Has The Chemical Processing Industry Lost Momentum?
A recent webcast from Sugar Land, Texas-based Industrial Info Resources presented a discussion with Trey Hamblet, Industrial Info's vice president for Chemical Processing, regarding the top-performing segments of the Chemical Processing Industry (CPI). Although the CPI has lost much of the momentum and strength it had built and enjoyed in recent years, a large amount of both capital and maintenance spending is still under way and planned for the United States and Canada during 2009.
Over the last month, the CPI has witnessed multiple chemical companies announce major cutbacks, closures and capacity consolidation that have shed thousands of jobs and reduced capacities for almost every major commodity. So far, most of the announcements have been made with the underlying tone that these changes are initially expected to be temporary, only until early next year in many cases.
Even as many segments of the CPI operated at a very high level of utilization during the past several years, there have been steps taken by producers of ethylene, polyolefins and agricultural chemicals to ensure that inventories and demand stay in close balance. The recently announced closures and cutbacks will likely act more as a step to ensure the current momentum and strength of the CPI rather than as something that brings it down or cripples the industry in the long term.
The North American CPI is a very large, mature and complex industry consisting of nearly 4,000 operational plants. These plants demand an enormous amount of people, resources and technology to remain competitive. As capital and maintenance budgets continue to face a greater level of scrutiny, plant owners will increase their search for equipment and technology that can provide greater reliabilities, efficiencies and compliance solutions for existing assets.
To view the full webcast, click here: http://www.industrialinfo.com/radio/navigating.jsp?industry=chemical02.