A long-standing commitment to safety hastened Huntsman Corp.’s efforts to pre-register 1,937 chemical substances with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) before the Dec. 1, 2008, deadline. Huntsman manufactures or imports these substances into the European Union. As such, the company must comply with the European Community REACH legislation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals).
The new law, which came into effect June 1, 2007, aims to streamline and improve the former legislative framework for chemicals in the European Union and places greater responsibility on industry to manage the risks that chemicals may pose to human health and the environment. (Chemical Processing has covered REACH in several articles and columns, including “Don't let REACH become a stretch” http://www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2004/162.html; “Regulation Isn’t Smart Enough” http://www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2008/225.html; and “European chemical makers face printer overloads” http://www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2007/018.html).
“Our company promptly recognized the magnitude and importance of the REACH requirements and reacted swiftly, assembling teams of dedicated professionals to oversee compliance and implementation, as well as to advise our customers and suppliers,” said Peter R. Huntsman, president and CEO of Huntsman Corp.
The Huntsman teams are now focusing on the next phase of REACH, which requires full registration of the highest volume and highest risk substances. During this stage, Huntsman will join with other companies that manufacture or import the same or similar substances to participate in various Substance Information Exchange Forums, to share data and agree on any additional work required prior to submittal to ECHA for final registration.
In other news, Huntsman announced the appointment of André Genton as president of its Advanced Materials Division. Genton most recently served as vice president and global operating officer of Advanced Materials. He has 25 years of experience and has held a variety of positions in the business.
Huntsman’s Advanced Materials business had been combined with Huntsman’s Textile Effects business in one division, Materials & Effects, with Paul Hulme serving as president. The two businesses will now function as separate divisions. Hulme will continue to serve as president of the Textile Effects division.
“Under Paul Hulme’s leadership, these divisions have grown to become market leaders in their respective industries. As we anticipated, these divisions are now of the size and scope where they each need the full-time attention of a division president to continue expanding and creating value,” said Huntsman.
Huntsman acquired the Advanced Materials business from Vantico (formerly a part of Ciba) in 2003. Advanced Materials currently operates 13 manufacturing locations across the globe, employs 2,300 people, and serves about 4,500 customers with its 9,000 different products, including adhesives and coatings.
Huntsman also has found success in a recent joint venture in Saudi Arabia. The company’s ethyleneamines joint-venture plant currently under construction in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, is proceeding on schedule and is expected to meet the mechanical completion target of November 2009.
The joint venture, known as Arabian Amines Company, was created by Huntsman and the Al-Zamil Group to construct a world-scale ethyleneamines plant using Huntsman’s proprietary technology.