Specialty polyolefins will be in the spotlight at FlexPO 2015 in The Woodlands, Texas.
This year's conference — hosted by the Chemical Market Resources consulting firm — will take place Oct. 19-22 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, just north of Houston. The lineup includes more than 30 speakers from both material suppliers as well as from CMR and other consulting firms.
The Oct. 20 keynote address will be given by Robert Nadin, who retired in December from his role as vice president with polypropylene maker Braskem Americas. Nadin held executive positions in plastics and chemicals for more than 20 years, including stints with Petromont, Union Carbide and Sunoco Chemicals.
Topics covered at FlexPO 2015 include shale gas and polyolefin catalyst technology. Materials companies represented on the agenda include Mitsubishi Chemical, Albemarle Corp., Total Petrochemicals, Clariant, Sinopec, Ineos, BASF, Borealis and Kraton Performance Polymers.
This year's event will be the 24th FlexPO conference, but the first since Friendswood, Texas-based CMR was acquired by Australian consulting firm TZ Minerals International Pty. Ltd. in late 2014. TZMI purchased CMR from founder Balaji Singh, who remains with the firm.
Last year's FlexPO event was held in Shanghai and drew 150 attendees. Attendance at this year's conference in The Woodlands is expected to be higher.
“We've moved the conference back and forth between North America and Asia as dictated by the market,” sales director John Westmoreland said in a phone interview. “This year, there's a lot of activity in the U.S.”
CMR President David Anderson added that the firm is working on a study or research and development spending on the petrochemicals industry. That study is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“Spending has been relatively steady among key licensors,” Anderson said by phone. “It's not down in a broader sense.”