The eighth meeting of the GPRA

November 9, 2009

The eighth meeting of the Global Phenolic Resins Association (GPRA) was held November 4 and 5 in Budapest, Hungary. The GPRA discussed many topics of current relevance to the phenolic resin producers, including: improving the standards of HSE of phenolic resin producers worldwide, the proposed creation of a GPRA seal, a discussion about REACH and its impact on phenolic resin producers, the raw material situation, and the economic outlook for 2009 and beyond.

The group focused on improving the Environmental, Health and Safety standards used to produce phenolic resins. Its current members continued to support the GPRA “Code of Industry Practice” and each member committed to documenting this commitment to the GPRA each year. In addition, the group furthered the development of a GPRA Seal. The Seal meaning and its use are still under discussion which will be continued at the next GPRA meeting. The Association envisions that the Seal will become an important distinguishing mark and it will help raise HSE standards of phenolic resin producers worldwide.

The GPRA discussed REACH including recommendations for actions GPRA members should consider to address this regulation. At this meeting, the group discussed the SIEFs and Consortia which have formed around phenolic resins. It is very important to phenolic resin producers to be included in the correct consortia which will determine how these products are registered under REACH. Membership in GPRA gives phenolic resin producers a mechanism to make sure they are in included in the process in an effective way.

The GPRA heard an excellent report by Mr. Alex Lidback, Global Business Director with CMAI. Mr. Lidback provided a view on the economic recovery and GDP projections in various regions. He also discussed energy markets and the projections for crude oil and natural gas prices. Of particular interest to the Association was Mr. Lidback’s report on the methanol and phenol markets, which he follows on a daily basis. Methanol is the key feedstock for formaldehyde. Phenol and formaldehyde are key raw materials for phenolic resin production. Thus the projections for future pricing and availability of methanol and phenol were highly relevant to the GPRA members present.

The group also discussed the recovery from the economic downturn that has influenced all phenolic resin producers. In contrast to the March meeting, the members showed economic conditions had improved in all regions. The reports from China by the guests from CPRA, Korea, Japan, USA and Russia were particularly interesting.

The next meeting of the GPRA is scheduled for March 17 and 18 in Shanghai China. The GPRA Chairmen are Dr. Joerg Talbiersky of UCP Chemicals, representing Europe, William Scheffer of SI Group, representing the Americas and Noboru Yamawaki of Sumitomo Bakelite, representing Asia. Membership in the GPRA provides excellent value to its members as the only organization which allows proper meetings between phenolic resin industry representatives from around the globe.

The Mission of the GPRA is: ‘To enhance the reputation of the global phenolic resins industry with all its stakeholders by highlighting the unique contribution offered to society by these resins and to foster safe management of phenolic resins throughout their lifecycle’

Further information may be found on the GPRA website at Questions or comments related to the GPRA may be sent to:

Dr. Nausch Unternehmensberatung GmbH
– Treuhandbuero –
Hallbergstrasse 5
D-40239 Duesseldorf
Tel.: +49-(0)-211-68 78 940
Fax: +49-(0)-211-68 78 935