The twenty seventh meeting of the GPRA

November 29, 2019

The XXVII. meeting of the Global Phenolic Resins Association (GPRA) was held on November 19-November 20 in Hong Kong. Attendees heard presentations on a number of topics which are of interest and are having an impact to the industry, this time focusing on waste water and waste gas treatments in the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) section and on the competitive position of phenolic resins versus alternative binders, i.e. Carbores in the refractory markets. Moreover, major consequences of the Environmental Storm and the introduction of tariffs for imports of phenol to China were discussed.

All attending companies gave company updates and informed the group about recent changes in the respective organizations and/or shareholding structures.

Regulatory updates on the most relevant raw materials for the industries were given by J. Talbiersky (UCP Chemicals). It was of high interest to the audience to learn a bit more about the recently published (June 2019) substance evaluation on formaldehyde which was conducted by the Netherlands as the co-evaluating EU Member State and clearly stated that there is no justified need to identify Formaldehyde as a SVHC (Substance of Very High Concern). This is in sharp contrast to the opinion of France who is the evaluating EU Member State, constantly pushing for not very obvious reasons to put Formaldehyde on SVHC list. R. Kaiser (Si-Group) allowed the group to get some good insights into current developments in the Americas, also.

A. Knebelkamp (Prefere Resins) reported on progress of the work which is conducted by the Strategic Threats and Opportunities Group, established by EPRA (European Phenolic Resins Association) in order to counter unnecessary concerns arising from the formaldehyde reclassification. A key element in the discussions with the regulatory bodies in the EU but certainly also with customers is derived from the inert nature of a fully-cured (fully crosslinked) phenolic resin matrix which is typically the outcome when applying phenolic resins as binders in basically all relevant applications.

The audience very much appreciated profound presentations given by Mr. K. Wang who is representing CPRA (Chinese Phenolic Resin Associations) in GPRA. With regards to the environmental storm which is of course impacting the chemical industry in China in general it became very clear that for many smaller companies necessary investments to comply with stricter environmental regulations will be prohibitive. Small scale producers without proper treatment measures to reach the required standards will be gradually eliminated. Looking more specifically into the phenolic resin industry in China there are around 150 phenolic resin producers in China with an estimated total capacity of about 1.6 million tons. It is predicted that at least half of the around 150 phenolic resins producers in China will be eliminated in next three to five years.

As waste water and waste gas treatment for phenolic resin production are major investments, alternative technologies are of interest to the industry. Mr. Y. Li (CEO SwanShine Biotechnology Development Co. LTD) gave a very interesting presentation about Membrane Ultra-Bacteria Degradation Technology?MUB) which is offering some advantages versus traditional ways of treating waste waters, especially when compared to regenerative thermal oxidation (RTO).

The meeting was concluded by presenting the economic situation and outlook in major markets of the world by the member companies being active in the respective regions.

The meetings were held in the presence of DNU – Treuhandbuero, an independent consulting group ensuring that all discussions comply with all national and international laws. All members have signed the anti-trust compliance documents.

Participants at the Hong Kong GPRA meeting represent the companies listed below:

Fenolit, Huettenes Albertus Group, Kolon Industries, Metadynea, Prefere Resins, SI Group, UCP Chemicals and CPRA (Chinese Phenolic Resin Association), and moreover, SwanShine (CEO Y. Li).

The next meeting of the GPRA is scheduled for 19.-20. May, 2020 in Athens (Greece).

The GPRA Chairmen are Dr. Joerg Talbiersky of UCP Chemicals, representing Europe and Sang Ho (“Shane”) Lee of Kolon Industries, representing Asia. The chair for the Americas has been accepted by S. Kalra from SI-Group recently. 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