The twenty third meeting of the GPRA

December 8, 2017

The twenty third meeting of the Global Phenolic Resins Association (GPRA) was held November 29 and 30 in Rome.

The GPRA discussed various topics of crucial relevance to the phenolic resin producers, including: Exchange on Health, Safety and Environment, the economic status in various regions of the world, the current state of formaldehyde regulations around the world, and technical topics of interest to phenolic resin manufacturers.
This meeting was held in Rome and a total of 18 individuals representing 10 companies were present, including 4 participants from CPRA, the Chinese Phenolic Resin Association.

The group heard introductory information about ASK Chemicals, a global supplier of chemicals and materials to the world’s foundry industry and a first-time participant, as well as company updates from AICA Asia Pacific (Singapore), Forace Polymers (India), Prefere Resins (Germany), Kolon Industries (Korea), Metadynea (Austria), Huettenes Albertus (Germany), UCP Chemicals (Austria), Fenolit (Slovenia) and the Chinese Phenolic Resin Association.

A focus point of the meeting was Safety in the phenolic resin industry. The group is always focusing on sharing best practices in Environmental, Health and Safety management within the industry and heard presentations from AICA and Prefere Resins about safe and compliant storage of Formaldehyde and Phenol, both used as major raw materials in the industry.

Another topic of interest was about learnings from the Grenfell Tower catastrophe. The group was introduced to the topic by presentations about the history of various fire –related incidents and sometimes-tragic outcomes from those and about recently revised regulations for buildings in China (CPRA) and Korea (Kolon). They also learned about the complexity about fully evaluating the Grenfell fire disaster but also about improved performances in fire tests from various materials, especially from phenolic foams and stone wool (UCP).

A. Knebelkamp from Prefere Resins who is currently heading the European Phenolic Resins Association (EPRA) presented a case study with insights on how the European PVC industry managed to cope with substitution threats and gave an update on EPRA’s road map going forward.

For this meeting, K. Elliot from IHS gave a report on the current situation for key raw materials derived from benzene feedstocks with focus on Phenol and various Isocyanates. This report was extremely interesting to all attendees to help understand the global dynamics and the recent price developments for the most important raw materials.

The meeting was concluded by presenting the economic situation and outlook in major markets of the world. General outlook for all major regions is rather positive with good growth perspectives foreseen for 2018. ASEAN-5 countries expect to grow by 4,5% in 2017 and 2018 growth is forecasted to be a bit higher even (+4,8%). China growth in 2017 will be just short of the 7 % margin but growth may see some further momentum in 2018 as the government will issue more policies to promote the Chinese economy and economic restructuring. The Euro area economy is on track to grow at its fastest pace in a decade this year, with real GDP growth forecasted to grow at 2.2%. This is substantially higher than expected in spring (1.7%). On a positive also, the Russian economy is stabilizing with growth in GDP of around 2% in 2017 so far.

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

The next meeting of the GPRA is scheduled for June 6 and 7, 2018 in Delhi, India. The GPRA Chairmen are Dr. Joerg Talbiersky of UCP Chemicals, representing Europe, João Paulo Porto of SI Group, representing the Americas and Sang Ho (“Shane”) Lee of Kolon Industries, representing Asia. Membership in the GPRA provides excellent value to its members as it is the only organization, which allows proper meetings between phenolic resin industries 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