chlor-alkali and vinyls market coverage, where she helped develop MAS. Marguerite’s area of focus is the Soda Ash Market Advisory Service. With over 30 years of research experience in the chemicals sector, Marguerite is a key CMA resource with respect to analysis and insights about soda ash markets. She works with the global soda ash team to understand and keep track of soda ash market developments and provide CMA clients with insight and critical analytics that facilitate decisions. Marguerite also organizes the CMA annual World Soda Ash Conference. Marguerite holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from University College Dublin, Ireland and a postgraduate diploma in Business Studies from UCD Smurfit Business School, Dublin. She is currently based out of the London office.  

Jonathan Pascoe Associate Director, Thermal Coal Research McCloskey by OPIS

Jonathan Pascoe, Associate Director, Thermal Coal Research, covers all aspects of the global thermal coal market including demand, supply, freight, prices, and cost analysis. Mr. Pascoe is responsible for running the research team’s thermal coal supply and demand model and is managing editor of McCloskey’s Thermal Coal Market Briefing publication. He also contributes strategic reports to McCloskey’s Thermal Coal Research service, and has contributed research to several consulting projects in thermal coal market assessments and price outlooks, coal supply studies, and litigation processes. Mr. Pascoe holds a BSc in mathematics from the University of Surrey.

Alasdair Warren Chief Executive Officer WE Soda

Alasdair Warren is the Chief Executive Officer of WE Soda, based in London, having been appointed in November 2019 and having previously served as a non-executive board director.

Prior to joining WE Soda, Mr. Warren served as the Head of Corporate and Investment Banking for the European, Middle East and Africa region at Deutsche Bank, based in London.

Prior to that, Mr. Warren was an investment banking Partner at Goldman Sachs in London for 11 years, serving in a number of roles, including the Global Head of Financial Sponsor Coverage, the Head of European Equity Capital Markets and Derivatives, and the Co Head of UK Investment Banking.

Mr. Warren holds a BSc (Hons) in Geology from the University of Nottingham.


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