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Argus Petrochemical Markets 2018

Your opportunity to explore new global investments and changing trade flows - at the largest chemical cluster in Europe

Do you need to understand which new investments in the global market will affect your operations? Does your business want to hear about new techniques to enhance your daily processes through innovation?

Join the Argus Petrochemical Markets 2018 conference in Antwerp, Belgium, 22-24 May, to gain a thorough understanding of future supply/demand opportunities across the global petrochemicals industry.

 This is your opportunity to network with experts and get the answers to your most pressing questions, such as:

  • What tools does Europe have to maintain competitiveness against its global peers?
  • How could new investments and capacity in the US change trade flows, the European market and your business?
  • Where will you see growing demand for chemicals globally?
  • How will you be affected by forecasts on the feedstock and polymer markets, and the current pricing landscape?
  • What infrastructure is available for you to deal with new imports?

Register now and join representatives from petrochemical and chemical companies, traders, shipping companies and other key industry players. Have your say and help to shape the future of the international industry.

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Gallery from Argus Petrochemical Markets 2017

APM gallery 1
APM gallery 2
APM gallery 3

Companies that attended last year's event

DOW Europe
Grupa LOTOS S.A.
Aschem Petrochemical Co.
Safra Company
Indian Oil Corporation
Perstorp AB
MOL Plc.
Spanish Chemical Federation (FEIQUE)
Koole Tanktransport BV
CLX Logistics
Total Petrochemicals and Refining
Standic B.V.
SK Gas
Port of Tarragona
Saybolt España SAU
Tradebe Port Services (TPS)
Sekisui Specialty Chemicals Europe

Don't just take our word for it

 “A first-level event host by Argus! I was delighted to attend this extremely interesting conference, covering all the topics the industry needs. Without any doubt, I strongly recommend attendance next edition”.
Nuria Blasco, TEPSA

“Systematic and well organized event! Presenters were well prepared and knowledgeable”.
Nikolina Jaksic, MOL Plc

“I'm really impressed of the knowledge of the speakers and their global vision of the geo-political, industrial and economic situation in the petrochemical world”.
Vicent Arjó Borrell, BASF

Contact us:

For more information or to be kept up to date regarding the 2018 event, please contact us:

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Conference rates:

Standard Rate EUR (€)
Conference only pass (22-23 May)
Conference + post-conference workshop pass (22-24 May)

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View the Terms and Conditions

Your registration includes:

Conference only:
  • Two-day pass to participate in all main conference sessions on 22-23 May
  • Networking lunch, refreshment breaks on both days
  • Networking drinks reception on 22 May
  • One set of conference documentation

Conference + post-conference workshop pass:
In addition to the elements available with the two-day pass, delegates will also have access to the following:

  • Workshop on the morning 24 May
  • Tour of the Port of Antwerp Boat House on the afternoon of 24 May
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Antitrust compliance reminder

Argus takes compliance with antitrust law seriously. Argus Petrochemical Markets will provide participants with a high-level update and detailed analysis of the global petrochemical markets. The seminar sessions will follow the agenda as circulated.

Argus reminds all participants of the need to be mindful of the requirement to comply with antitrust and competition laws. There should be no discussion of any matters relating to competition among participants, including discussion of individual prices, rates or market strategies and no exchange of information concerning any other competitive aspect of an individual company’s operation. Should any participant to this conference attempt to initiate a discussion with other participants on any of these matters, we recommend that other participants end the conversation immediately, and at all times act in accordance with their own antitrust compliance policies and all applicable laws.

Information Contact Bryony Senczyszyn for more information about the event: 

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Conference Day One - 22 May 2018


Morning registration and networking

10.00 Chairperson’s opening remarks 

Andy Nicholson, SVP, Business Development, Argus
10.10 Welcome address from the Port Authority

William Demoor, Director Customer Management, Antwerp Port Authority


10.30  Keynote speech: Europe’s position in the global picture: What will the future look like?
  • Exploring Europe’s role in the global petrochemical landscape
  • Understanding Europe’s feedstock advantage and logistics capabilities 
  • Asset upgrade to keep business competitiveness? 
  • How will new sustainability policies and regulations impact materials being produced?
  • Circular economy solutions expected
  • Europe will continue to drive in petrochemicals
Suzy Smedts, Commercial Manager, Feedstock & Cracker Products, Borealis
11.00  How new plants and capacity in the US will change global trade flows 
  • Examining new capacity in the US: where will new supply come from?
  • Forecasting how much new supply will be in the market and where this will be absorbed
  • Which feedstocks and polymers will be exported?
  • Increasing exports and infrastructure available to transport globally
 11.30 Speed networking and business card exchange
Meet all attendees in the room within 30 minutes, exchange business cards, and set up meetings for later in the conference

 11.50 Morning coffee and networking
12.10  Keynote global panel discussion: Exploring current and future supply and demand dynamics and the impact of new capacity in the US and the Middle East on future global trade flows
  • What does the current global supply and demand landscape look like?
  • Where do we see new capacity developments globally?
  • How much of the new products will come into Europe?
  • Will local European capacity decline and be replaced with imports?
  • Where will demand for speciality chemicals come from?
  • How much new polyolefins will come to Europe and how will trade flows change?
  • How will increasing capacity in the US change the supply and demand balance? 
  • Could the increase in supply of polyolefins have an influence on prices?
Andy Nicholson, SVP, Business Development, Argus

Keshav Sodhi, General Manager – Trading, Safra
Suzy Smedts, Commercial Manager, Feedstock & Cracker Products, Borealis 

Mathew George, Head of Petrochemical Exports, Indian Oil Corporation 
 13.00 Networking lunch


 14.30 Exploring the outlook of the European olefins market and trade balance for polymers
  • What future feedstock will be available given new supply and refining capacity?
  • Exploring major ethane-based investment programmes globally and LPG investments
  • Comparing regional polymer costs
  • Examining polypropylene investment and how it will shape the market
Sarah Rae, Vice-President, Olefins Europe, Argus 
15.00 Aromatic balances – an outlook on the future European landscape  
  • Exploring the declining feedstock base  
  • What is the future for refining in Europe and how will this affect aromatics balances?
  • How is the European refining landscape impacting aromatic production
  • Assessing aromatic balances in the US, India and Middle East and impact on Europe
  • The outlook of aromatic prices 
Andy Nicholson, SVP, Business Development, Argus
 15.30 Afternoon coffee and networking


 16.00 How the storage landscape is equipped for an increasing global market
  • Taking a look at the current storage landscape in Antwerp 
  • What capacity is available for companies looking to increase storage at the Port?
  • How the European energy transition impacting demand for storage of petrochemicals
  • Identifying niche markets for storage including renewables and waste products
Nancy De Groof, Regional Director Commercial & Business Development, Oiltanking
 16.30 Chairperson's closing remarks

Andy Nicholson, SVP, Business Development, Argus
 17.00 Networking experience: Port Site Visit and Guided Tour followed by Networking Drinks Reception

Join your peers for a guided bus tour around the Port and Port House and learn about this iconic building situated in the heart of the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe

  19.00  Close of conference day one

Conference Day Two - 23 May 2018 

Morning registration and networking
09.30 Chairperson’s opening remarks

Joe Duffy, Principal, Argus


 09.40 Case study: Increasing feedstock flexibility through refinery and petrochemical integration  
  • Integrating the refining and petrochemical processes for a harmonised approach
  • Understanding the benefits of integration for feedstock flexibility 
  • Exploring the product landscape and feeds into the petrochemical plant
  • Latest approaches to integration on an operational level
  • Moving towards digitalisation to optimise refinery technology integration
Senior Representative, TOTAL Refining and Chemicals 
 10.10 India case study: Benefiting from refinery and petrochemical integration  
  • Assessing current investments within the chemical industry
  • Understanding the benefits of integrating the refining and petrochemical processes 
Mathew George, Head of Petrochemical Exports, Indian Oil Corporation
10.40 Morning coffee and networking


11.10   Keynote panel discussion: 2020 vision on sustainability – how much further do we need to go?
  • How much of a priority is sustainability for the petrochemical industry?
  • What measures are taking place to improve sustainability of the chemical industry?
  • Where do we see major investments taking place?
  • Are there any new technologies and techniques that help improve sustainability?
  • Which methods of carbon dioxide capture are available? 
  • Exploring how to implement new activities such as “operational clean sweep”
Walmir Soller, CEO, Braskem Europe 
Eric Bischof, VP, Corporate Sustainability, Covestro 
Dorothee Arns, Executive Director, Petrochemicals Europe 
Eric de Deckere, CSR Manager, Antwerp Port Authority, winner of CSR Professional of the Year 2017 award for Belgium


 11.40 Case study: Preparing for a new age by investing in digitalisation
  • Accelerating digital technologies as drivers for port innovation and development
  • Smart infrastructure supporting the supply chain
  • Creating value for customers, using shared and real-time information
Piet Opstaele, Innovation Enablement Manager, Antwerp Port Authority 
12.10  How a chemical major innovates its supply chain: The story of Dow
  • Exploring software applications for quantum computing
  • AI systems that enables smoother processes across the supply chain
  • Working closely in partnership with universities and national labs to improve capabilities
  • Developing software that is tailored to the needs of the lab
Lennart Heip, BPL ITO, Dow Chemical 
 12.40 Networking lunch
 13.40 Panel discussion: How the movement towards digitalisation will change the foundations of the chemical industry 
  • Which aspects of the chemical process can implement automatic and digital changes?
  • Will the new move change the industry, and by how much?
  • Are there new platforms and new opportunities to change relationships and will these change supply chains?
  • What techniques are available in the market to change how products are sold? 
  • How can companies use data to better forecast maintenance requirements of plants to reduce shutdown times?
Peter Devos, Managing Director, European Chemical Transport Association 
Wolfgang Laures, Executive Vice President Global Supply Chain, Perstorp 
Lennart Heip, BPL ITO, Dow Chemical


 14.10 Sparking new innovation and development within the plastics market 
  • Exploring the new movement towards and benefits of industry bio-polymers
  • Understanding customer requirements for a new range of bio products
  • Developing bio-polymers in a broad range of innovative and sustainable applications
  • Exploring the benefits of joint partnership agreements to increase product value
 14.30 Innovation in bio-chemicals: What are the advancements in R&D for the chemical industry? 
  • Catalysing innovation in the chemical industry 
  • Looking at the advantages of using bio-chemicals to improve sustainability
  • What new investments are taking place to transition to a renewable industry?
  • Improving flexibility through biotechnology as a growth industry
Jan Van Havenbergh, Managing Director, Catalisti 
 15.00 World café roundtables 

Sign up to roundtable sessions with like-minded peers — places are limited to ensure maximum interaction

Roundtable 1: Cluster competitiveness

Roundtable 2: Exploring supply and demand dynamics in Europe

Roundtable 3: Digitalisation

 15.40 Roundtable conclusions
 15.50 Chairperson’s closing remarks and close of conference

Joe Duffy, Principal, Argus
Networking lunch
Networking lunch
Networking lunch

Post-conference workshop - 24 May 2018

09.00 Registration and coffee
09.30 - 12.00
Feedstock changes and the outlook for olefins and aromatics balances
  • Changes in the US due to shale oil and shale gas
  • European feedstock changes and the impact on olefins slate
  • Aromatic balances in Europe
  • Mixed aromatics and changes in the refining industry
Who is this workshop for?

The workshop is for petrochemical experts looking to assess changing demand dynamics, and for directors, purchasing and sourcing managers in the petrochemicals sector to explore the outlook of the aromatic and olefins markets.

 12.00 Close of workshop

For more information or to be kept up to date regarding this event, please contact us:

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Our industry line-up of expert speakers:

Suzy Smedts
Suzy Smedts, 
Commercial Manager, Feedstock & Cracker Products, Borealis

Suzy Smedts is Commercial Manager Feedstock and Cracker Products and currently heads the feedstock traders desk and cracker product managers team at Borealis. She has 25 years’ experience in the petrochemical industry, having started her career at Statoil before moving to Borealis following the merger of Statoil and Neste in 1994. Suzy’s area of expertise is related to hydrocarbons, where she has a number of logistical, operational and commercial responsibilities. Besides this she has taken up managerial roles in polyolefins, primarily in the supply chain area, including functions covering demand management, global logistics and customer service.

Andy Nicholson
Andy Nicholson
, Vice President, Market Development Petrochemicals, Argus

Andy Nicholson works for Argus and is responsible for the aromatics and derivatives consulting business in Europe, the Middle East and India. He has 35 years’ experience in the petrochemical industry, including 13 years with ICI in the UK and Germany and eight years with Rhone-Poulenc/Rhodia in France. He studied at the universities of Cambridge and Freiburg and is fluent in English, German and French.
Eric Bischof
Eric Bischof, 
Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, Covestro

Eric Bischof studied chemistry at RWTH Aachen and holds a PhD in natural science. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the chemical industry, including positions in manufacturing, product management, supply chain management and business process redesign. He has lived and worked in Europe, the US and China. Eric invented the energy efficiency methodology licensed under the trade name STRUCTese. He headed the German chemical association’s Chemie³ sustainability initiative, which was highlighted as an exemplary project by the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) in its report to the German federal government in 2013. Eric is now Vice-President Corporate Sustainability at Covestro. He is married with three children.
 Walmir Soller
Walmir Soller
, CEO and General Manager, Braskem Europe

Walmir Soller is currently Braskem Europe CEO and General Manager being also responsible for the Polyolefins business in Europe.

Walmir has previous experience as the PP Business Director for South America, Chemicals New Business and Strategy Director, Polyolefins Exports Director, PET Business Director and UHMW-PE Global Business Manager. Prior to Braskem, he worked at Du Pont Brasil S.A. as the South American Business Manager for Glass Laminated Products and Brazil Business Manager for Packaging Specialties.

Walmir is graduated in Chemical Engineering at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro with an MBA at the University of Michigan.
 Peter Devos
William Demoor, 
Director, Customer Relations, Antwerp Port Authority

William started working for the Antwerp Port Authority in 2006 as consultant Port Real-Estate. He has worked in different departments of the Port Authority and has specialised in fore and hinterland policy, concession policy and general port management. In 2011 William started working for Port of Antwerp International (PAI) and focused on the port sector in south Asia, specifically India, resulting in an equity investment by Port of Antwerp International in the Indian port sector. In 2013, for a short period he became Manager of the Investment Department of the Antwerp Port Authority after which he took the position of  Senior Advisor to the President of the Antwerp Port Authority. In 2017 William became Director Customer Relations. In this capacity he is responsible – among other things – for further shaping the concession policy and strategy, tackling mobility issues, and enhancing relations with domestic customers. William has a masters in contemporary history and a masters in maritime sciences.
Wolfgang Laures
Wolfgang Laures
, Executive Vice President Global Supply Chain, Perstorp AB

Wolfgang has a successful 22 year long track record in several industries as well as in the consulting firm McKinsey. He holds a PhD in electrical engineering and has been awarded from different institutions e.g. Young Elite member top 40 under 40 Germany from the Magazine ‘Capital’, earned a Leadership award from Avery Dennison where he worked for almost 10 years and was nominated to the top 38 Supply Chain Leaders in 2016 from Supply Chain Movement. Wolfgang started his career with Procter & Gamble in the consumer goods industry as process engineer. Right now Wolfgang is leading the global Supply Chain organization of Perstorp which includes Planning, Logistics, Procurement and Customer Service. In that function he reports directly to the CEO Jan Secher. 

Wolfgang's greatest successes recently were the implementation of a global Procurement Category organization with a spend of 1bn US $ and the transformation towards an Integrated Business Planning coming from a traditional S&OP style. 
Dorothee Arns
Dorothée Arns
, Executive Director Petrochemicals EuropeCouncil for the European Chemicals Industry (Cefic)

Dorothée Arns is executive director industry association Petrochemicals Europe, formerly APPE, and leads industry body Cefic’s petrochemicals and plastic additives programme.  In her first Cefic assignment, in 2006-11, Dorothee headed the European Solvents Industry Group. She previously held senior management positions in BASF´s chemicals business, including marketing, sales and eBusiness, having joined the company in 1995.

Dorothée has Masters degrees in applied languages and linguistics, and business administration. 

Mathew George
Mathew George, 
Chief Manager for Petrochemical Marketing, Indian Oil Corporation

Mathew George is chief manager for petrochemical marketing at Indian Oil in Mumbai, overseeing the aromatics business for the company. An Indian Oil veteran of 30 years, he is a mechanical engineer from the University of Kerala and has an MBA in finance from XLRI. He has a postgraduate diploma in brand management from Ashridge Business School in the UK. He is an alumnus of the Calvert School Baltimore in the US and India’s Lawrence School, and is a fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India) and a member of the Aeronautical Society of India. Mathew has held a number of key assignments at Indian Oil, including heading the polymer marketing group, heading the lubricants group at subsidiary company Lanka IOC in Colombo, and assignments spread across many locations in the lubricants and aviation departments. In the field of petrochemicals he has handled polymers, PX, PTA, benzene, LAB, glycols and butadiene business. A well-known supply chain and ERP/CRM expert and analyst, he also has core experience in ship chartering for chemicals and petroleum. 

Mathew has been a regular speaker at international conferences in the areas of petrochemical feedstocks, polymers, ERP, CRM, detergents and benzene. He has also been a guest faculty at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, taking the course Business in a World Without Borders – Bridging the Cultural and Linguistic Divide.
Peter Devos
Peter Devos,
Managing Director, European Chemical Transport Association

Peter Devos is an independent Supply Chain Practitioner and is Managing Director at ECTA, the European Chemical Transport and Logistics Association. 
After a Supply Chain career of more than 25 years at Monsanto in a variety of leading supply chain roles across Europe, Peter’s fascination for digital and logistics brought him, in 2016, to start up his own company mission while leading ECTA.  Today, Peter coordinates cross-company supply chain collaboration projects and envisions to further transform & digitalize the Transport and Chemical Logistics processes across multiple enterprises and this to improve the overall quality, safety and compliance amongst customers and vendors.
Peter graduated from the University of Leuven and holds an Engineering degree and a Master in Industrial Management and Supply Chain. 
Piet Opstaele
Piet Opstaele
, Innovation Director, Antwerp Port Authority

Piet has 20+ years’ experience in working in a dynamic and innovative international context. As innovation lead for the Port of Antwerp, Piet is one of the drivers of the digital transition of the port authorities and the port platform Antwerp. Amongst others, by building on an innovative ecosystem and strategic projects in close cooperation with the University and City of Antwerp, the start-up community, technology providers and the corporates in the port.

In the beginning of the 90’s, he joined one of the most successful start-ups in the Benelux, Tele Atlas – a producer of digital geographical databases (a key digital source). In various functions he was part of the growth from a 30 people to a 3000 people company – which was acquired by TomTom in 2008. Between 2012-2014, he has managed a consulting company and was closely involved in the start-up of some new companies in the energy sector.

Piet holds 2 master degrees in Urbanism and Physical Planning, and a postgraduate in energy management. He also is a level A certified environmental coordinator.
Sarah Rae
Sarah Rae
, Vice-President, Olefins and Derivatives, Argus

Sarah has worked with Argus since March 2012 as the company’s olefins consultant focusing primarily on Europe and the Middle East. For 17 years Sarah held senior strategic purchasing management positions in Ineos, Tessenderlo Chemie (LVM) and Rhodia, responsible for a wide range of material including olefins, fertilizers and commodity raw materials. Prior to this, Sarah held various management and project roles covering most aspects of the chemical business including business management, sales, planning and logistics. She graduated in geology from Leicester University and started her career working for BP Oil.
Eric de Deckere
Eric de Deckere
, CSR Manager, Antwerp Port Authority, winner of CSR Professional of the Year 2017 award for Belgium

Eric de Deckere is CSR Manager at the Antwerp Port Authority, which he joined in 2011. Initially he worked in the environment department, focusing on integrated water management in the port area and sustainability reporting for the port community.
Eric co-ordinates the international IAPH-PIANC working group on sustainability reporting. What started as a sustainability reporting process became more a transition process towards a more sustainable Port of Antwerp, a joint process with all the private and public bodies active in and around the port. This resulted in the new department of Sustainable Transition being formed at the start of 2018, aiming to establish real sustainable transition at the port.
Eric is one of the driving forces of the World Ports Sustainability Programme of the IAPH and is involved in the Environmental Committee of PIANC. 
He is linked to the University of Antwerp as a Professor focusing on Sustainable Sediment Management.
Before joining the port, he was a lecturer at the Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development of the University of Antwerp.
Over the past two decades he has been involved in a number of national and international projects, focusing on integrated water management. 
Nancy de Groof
Nancy de Groof
, Regional Director Commercial and Business Development, Oiltanking
Jan Van Havenbergh
Jan Van Havenbergh
, Managing Director, Catalisti
Lennart Heip
Lennart Heip
, BPL ITO, Dow Chemical
Senior Representative, TOTAL Refining & Chemicals
Shailesh Tekurkar, Vice President, Big Data and Digital Solutions, Rolta

If you would like to be kept up to date on the 2018 event, please contact us.

Sponsor or Exhibit at Argus Petrochemical Markets

Gain direct access to senior level audience through enhanced visibility and exposure to attract new business. Sponsors at this highly targeted and focused event will benefit from:
  • Brand position - be at the forefront of your potential customers minds
  • Your company advertised to our database of petrochemical contacts 
  • Forge quality business relationships with new clients to ensure future success
  • Be seen as an industry leader
  • Keep up-to-date of key industry developments
  • Enjoy unique networking opportunities in an informal setting
  • Meet your marketing objectives with tailored packages
  • Exposure to our regular petrochemical attendees

 2018 Host Sponsor

Port of Antwerp logo
The Port of Antwerp

Welcome to the heart of the European oil and chemical industry.

The port of Antwerp holds a unique position at the centre of the “Antwerp-Rotterdam-Rhine-Ruhr” mega-cluster.
Linking together world-class value chains, the port’s logistics and storage facilities enable vast integration opportunities and synergies.

The long heritage of cluster development and operational excellence lives in our people, with their unsurpassed experience, skills and customer focus.
In a world of constant change the port of Antwerp offers stability, continuity and sustainable innovation. In a chemistry you can really feel.

2018 Associate Sponsor 

Oiltanking is one of the world’s leading independent storage partners for oils, chemicals and gases, owning and operating 80 terminals in 24 countries with a total storage capacity of 21 million cbm. To customers, Oiltanking serves as a trustworthy custodian of valuable products. To business partners, Oiltanking offers the proven ability to manage terminals profitably.

If you are interested in sponsorship or exhibiting opportunities at next year's Argus Petrochemical Markets 2018 conference, please contact Marcel Mariano or Brad Cottle using the details below: 

phone icon+44 (0) 20 7952 5460 or +44 (0) 20 7952 6777
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