April 2016 Commerce Club Featuring April Feick, Global Supply Chain Vice President, ExxonMobil Chemical

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By Judith Schultz, GHPB

The optimism was tangible at the April Commerce Club event, featuring April Feick, global supply chain vice president of ExxonMobil Chemical, at Brady’s Landing on April 14, 2016. Feick presented a bright outlook for the chemical industry growth, indicating North America could double its exports of major petrochemical products by 2025.

A growing middle class population in India and China as well as other countries and efficient changes in petrochemicals costs are pushing expectations high for developing significant market share in new areas. These factors are not only creating new opportunities for the chemical trade but are also impacting operations in the plastics supply chain.

“Historically, our products were made in the same location as the market,” explained Feick. “Now, it will be shipped somewhere else . . . Global supply chain is only three years old for the chemical company,” she added, highlighting the influence of the new trends on ExxonMobil Chemical.

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“The Baytown and Mt. Belvieu expansion is the largest investment ever made in the United States,” noted Feick. “Texas will be our largest polyethylene supply point in the world, and it’s not for North America. The steam cracker facility, utilizing shale gas, is for the export market.”

Adding to these shifts in operations, Feick explained that contrary to previous methods, shipments from the Mt. Belvieu facility were leaving fully packaged. “They are put in a truck and taken to the Port of Houston,” she said. Her expectation is this operational method will continue to grow, with export container units of plastics in Houston projected to increase by 200%.
Feick does not expect the growth to be without challenges. The projected increases mean more truck traffic to the Port and potential strains on existing infrastructure. Undaunted, Feick looks to optimize operations and maximize efficiencies wherever possible.

“It’s a great time to be in the chemical industry!” she concluded.

Editor’s Note: CAPT Brian Penoyer, Commander, Sector Houston-Galveston of the U.S. Coast Guard, will be recognized at the next Commerce Club at Brady’s Landing on May 12, 2016. Individual seats and table sponsorships are available. Reserve your seat at www.txgulf.org/commerceclub or by calling (713) 678-4300.

  • Date May 10, 2016
  • Tags May 2016