Every three years, Perstorp Formox hosts Formaldehyde Europe – a 2-day seminar for Perstorp Formox customers, i.e. the world’s formaldehyde producers. With over 70 people in attendance on 9-10 May in Helsingborg and Perstorp, this year’s event was a great success
Perstorp Formox also hosts similar conferences in Asia (also every three years) and in North America (every two years). Topics include updates on the world formaldehyde market, the methanol market, safety and environmental issues, useful information on how to operate formaldehyde plants more efficiently, as well as a look at what’s going on in R&D.
Back in the 60s, Perstorp Formox developed a highly efficient oxide process for making formaldehyde (formaldehyde + oxide à formox). Since then, they have begun to supply complete plants to formaldehyde producers all over the world. To date, Perstorp Formox has supplied over 100 plants (including seven plants within the Perstorp Group – five in Perstorp, one in Holland, and one in Toledo – and a few that are still under construction for other customers). Apart from having the most successful process anywhere, Perstorp Formox also supplies the catalyst. to customers who also include those using other oxide processes. Today, Perstorp Formox has about two-thirds of the global market for the oxide catalysts used in formaldehyde plants.
It is such customers who were attending Formaldehyde Europe 2006. Mikael Ekblad, head of Perstorp Formox, comments on the value of such conferences: “Having safe, well-run and profitable formaldehyde production is, of course, a shared interest that gives everyone a lot to learn about and discuss. We also get a chance to announce our developments and prove that we’re strengthening our position as world leaders in formaldehyde technology. And everyone enjoys the opportunity to meet the people behind the phone calls and get to know each other.”
Mikael also sees other, more subtle, benefits of hosting formaldehyde conferences. “Putting together a conference like this really boosts teamwork,” he notes. “Our whole organization is behind it, making arrangements, preparing presentations etc. And what’s more, I’m convinced that holding these conferences, together with our customer newsletter informally speaking, are actually major drivers in our development work. They keep pushing us to come up with new things to report, and so far we’ve managed very well!”
Perstorp Formox is a separate business within Perstorp Specialty Chemicals as its customer base is largely different from those of other Perstorp units.