Four Decades of Oleochemicals in ASEAN

Category: News Published: Wednesday, 07 March 2018
The first POPSIG evening talk for 2018 was on Wednesday 28/2/18 at Monash University Malaysia. It was “Four Decades in ASEAN : Process Engineering and Innovation in the Oleochemical Industry” by Qua Kiat Seng, AOMG Advisor and founder member of POPSIG. The talk was attended by 40 at Monash with 22 from Malaysia, UK, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Singapore and South Africa participating in the simultaneous webinar.

Whilst the oleochemical industry is 200 years old it started in ASEAN only four decades ago and in this short time there has been unprecedented progress. One area is in process engineering and Qua’s talk tracked these developments and innovations. Many challenges remain, such as overcapacity, low margins as well low crude oil prices. Nevertheless the industry has shown resilience and process engineering and innovations will continue to overcome some of these issues. The future of the industry lies in multi-purpose plants and bioprocessing with the line between oleochemicals and petrochemicals blurring.

This talk was based on a presentation given at the PIPOC 2017 conference on 14-17 November 2017. An article broadly based on this was published in OFI (Oils & Fats International) Magazine in February 2018 (Volume 34 No 2).

Mr G C Tan, MD at Pacific Oleochemicals followed the talk via the webinar. He said, “This is an excellent documentation of the oleochemical industry in ASEAN. With half the world’s oleochemical capacity residing in ASEAN, its importance will continue to grow.”

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