Face To Face: Question time

William Yau has just taken control as CEO of Borouge's Marketing Company, based in Singapore, with effect from November 15, 2008.

Borouge's William Yau.
Borouge's William Yau.

William Yau has just taken control as CEO of Borouge's Marketing Company, based in Singapore, with effect from November 15, 2008. Petrochemicals Middle East caught up with Yau to discover the strategy for tackling the current climate.

Where do you see Borouge’s place in the market right now, and does that fit with where the company wants to be?

YAU: I think we are aligned with our vision, mission and business strategies as well as the shareholders ambitions.  
 
What can readers expect from Borouge in 2009?

YAU: Borouge will have a significant impact in the market, especially with Borouge 2 project that will start in 2010. We have already taken steps to secure our competitive edge in the market and provide excellence in
customer service and support.
 
We have many projects to enhance our services and will be announced in due time.  Borouge is investing in both infrastructure as well as our people so that we will be even closer to our customers and continue to deliver value adding solutions to our customers.

What are the biggest challenges facing Borouge at the moment?

YAU: The biggest challenge is to speed up our investment for the future.  With our expansion plans, we will be increasing our capacity and at the same time introduce new products. 

We will need to invest a lot in our marketing and sales as well as technical service staff ensure that we will maintain and exceed our customers expectations.
 
What is your anticipation of availability and cost of your key feedstock for 2009?

YAU: With two industry giants backing Borouge up, namely, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Borealis, feedstock will not mark any significant problems for us and neither the technology challenge.  Borouge is supplied by GASCO and therefore, we don’t anticipate any changes in the future in terms of feedstock cost or supply.

Do you think the region will reach over-capacity problems by 2010?

YAU: With the long term growth in economy especially in the Middle East as well as Asia, all indicators show an increasing demand, especially for the value adding segments which is our prime focus for the future.
 

Do you foresee a drop in demand in correlation to the global slowdown, or are your markets more robust than that?

YAU: We believe that the temporary fluctuation in demand at the moment is of a short term nature.  In the long run, we are optimistic about the growth potential of our market especially in the value added segments.  We focus heavily on high value segments in wire and cable, pipes, film and mobility, and we see good potential for further growth in most of our markets 
 
What impact has the drying up of credit had on your corporate strategy?

YAU: Our backing is strong and we do not foresee any change of our investment plans despite the current financial crisis. 
A highly dynamic market will no doubt create good opportunities for us and we are open to take advantage of emerging opportunities with respect to new developments in technology, business opportunities etc.

Have any facilities had production scaled back in response to the market prices for plastics?

YAU: Not at all!  Our plants are running full steam. In fact, we are speeding up our investments in our various expansion plans as well as building up our market presence.  All these investments are aligned to our long term plans and we don’t see a need to scale back. 

Which of your principal market sectors performed best in 2008 and where do you expect the strongest performance in 2009?

YAU: Pipe is doing very well due to the world demand and the huge build up in the infrastructure all over the world, particularly in the Middle East and Asia.  This trend will also continue in 2009 – 2012 as all economic indicators show. Borouge is a leader in the value added polyolefins business and we will remain to strive to continue our leadership edge in that regard.
 
What’s your aim as head of marketing for Borouge?

YAU: To disseminate the message that Borouge will continue to focus heavily on our value added business applications and quality products that we provide to our customers. 

In line with our expansion plans, we will work hard and invest further in order to enhance both our products and services to our customers.  We believe that by working closely with our customers, we will continue to deliver innovative plastics solution to our customers.

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