London -- Global market trends and the latest technical, legislative and commercial innovations in polyurethanes technology will be a focus at the UTECH Europe 2012 exhibition and conference being held 17-19 April in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Opening the three-day conference of over 90 papers and 10 specialist sessions is Jiansheng Ding, chairman of Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes Co Ltd China. His keynote presentation looks at the development of China's PU industry and its global impact, as both demand and production capacity for polyurethanes have grown rapidly in recent years. Following him, Steven English, President of ISOPA delivers a welcome message to the conference, as it celebrates the first 75 years of polyurethanes chemistry.
And in the Plenary Session, experts from the industry's major pioneering companies - Bayer, BASF, Dow, Huntsman, Cannon and Evonik- will discuss the development of the key raw materials and processing equipment used to make these versatile materials.
"The future of China's polyurethanes industry will not be as exciting as the recent past, but there are still major opportunities for growth and development as markets mature and economic advancement spreads further across our vast nation," Jiansheng Ding predicts.
The conference's market session delivers further insights into the dynamics of the global polyurethanes industry, reviewing current market conditions, trends and growth areas amid the current turmoil in the world's leading economies.
Robert Outram of IAL Consultants speaks on Polyurethane Market Dynamics, The Current Situation and Industry Growth Areas. As well as an-in depth review of drivers and restraints in mature European markets and the effects of the recession, Outram will also analyse growth trends in emerging markets. EMEA production of polyurethanes in 2011 was 5.3 million tonnes, of which the largest sectors were rigid foams (38%) and spray foams (29%), his presentation indicates. The need to increase insulation values in buildings to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions has been a key driver of the region's rigid foams sector, countered in part by a slump in property developments in some European countries. Recovery in the automotive sector has also boosted demand for PU, he adds.
Outram is followed by experienced polyurethanes and plastics industry trade journalist, Sheau Ling Ong, of ICIS Singapore, who presents on Polyether Polyols and Isocyanates in Asia and the Middle East. She will look in depth at consumption of these key raw materials in both Asia and the Middle East and analyse the drivers behind recent trends and prices, before forecasting future developments in production, consumption and prices.
The conference's subsequent Innovations session has eight papers detailing recent work from the world's leading suppliers. The parallel session in the afternoon comprises 10 papers looking at the latest advances in "green" chemistry and raw materials based on renewable resources.
The main technical conference continues through to 19 April, in a series of half-day sessions focused on the key technical developments in the use of polyurethanes to make rigid and flexible foams, and CASE products (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers), with a separate session on the final day discussing more scientific approaches to the production of PU-based products.
In addition to the technical programme, separate sessions have been created by ISOPA (the European Isocyanates and Polyols Producers Association) and the Polyurea Development Association Europe. The first of these will address key safety, health and environmental sustainability issues, including an overview of the latest life-cycle analysis work on rigid PU foams and details of the latest US legislation, Chemical Action Plans, and their likely impact on the industry.
Among more than 100 exhibitors at the UTECH Europe 2012 exhibition are industry leaders Bayer, BASF, Dow, Huntsman, BorsodChem/Wanhua, Shell, Repsol, Baule, Momentive, Air Products, Chemtura and Evonik, processing equipment makers such as Cannon, Hennecke, Impianti OMS and Beamech Ltd, as well as the wide range of systems houses, technical consultancies and test laboratories which provide vital services to the sector.
To attend the paid-for UTECH Europe conference and the exhibition register online at www.utecheurope.eu
Exhibition visitors can pre-register on the website for free entry or pay €25 on the day. Travel and accommodation information is also available on the website.