Tag Archives: competitiveness

Rare earths revisited: Monopoly broken but security issues remain

As readers of my blog know, I have an abiding interest in rare earth metals, since they are such a fundamental source of technology for use in computers, TV and other displays, windmills, medical imaging….the list goes on and on.  As … Continue reading

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Shale gas-based ethylene boom: Future planning is essential

 The availability of cheap ethane (best ethylene feedstock) from shale gas and from new, light crude oils has resulted in boom times for the U.S. petrochemical industry. From a position of relative lack of competitiveness, U.S. olefin plants are now the low cost world … Continue reading

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Westlake MLP opens new chapter

Wow! How the U.S. petrochemical world has changed! The shale gas “revolution” has made the production of ethylene from ethane so profitable that a downstream integrated ethylene producer can now “donate”( well, actually sell, but under favorable conditions) some of his profits to investors in … Continue reading

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Private Equity’s unique role in chemicals

I have recently been thinking about Gordon Cain, who was a client and a good friend and, above all, a unique individual. After a successful career as a high level Conoco executive, he put on an entrepreneurial cap and spent a … Continue reading

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Dramatic Turnaround in U.S. Energy Supply

 Where are all the “peak oil” believers? The warning that our domestic oil production had peaked and that there was no way to reverse that. There was much pessimism as we were importing more and more of our oil needs. Well, horizontal drilling and … Continue reading

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North American competitveness: Mexico rising

In several previous posts and in my Ted speech I talked about the “renaissance” of the North American manufacturing industry with emphasis on our energy and petrochemical industries. Let me now broaden this to include Mexico, our NAFTA neighbor, which is a … Continue reading

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Global Manufacturing Investments: America is Gaining

As the nation starts to consider whether the current administration has done enough to create domestic manufacturing jobs, some favorable trends are occuring that will lead to more jobs. Multinational corporations are strongly decelerating their investments in China while increasing their … Continue reading

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Fixing Progressive Decline in U.S. Competitiveness: Porter Speaks Out

I tune in to “Morning Joe” on MSNBC most mornings and so a couple of weeks ago one of the guests was Michael Porter, the well known guru on corporate strategy at the Harvard Business School. The subject was a survey conducted by HBS, … Continue reading

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TED: I salute chemical engineers

In late March I was asked to speak at a TEDx conference hosted by the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. Although the theme of the conference was Sustainability,Professor Mike Ehrlich, who coordinated the event, said I should choose a … Continue reading

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Manufacture Renaissance to Broaden

The impressive comeback of our domestic petrochemical industry due to advances in oil and gas drilling technologies is shortly to be joined by a “renaissance” of manufacturing in other industries. A recent reportby the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) predicts that … Continue reading

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