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A unique industry, with unique companies and unique news



Elements Spring 2013

Smooth and Clean...

Chemical & Pharma Hoses and Couplings


Tel 01992 452950

Elaflex Limited, Riverside House, Plumpton Road, Hoddesdon, Herts EN11 0PA




Spring into 2013


CNW News

Welcome to the spring edition of Elements, the Chemicals Northwest quarterly magazine.


Members Spotlight


Members Spotlight


Sustainable Development




Other Industry News





The team at Chemicals Northwest have been busy over the last quarter; we ran an event in conjunction with UKTI on “Improving your Exporting Expertise event to Central & Eastern Europe”. We also held our members only REACH User Group meeting on 30th November with guest speakers from the REACHReady Team and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). On the 16th January we held our bi-monthly breakfast meeting, our four speakers included Simon Chiva from ecoSMARTER, Joe Flanagan from the University of Salford, Richard Davies from Essar and Sarah Hughes from Mexichem. On 19th February we hosted a UKTI chemical commercial officer seminar which was attended by trade representatives from key exporting countries. “Chemical Elements” on the 27th February was entitled Developing Your Key people included excellent presentations from CNW members, Sarah Galbraith from The Galbraith Muir Consultancy, Michael Hughes from Executive Alliance Training & Coaching, Steve Farnworth of Beaufort Performance Management and Karen Hands from Thought into Action. Further details on these events can be found on pages 28-29. To freshen up the Chemicals Northwest magazine “Elements” we will be introducing various feature sections. Do you have a special story you would like to tell, or have a person of interest in your organisation who would like to be interviewed. If so please contact Our LinkedIn group now has over 700 members and is active on a daily basis, so for those who are on LinkedIn please feel free to become a member of our group and keep up to date with the latest news and events from the industry. Our newly launched opportunity to sponsor our breakfast events and Chemical Elements events has also been very well received, and take up of this offering has been good. If you would like some promotion for your organistion and would like the opportunity to sponsor an event please contact We are in the process of planning the Chemicals Northwest Awards Dinner 2013 and are currently recruiting sponsors for the event. If your company would like to be involved in the awards please contact Please keep an eye on our events page to see what events are coming up for the rest of 2013 At the time of going to print we are in the process of finalising the membership renewals. Your help and support over the last few years has been much appreciated. Without your contributions we would not be able to offer the events and services we provide for the chemical industry of the North West. If you are not members of Chemicals Northwest but would like to be please contact Your continued support is very much appreciated.

Membership of Chemicals Northwest Chemicals Northwest is the industry-led, chemical cluster support organisation for the £10 billion North West chemical sector, the largest in the UK. We are a ‘not for profit’ organisation, funded by its members, owned and supported by the Chemical Industries Association. Would your company benefit from joining an organisation that supports and promotes the chemistry-using sector in the Northwest? Do you want to understand more, and contribute to, the industry issues within the region? If you are a manufacturer, chemical user or offer a service to the sector, why not join us today?


Contact details John Roche Operations Manager Email: Alex Heys Member Services & Events Manager Tel: 01928 515678 Email: alex.heys@

n Free/reduced entry to Chemical Elements and Breakfast Networking events plus the opportunity to present n Discounted entry to co-hosted and other events n Free website profile to promote your business n Feature opportunities in the quarterly Chemical Northwest newsletter

n Free entry into the annual Chemicals Northwest Sector Directory n Discounted advertising rates for Chemicals Northwest Sector Directory and Website n Support and assistance with regulation and other legislative issues n Access to additional member benefits including: n 25% discount off the REACHReady Gold Subscription n Chemicals Northwest Buyers’ Club on a no savings, no fee basis n Discounted Insurance Rates n Free and Discounted Recruitment Services For further details contact Alex Heys – Member Services and Events Manager, or phone 01928 515678 or visit http://www. membership_benefits/ for benefits and prices.

Front cover supplied by Adrian Waine – Laser engraving of rollers for the printing industry





Chemicals Northwest Awards 2013

HSBC - Working on initiative The chemicals industry makes a significant contribution to the performance of the North West’s exports. Government figures show that chemical-related exports from the region totalled £9.2 billion in the first nine months of last year, accounting for nearly half of the North West’s total exports. Many opportunities exist for chemical companies looking at taking advantage of exports. Turkey, for example, has a forecast growth of 4% in 2013, which is the fastest in Europe, and still relies heavily on imported chemicals. Indonesia is another fast growing country that relies heavily on imported chemicals and Canada, another nation identified by HSBC as being one of the UK’s fastest growing export partners, is expected to make all imported chemicals duty free by 2015. However, whilst identifying these markets may seem easy, entering the international trade market can be daunting for any business. There are many questions that need to be addressed, such as with which countries do you trade, how do you mitigate the risks associated with international trade, how do you finance overseas deals and how do you build local contacts? The answer to all of these questions, and many more, will differ for each individual business and what you want to achieve. This is where HSBC excels beyond the basics of banking. Of course, we can help businesses finance their expansion overseas, but more importantly we can offer valuable local advice and insight to companies across the North West via our network of 7,000 colleagues in 63 global locations. We can put companies



from the region in contact with our colleagues on the ground in markets such as Brazil, India and China to offer advice on important matters such as local business customs, regulations and laws, suppliers and professional advisors. A key piece of advice is to seek support early. There are a number of bodies that are in existence to help you grow your international business, most notably UK Trade and Investment. Your local Chamber will also be able to offer international trade advice, helping businesses make those first steps into the overseas market. Importantly, engage your bank early as well; too often we see businesses get the process the wrong way round, striking the deal with their trade partner first and then coming to speak to their bank about finance and trade options. Communicating with your bank at an early stage will help your business prepare and better achieve its specific objectives. We are working on an initiative currently with Chemicals Northwest and UK Trade & Investment to facilitate a local export group and helping them to grow their overseas networks. We hope to follow up with more detail on this in the near future. Anyone interested in being involved in this initiative, please contact Chemicals Northwest or Rob Spowart, International Commercial Manager, at HSBC on 07827 357355.

We are currently putting plans in place to hold our fourth Chemicals Northwest Awards Dinner in October 2013 at the Imperial War Museum, Manchester. If you have any interest in sponsoring an award please contact alex.heys@ The confirmed date of the dinner and the award categories will follow on soon, please keep an eye on our events pages, e-bulletin and LinkedIn group for further details.

Would you like some positive PR or brand recognition? We are looking for people to be featured in our “new” interview/feature section of the Chemicals Northwest Elements magazine. Do you have a person if interest in your organisation, is your organisation investing in new facilities/expanding etc....if you have a story to tell please let us know and we can arrange for an interview to take place on your site, where you can showcase your specialities. For further details please contact alex.heys@



Bright Spark creates Business Adrian Waine is an industrial photographer working from Cheshire and travels nationally for a wide selection of clients. Having formerly been staff photographer with Saudi ARAMCO in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Adrian began commissions with UK companies back in 1995 as a means of providing high quality photography for business. Marketing and promotion is the main requirement for industrial photography. Creating awareness and demonstrating capability is all part of winning new business and opening up avenues of communication and letting the world know how good you are and what you can do. However, the key is in transforming everyday working situations or equipment into shots which provoke attention and really stir interest.

Having been a member of Chemicals North West for some time, Adrian established contact via one of the breakfast meetings with another member, Warrant Group. This progressed to a significant project whereby the group completed a rebrand with visuals appearing extensively throughout the marketing literature, web site and meeting rooms. The results can be seen at Adrian can be contacted on 0151 356 3855 and has a gallery at

Adrian has worked with many chemical manufacturers across the North West, including those who transport and ship these goods as well as analyze or reprocess them. His current success story is the feature running in Flybe airline’s Inflight Magazine ‘Business Uncovered’ which reveals the reasons why companies utilize photography within their marketing mix. The article can be viewed at On this occasion, the real scoop has been winning the front cover and highlighting the use of metals within industry. With the subject being so vast, Adrian is anticipating interest from manufacturers of heavy paints for marine coatings or the manufacture of rare earth metals or perhaps earth moving vehicles. Photographs that really do sparkle can promote any industry! (Also, please see the cover of this issue!)

HGF - Meeting commercial aims With offices throughout the UK (including Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham), HGF is a top ranked patent and trade mark firm. It is recommended by all the major legal directories, including Managing Intellectual Property (MIP), The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, and is the current Scottish IP Firm of Year for Managing Intellectual Property magazine for the second year running. Our attorneys are individually listed in the top tier and have been short listed for Intellectual Property Magazine IP Lawyer of the Year and Young IP Lawyer of the Year as well as consistently featuring in Intellectual Asset Management's 250 World's Leading Global IP Strategists.

At the core of the firm’s mission is its commitment to its clients to deliver outstanding client service and high quality professional and technical expertise. Clients range from large national and international clients through to large companies, SME’s, Universities and research organisations both in the UK and internationally. Our attorneys work hard to ensure that they become ‘embedded’ within their clients to truly understand not only their technology but also their technical and business objectives, ensuring that their IP portfolios best meet their commercial aims.

In addition to the drafting and prosecution of patents and trade marks that you would expect from an IP firm HGF is also able to advise on: IP Strategy Oppositions & Appeals Due Diligence Searching and watching services IP landscaping n Opinions on validity and freedom to operate n n n n n

The integration of HGF and HGF Law provides a seamless interface between prosecution patent attorneys and litigation solicitors within one organisation.





Chancellor of the Exchequer meets chemical industry executives

Hockley International WINS “Business of the Year” IN E3 BUSINESS AWARDS

The Right Honourable George Osborne MP visited Sci-Tech Daresbury national science and innovation campus in Cheshire on 1 February.

Manchester based agrochemical, manufacturer, Hockley International Ltd. has been named “Business of the Year” at the 2013 E3 Business Awards, which were held on 7th February at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton. The company, who manufactures and exports a range of products for Crop Protection, Environmental Health and Animal Health, for use throughout the world, fought off intense competition from companies across the North West to take the title. The award was presented by Shakeel Desai, Director of the category sponsor 1 Business Enterprise. Receiving the award, the company’s Managing Director, Frank Howard said: “We are delighted to be the chosen winners of the E3 Business of the Year Award, competition from the other SME’s in our category was fierce, the Northwest is home to many excellent businesses, I always say the South does the talking and the North does the business, Hockley are proud to be a part of the dynamic Northwest! Congratulations to all the winners and those who took part in the E3 Business Awards.”

The Chancellor announced two grants totalling £30 million have been awarded to the Hartree Centre. A grant of £19 million will go towards developing new technology to make super computers more efficient and improve battery life of devices like laptops, tablets and mobile phones. A second grant of £11 million will fund essential advanced computing capability for the world’s largest radio telescope, allowing groundbreaking research into the origins of the universe. Development at Daresbury is expected to create 10,000 high quality jobs across several hundred technology companies and unlock over £150 million of private sector investment in the area. Daresbury officially became one of the Government’s Enterprise Zones in April 2012 and has already begun work with IBM, Intel and Unilever. The Chancellor also met executives from the chemical industry to understand how the sector can underpin UK growth including through its scientific achievements.



Speaking on behalf of 1 Events Media, who hosted and organised the awards, Managing Director Mubarak Chati said: “Congratulations to Hockley International, who made a big impression on the judges. It’s something of a cliché to say that the panel had a tough job in finding a winner but it is absolutely true. The judging sessions went on much longer than anyone expected, such was the standard of the competition and the difficulty of the task.” “What everyone agreed on, however, was that the North West is home to some truly impressive businesses and entrepreneurs – real heroes of our economy who are making a measurable difference to the prosperity of our region. Hockley International is a great example of that and I’m delighted to share in celebrating its success.” More information about Hockley International can be found on its website – – or by calling 0161 209 7400. More information about the E3 Business Awards, including a full list of winners, can be found at www.


Mexichem Fluor opens its doors to policy makers On 23rd November, Mexichem Fluor opened its doors to politicians and policy makers to help them understand the realities of the chemicals industry. Guests included representatives from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as well as senior local councillors and representatives from the CBI and UK Trade and Investment. With the visit coming as revised proposals for F-gas regulation are published, the day provided an excellent opportunity for Mexichem to grill policy makers on their plans and explain the impact of the proposed regulation on future investments. The visit also offered an opportunity for guests to find out first hand the work being undertaken on the site, and the scale of Mexichem Fluor’s investment in Runcorn and the North West.   A well-attended lunchtime exhibition saw representatives from the Catalyst Museum and local schools join Mexichem Fluor apprentices to talk to visitors about their engagement work with the local community. The programme for the day included a visit to Mexichem’s new state of the art research laboratories and their new R-22 plant.

World-class science and technology have provided the platform for Mexichem to grow and diversify over the last 60 years. The Runcorn based team looks at how fluorspar via hydrofluoric acid can be incorporated into a wide variety of everyday products and how their work underpins and supports existing operations as well as creating new products and processes for Mexichem across the globe. The importance of the work of the team has been recognised this year by significant investment into infrastructure, equipment and staff at the Runcorn Heath. This has included the development of a new laboratory, new test rigs and apparatus, the recruitment of new skilled staff and additional training across the team. Visitors also had the chance to learn about Mexichem’s newest joint venture, Fenix Fluor Ltd. Formed in October through a joint venture with fluoropolymer specialists AGC Chemicals Europe Limited, the new plant will manufacture chlorodifluoromethane (R22). R22 is a key raw material in the production of fluoropolymers, which are used to make products including coatings for nonstick frying pans and specialist coatings used in the automotive and aerospace industries.


This is part of Mexichem’s overall strategy to integrate the downstream part of the business and could provide the stepping stone for Mexichem to enter the fluorpolymers business. The formation of Fenix Fluor represents a further investment of approximately £15 million in Runcorn. Around 20 new jobs will be created directly on the plant, and 70 construction workers have already put 96,000 man hours into its construction. Mexichem Fluor expect the plant to be up and running during Q2 2013. During the day, staff from Mexichem Fluor were able to highlight the value of the business, and the chemicals industry more generally, as a vital ‘brick’ in the manufacturing process. Mexichem Fluor urged the visitors to consider the contribution the chemicals industry makes to UK plc, and to encourage politicians to support the industry through improved planning regulations, and via tax incentives and funding. Dave Smith, Business Director said: “Mexichem Fluor is committed to developing and investing in our UK business. However, we are a global organisation and any investment needs to make sense commercially. That is why we are working closely with UK Government and decision makers to ensure the best possible operating environment here in the UK”.





An Accolade That Rises above All Other Wirral Metropolitan College launched the Professional Registers in Science hosted by Daresbury Laboratory on the 5th Dec 2012.

“The value of vocational routes into Science from an Employers perspective” Liz Smith, Technical Project Leader, Unilever R&D.

The event was organised by the LSIS STEM NW Support Service Wirral Met College on behalf of the Science Council.

“The nature and benefits of the Registered Scientist Scheme” Jon Poole, Chief Executive of the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

The packed programme included keynote presentations on the value of partnership working between FE providers in the North West, employers and the major science institutions. Delegates attending represented local employers, Further Education Colleges, Training Providers, Local Councils and Sector Skills Councils, out in strength supporting professional scientists in the North West “the hidden heroes of our local economy” Opened by Sue Higginson, Principal and Chief Executive of Wirral Met College, Sue gave a presentation on “What FE has to offer employers.” Following Sue were other keynote speeches including: “The value of technical and vocational routes into Science” delivered by Professor Susan Smith, Head of Daresbury laboratory and Director of ASTeC.

Following the speeches, Jon Poole, Chief Executive of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, presented RSCi Awards to the 3 latest successful candidates. The evening continued when delegates took part in a workshop exploring potential benefits of the Registered Scientist scheme for Employers, Further Education and the sector employment and skills strategy. The event was then rounded off with a drinks reception and networking. If you would like to know more about joining the Professional Registers in Science, please contact our LSIS STEM Adviser for the North West Wirral Met Employer Services 0151 551 7610

For further details about Registered Scientist Awards go to: http://www.


Develop your employees for an advanced career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths Wirral Met College have substantial experience and success in delivering apprenticeship and day release programmes for Chemistry, Life Sciences and Chemical Processes and are the leading provider for education and training in this sector.

The following programmes can be customised around your organisational needs:

Apprenticeships, Higher Level Apprenticeships and Continuing Professional Development in areas such as Chemistry, Health & Safety, Chemical Engineering and Environmental Management. Our Higher Education Science qualifications can enable your employees to register on the national professional register as a Registered Scientist, a new scheme developed by the Science Council.

0151 551 7610/7777





Paying for Environmental Damage The Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009 (EDR) imposed legal obligations on operators in the chemicals sector to report imminent threats of environmental damage. Yet, despite the Regulations being in force for over 4 years many operators have not yet incorporated EDR procedures or assessed their insurance protection. EDR imposes strict liability on operators that undertake Schedule 2 activities. These include: n Any activity requiring an environmental permit n The storage, handling, use and transport of dangerous

activities In the event of environmental damage or an immediate threat of environmental damage, the operator must immediately take preventative action, notify the regulator and carry out agreed remedial measures. Failure to notify the authority of an imminent threat or actual damage, or failure to comply with the subsequent Prevention Notice or Remediation Notice is a criminal offence. Upon conviction a company can receive an unlimited financial penalty.

In some cases, EDR also gives the general public a regulatory role as “interested parties”. Neighbouring landowners, environmental groups, bird watchers and ramblers can inform the regulators about actual or threatened environmental and initiate enforcement proceedings. The interested parties also have rights of consultation to comment on the proposed remediation to be undertaken by the operator. At the very minimum, operators in the chemicals sector need to ensure that Directors, SHEQ Managers and staff understand the EDR legal duties and that reporting procedures include EDR compliance. Depending on the sensitivity of individual sites, EDR audits should be considered or environmental insurance quotes obtained for operational pollution cover.   Pannnone’s SHE team is holding an EDR seminar in Manchester on 17 April with barrister Martin Edwards 39 Essex Street providing the keynote note presentation on environmental law developments. If you are interested in attending, please contact Keith Davidson on or 0161 909 4653.

Electrostatic discharge of hose assemblies Rubber flexible technical hoses for the chemical industry. The manufacture of rubber hoses has advanced over the years. Despite this, industry perhaps unaware, frequently continue to use traditionally made hoses which rely on metallic connections so called M-hoses. The current version of EN 12115 presents changed and amplified definitions regarding the required electrical conductivity of chemical hoses. EN 12115 now universally adopted require that "OHM" hoses need electrical conductivity through the hose wall of

max 109 Ω. Wherever the EN 12115 is valid, the new safety requirements are applicable: Ω (and M) hoses used in explosive environments must have an electrical resistance through the tube wall of maximum 109 Ω. To indicate this, these hoses are identified as Ω/T respectively M/T. Hose assemblies with an electrical resistance through the hose wall of greater than 109 Ω are marked with M or Ω respectively.

is one advantage of using an Ω/T hose and minimizes the risk of creating sparks especially during the coupling process. For more information on Hoses, Dry Disconnect and break-away-couplings, nozzles, and expansion joints contact us. Elaflex Ltd 01992 452 950

Unsafe connection of steel helices or copper wires which could corrode or break could lead to ignitions. The slow discharge of an accumulated charge





ITAL Logistics shortlisted for BIFA Award CNW member, and European Road Freight Specialist, Ital Logistics Limited, has recently enjoyed success in being selected as one of four finalists in the prestigious BIFA (British International Freight Association) Awards which were held in London on 17th January this year. Whilst unsuccessful this time on winning their category, on their two previous occasions in 2002 and 2007, were category winners. The awards showcase the best which the industry has to offer, judged by professionals from all sectors of industry. Managing Director, Phil Denton comments: “To be selected as finalists by our industry governing body is extremely gratifying, and is something that all of my team can be proud of. I certainly am. Moreover, it instills confidence. We are not just ‘another freight company’, but one that has been recognised for service beyond industry standards.” Ital Logistics Limited provide Export/Import Road Freight Services throughout Europe, with its core markets being Italy, Spain, Portugal & Greece. But what should be of most interest to CNW members is their specialisation on the movement of Dangerous Goods. This is an area which Phil Denton is passionate about. “I decided that as Managing Director of ITAL Logistics it was my duty to take on the role of Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA) in April 2004. Since then I have renewed my qualification, and have been joined by Derek Heap as secondary DGSA to the Company. Apart from complying with regulatory procedures, we also have a moral duty to ensure that these regulations are followed – after all, dangerous goods are what they say they are – dangerous.” For more information, and expert advice, you can contact Ital Logistics on



Founded in 1999, Trade Europe is a technical specialist distributor, supplying a range of raw materials to the coatings, inks, construction and plastics markets.

1 Pennyblack Court, 21a Barton Rd, Worsley, Manchester M28 2PD Fax:- +44(0)1617286986 E-Mail:- Info@Tradeeurope.Co.Uk

Tel:- +44(0)161 3000723 Reg No:- 3873870. Vat No:- Gb747670989.

We also have a large trading division dealing in surplus stocks, off spec and expired materials for various industries. We give you the opportunity to turn unwanted stocks into cash, release warehouse space, reduce expensive disposal.

Please contact us to discuss in more detail.



REACH 2018 - Making more use of QSARs The 2013 REACH deadline is nearly upon us and regulatory teams across Industry are extremely busy as they struggle to fulfil their registration obligations in time. But certain sectors are already looking beyond May 31 and planning for 2018. For many companies the number of substances to be registered will be massively increased for the third deadline (estimated at ~30,000). This will require a phased approach with submissions carefully planned for each year from 2013 to 2018 to ensure that they have access to sufficient resources, both internal and external. It is highly likely that companies who decide to adopt the alternative strategy of leaving their registrations to the last minute (as we saw in 2010, and to a lesser extent in 2013) will find that external support (including laboratory slots) is either not available or very expensive. Our advice is to start now! But dossiers don’t come cheap. There’s no doubt that the most expensive and time-consuming part of dossier preparation is the studies. What if the lessons from 2010 and 2013 can be put to good use to provide in silico alternatives that can slash the cost of your dossier and speed up the turnaround time of the whole process? CEHTRA has invested heavily in new approaches based on best quality data generated from the REACH process to replace studies with “as good as experimental” methods. The i-SAFERAT toolbox contains a variety of QSARs from tried and trusted off-the shelf models to highly specific and original algorithms based on top quality data. These models meet the REACH obligation to demonstrate algorithm high fidelity.

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Clearly, Simply, Truly, Marketing Management As a freelance marketing manager, Cynara Livera helps and supports the growth of scientific and technical companies. Together we will ensure you get the most out of your marketing activities. The goal will be to maximise profitability through targeted solutions. Cynara strongly believes in working as a team, in a customer centric, creative and flexible way. A variety of marketing opportunities will focus your resources to get the best return on your investment. These include: n Marketing reviews to help you

quantify, qualify and improve your current marketing activities. n Marketing research to help you

understand your current marketplace or any future marketplace, you may wish to enter.

n Developing marketing strategies that

will grow your business in the way you want it to grow. n Creating marketing plans that will

achieve your marketing strategy. n Planning, managing and

implementing marketing communications that consistently communicate benefits and value. The experience and understanding of scientific and technical companies has come from a love of science and a passion for marketing. Starting working life as a research chemist, Cynara worked through a number of roles from new product development, technical services, marketing research and marketing management. This experience includes working in corporate and small business environments, with hands on

involvement in quality assurance and manufacturing. Professionally qualified and a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Cynara has worked as a marketing manager in technical and scientific companies for over ten years. Please give Cynara a call on 01829 740865 or Email cynara@

K Home International K Home International has been providing innovative multi discipline engineering design, project and construction management services to a diverse global market for 40 years. K Home International are pleased to become members of Chemicals North West and look forward to meeting with the membership at future events. Our aim is to be proactive within the organisation, to raise awareness of the services we offer and to develop our existing client base within the North West region. Privately owned K Home International supplies world class multi discipline engineering design solutions from concept through to beneficial operation for operators and developers of process plant and infrastructure projects.

The company delivers professional, comprehensive and integrated services to the chemical, petrochemical, metals & minerals, pharmaceutical, oil & gas and renewable energy sectors both on a national and international basis. Typical services provided by K Home International include Conceptual Design & Feasibility Studies, Front End Design & Definition, 3D Modelling / Visualisation, Detailed Design, Project Management / Planning, Procurement, Health & Safety Management and Construction Management.

environmental legislation. In addition, our independence allows for a flexible approach to be taken with our clients which results in a highly focused and aligned project team. The K Home International team look forward to hearing from you in the near future. For further details please go to www. or contact Simon Warrington on 01642 536291,

The success that K Home International has enjoyed over many years is based on a simple formula, cost effective solutions developed on sound engineering procedures and delivered within current health, safety and





UKTI Chemical Commercial Officers visit The Heath as part of their Industry Briefing Course

Industry Briefing Programme in Runcorn Seven UKTI Trade Officers visited the North West in February as part of a week-long initiative to update their knowledge on the UK chemical industry. Officers from Brazil, India, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and USA were part of a Chemical Industry Briefing programme focussing on the industry and key sub-sectors. John Roche, Operations Manager for Chemicals Northwest, welcomed the overseas guests to The Heath Conference Centre where he presented a brief history of the chemical industry in the North West and the picture today,

highlighting some key strengths in chemistries and applications. UKTI took advantage of their visit to The Heath by asking Dr John Conti-Ramsden of the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry to present on Materials Chemistry and why it was relevant to today’s society and industries. The North West is also home to the Organic Materials Innovation Centre, a UK Centre of Excellence for Printed Electronics and also part of the KCMC. A focussed presentation by Dr Mike Holmes on this emerging industry explained where chemicals played its part and some of the end-user industries keen to progress their product innovation using the technology.

Finally, Peter Cook, Chairman of SOG Ltd, the company owning and managing The Heath, recounted the importance of Runcorn and The Heath to the chemical industry and explained SOG’s successful business regeneration model which transformed the singleoccupancy site to the thriving business and scientific centre it is today. The Commercial Officers left Runcorn with new insights into the chemical industry, some key industry applications and excitement to seek out opportunities that may exist for UK companies within their own countries.

UKTI Chemicals Specialists announced During the Chemicals Conference in Harrogate Janet Tingle announced the engagement of two UKTI Specialists who will focus on the development of chemical campaigns to be delivered as part of UKTI’s Strategic Trade objectives. The specialists are: Tricia Francis, who has a successful background in international sales



and has, over the last 12 years, been pro-active in developing initiatives to enhance the profile and opportunities for the UK chemicals sector overseas. Jonathan Copping, who has over 25 years of commercial and operational experience within the chemical sector, with particular success in the Far East and SE Asia and a passion for manufacturing.

Tricia Francis

, Jonathan Copping



Janet Tingle outlines UKTI strategy at February’s conference in Harrogate

Chemicals Industry Conference 2013 UKTI held its second Chemicals Industry Conference in Harrogate in which Chemicals Northwest took part. It is one year since Janet Tingle, UKTI Strategic Trade Team’s Head of Aerospace, Chemicals and Engineering, announced the priority now placed on chemicals for UKTI and the commissioning of a recommendation report to identify key chemical sub-sectors where significant business could be won by UK companies. The one-day conference in Harrogate aimed to update industry on the findings of the report and to consult further with industry to move forward with sub-sector campaigns. The initial plenary session outlined UKTI’s strategic trade objectives as well as existing and new services to assist UK

exporters on an individual basis. A series of six workshops followed in which delegates could give their views on future support. BIS, UKTI & CIA International Trade Strategy represented two workshops with comments sought on the overarching strategy and recommendations. Pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, cosmetics and personal care each had a sub-sector workshop where more in-depth industry opinion was elicited. A practical HMRC workshop gave delegates the opportunity to resolve any current issues surrounding customs procedures and as Industrial Biotechnology also featured in the UKTI strategy document the conference was completed by an upbeat presentation to all from Yvonne Armitage, Biosciences KTN, setting the scene for IB as a means of gaining competitive advantage.





A new Skills Partnership for the Process Manufacturing Industries A new Partnership has been confirmed between the National Skills Academy Process Industries (NSAPI), Cogent Sector Skills Council and the National Skills Academy Materials, Production and Supply (NSAMPS); it is aimed at a simplification and enhancement of skills delivery into the process manufacturing sector. The collaboration means a joint approach to employer ownership on skills across the breadth of process manufacturing, with particular focus on formulation. It presents a real opportunity for employers across the sector to take the lead on the development of skills for their businesses. Process Safety As part of the collaboration NSAMPS will work with NSAPI to support and roll out the Process Safety Awareness initiative – a suite of courses based on world class training standards and supported by the Health and Safety Executive. Jonathan Ledger, Director of NSAMPS commented, “We are delighted to be entering this new partnership, where there are great opportunities to deliver real results for industry while minimising bureaucracy and costs. This partnership for the process manufacturing industries will help employers to shape the future of training and create a sustainable skills partnership that will to drive activity across other projects as they emerge.



It’s an exciting time for our employers and for the partners involved in setting up the schemes, and I’m looking forward to developing new ways of working that will facilitate real change.” John Holton, Strategy Director at Cogent SSC commented, “this is an excellent step for Cogent and its partner the National Skills Academy Process Industries to work with new industries across the sector developing key initiatives to drive investment in skills and deliver business growth. The right skills equip people across the science-using sector with the ability to have a broader dialogue with each other, and to understand the wide potential for new ideas or technologies.” Philip Jones, Chief Executive Officer, National Skills Academy Process Industries reiterates, “we very much welcome this partnership with the National Skills Academy for Materials, Production and Supply. This coming together of key strategic skills bodies will be a crucial factor in developing skills in support of all elements of the science-based industries. We look forward to tackling the challenges and opportunities together.”



Chemical industry to benefit from less burdensome regulation enforcement The chemicals industry is set to benefit from more effective, less burdensome enforcement of regulation following government consultation.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Environment Agency (EA), which jointly form the Competent Authority for the sector, have undertaken to:

Reforms include plans to integrate inspection regimes, provide greater support to companies who are considering growing their business, and to set out more transparent appeals mechanisms. This will help provide firms with greater certainty and more efficient regulation, enabling them to plan more effectively and concentrate on meeting business objectives.

n co-ordinate their activities more closely, providing more

The Focus on Enforcement review examined the industry’s dayto-day experience of regulation and gathered views on how current enforcement practices could be reformed to remove unnecessary red tape. The review focused in particular on how the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) regulations are enforced. Responding to issues raised by the sector, the Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency will also improve the transparency of charging; provide greater assistance for companies moving into the COMAH regime; increase consistency in inspections; and establish clearer links between company performance and inspection frequency. Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon said: The chemicals industry is a driver of growth, jobs and innovation, and we can’t afford to weigh firms down with bureaucracy. We must regulate firms in a way that helps them prosper, weeding out unnecessary hindrance or uncertainty while promoting the highest standards. The reforms announced today will provide clarity and consistency for hard-pressed businesses, and help regulators focus on maintaining vital safety safeguards for the public. Steve Elliott, Chief Executive, Chemical Industries Association said: We believe this review is good news for the chemical industry and the regulation of businesses, making an essential contribution towards the UK’s economic recovery and growth.

consistent messages and greater efficiency to operators n reduce visits, burdens and the scope for duplication or

contradiction by integrating some of their inspection regimes n increase transparency in the cost recovery that applies to

inspections, setting out performance standards and appeals mechanisms n review appeals mechanisms, and publish quarterly,

anonymised data on appeals and their success to increase transparency and confidence n provide site level account managers as a single interface

with the two main regulators n develop an approach with industry that can take greater

account of company performance in planning the frequency and level of inspections n work with industry to review some of the core processes and

paperwork in the regime to identify improvements that will reduce business burdens n hold an industry summit to agree the detail of the improvement

programme and secure full industry participation in delivery Gordon MacDonald, chair of the COMAH Competent Authority Strategic Management Group, said: The Competent Authority welcomes the findings of this review and looks forward to continuing work with industry to further improve the effectiveness of the regulatory regime for major hazards. Effective risk management and control lies at the heart of a successful chemical business and supports growth, employment, profitability and innovation. The full review findings are at:






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Human Factors in Process Safety My name is David Embrey, and over the past 30 years I have been concerned with addressing the human element in safety critical systems such as oil and gas, rail transport, power generation, aviation and healthcare. This is the first of a series of three short articles where I will try to help engineers and safety specialists in the petrochemical, oil and gas sector to make sense of ‘Human Factors’ in Process Safety, understand regulatory concerns, and how they can make their organisations safer and more productive. Major accidents such as Piper Alpha, Ocean Ranger, Buncefield and Texas City have led to an increased interest in the topic of Human Factors in process safety. The HSE now expects COMAH sites to demonstrate systematic management of Human Factors issues. Its own guidance for assessing COMAH Safety Reports states that: “…the parts that people play in protection, prevention, potential initiation, and recovery from major accidents (should) be addressed with the same degree of rigour that we traditionally expect for process and engineering issues.” Most Chemical Engineering training provides little guidance on the topic of Human Factors, and so many plant designers and safety specialists are uncertain how to address these issues. What is ‘Human Factors’? Is it the same as Behavioural Safety? Systems Human Factors (SHF) is a particular area of Human Factors relevant to process safety. It is concerned with optimising human performance by ensuring that the systems within which people operate are designed to take into account their physical and mental strengths and weaknesses. A specific example of SHF would be designing the information displays in a control room so that they are easy to read, and conform to the ‘mental model’ of the process operators. Another application would be to analysing operational tasks to identify possible errors with serious consequences, and developing interventions to minimise these risks. SHF can also make a significant contribution

to procedures development, improving safety critical communications (e.g. during shift handover), fatigue / workload issues and competency management. In general, SHF seeks to ‘Design the task to fit the person’. By contrast, Behavioural Safety can be described as ‘Fitting the person to the task’, in the sense that it seeks to modify human behaviour in order to eliminate undesirable behaviours such as risk taking and lack of diligence, and to reinforce positive behaviours such as compliance to procedures. Behavioural Safety approaches have mainly been applied in occupational safety, to address issues such as such as the prevention of slips, trips and falls.

to addressing COMAH Safety Report requirements and can be readily integrated with engineering safety techniques such as HAZOP, LOPA and SIL assessments. In the next article, I will focus on the regulatory requirements for addressing human error and describe specific tools and techniques that are available for use in COMAH Safety Reports.

Subsequent articles in this series will focus on Systems Human Factors, since this topic is less well known in the oil and gas sector than Behavioural Safety. In addition, SHF methods are well adapted





Dragonkraft boasts bio-resins with 100% renewable content Dragonkraft Europe, an eco-conscious start up with the backing of Akcros Chemicals, has launched a new bio-resin system for the composites, coatings and adhesives market. It promises manufacturers an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional oil based resins with many HSE benefits. Dragonkraft recognise the challenges faced by today’s manufacturing industry and their product philosophy is built around letting manufacturers accrue sound economic, environmental and social gains. Dragonkraft’s new epoxy resin system boasts 100% renewable carbon content whilst its hardener/



booster package contains 20% renewable matter. In addition, Dragonkraft promote a 97% renewable UV cure system which sets within 15-30 minutes in natural daylight. These products help manufacturers to address tightening environmental regulations but also reduce the consumption of finite petrochemical resources. The Dragonkraft package is BPA (Bisphenol A) free and has many health and safety benefits including safer handling for workers and low odours. The Dragonkraft formulation can be used for many applications and the curing speed can be adjusted to suit user requirements. The system is a strong contender to traditional resins as it produces a high strength flexible cured resin with a non-brittle finish. It has excellent wet out and self-leveling properties, with low shrinkage and high temperature resistance. Its adhesion qualities onto many surfaces including wood, plastics, metals and fibreglass mark it down as a great alternative to epoxy 2-pack adhesives. When compared to traditional resins it shows equivalent resistance to a number of common chemicals.

Jim Pickett, Commercial Director at Dragonkraft commented “From the beginning, our goal has been to employ bio-derived technologies that can replace existing oil-based resins and surpass performance in areas such as health, safety and environment. Dragonkraft has seen a growing interest for bio-resins and now they are competitive in not only price but performance too”. To find out more, call Dragonkraft on 0161 785 1313 or e-mail Visit the website at Photos: A renewable based Salmon Boats canoe, made using the Dragonkraft resin/hardener system as the adhesive and a Dragonkraft UV coating on the flax fabric for a waterproof flexible finish.





Chemistry + IP This is the first of a regular series of articles by patent attorney Dr. Chris Moore which will briefly comment on intellectual property issues which impact on the chemical industries. This year will see some significant changes to the law which will impact patent filing and litigation strategies. These changes will affect how UK chemical companies and their suppliers view and utilise their intellectual assets. Closest to home, the so-called “Patent Box” will commence on 1 April 2013. This phased-in benefit will eventually see the corporation tax rate for profits made from the sale of patented inventions fall to 10% (rather than 20/23% at present). As the name would suggest, it is necessary to have a qualifying patent before a business can take advantage of the system. Therefore, it is expected that patent filing strategies will assume an even more important role during new product development or process roll-out. Clearly, it is the UK government’s hope that the Patent Box, together with R&D tax credits and the reduction of the base line rate of corporation tax, will lead to a significant increase in UKbased innovation and a concomitant rise in high quality job creation. The chemical industry is one which should be at the vanguard of the innovation effort. Further afield, significant changes in US law come on track in March this year as the America Invents Act enters into law. This may have profound ramifications in the chemical fields because of wideranging changes with respect to how inventiveness will be assessed by the US examiners. There is change on the horizon in Europe too with the EU Unitary Patent looking likely to be enacted in 2014 subject to any last minute horse trading. In the UK courts some big name trials involving chemical companies are expected this year. The court diary has many listed in pharma/biotech space as well as in relation to agrochemicals. It is also expected that some further clarification of the law around Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) will be made. Reports on important decisions will follow in later editions. All in all 2013 looks like a fairly busy year for IP in relation to the chemical industry. Dr. Chris Moore is a partner with Harrison Goddard Foote specialising in chemistry and materials. He represents clients from the UK and further afield and has been consistently top ranked by attorney rating agencies. ©HGF 2013

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requirements of businesses operating on a global scale. We handle hazardous and nonhazardous products including dyes, corrosive, toxic and flammable products, alongside the capacity to manage specialist food and pharmaceutical grade products in a controlled clean room environment. Our dedicated team ensures the highest levels of service at every stage of the sampling process from decanting, labelling and paperwork to door to door delivery and reporting.

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REACH User Group Our members only REACH User Group was held on 30th November at the Heath. Jo Lloyd from the REACHReady team in London gave an update on where we are up to with the current REACH legislation. Hannah Doherty from The Health and Safety Executive also gave a presentation and answered any questions from the group on how the HSE enforces REACH. If any of our member companies have not joined the REACH User Group but would like to, please contact alex.heys@



Developing your key people Our Chemicals Elements event on 27th February was centered on “Developing your key people”. As businesses get to grips with the high number of variables that impact their performance on a daily basis, many leaders in business will say that “people are our greatest asset”. Developing superior performance of key managers and specialists can help improve your business and engender an inclusive sense of value and productivity. Teams become more effective and success is achieved by over-coming problems and generating new ideas. The agenda of this meeting provided for a high quality breakdown of the difficulties experienced by companies in getting the best from their people. It offered suggestions or techniques on how to maximise skills sets, design personal development planning and implement improvement strategies. Sarah Galbraith from The Galbraith Muir Consultancy spoke about the development of commercial and marketing expertise in technology-based staff including work with a NW chemical company. Michael Hughes from Executive Alliance Training & Coaching provided insights

into developing management coaching skills and how this can lead to benefits in the workplace. Steve Farnworth of Beaufort Performance Management outlined how companies can benefit from an individual’s knowledge and by realising their potential through to the creative processes required to solve problems and take businesses to new levels. Karen Hands from Thought into Action reported on findings from her women's Speaking Clubs and the implications for companies who want to see their female employees make more impact at every level of their business. The event also featured a case study presented by Steve Farnworth; the case study looked at how employee engagement and empowerment was driven in a positive direction in a traditionally autocratic management culture of a South African Oil, Gas & Chemicals Manufacturing Company. The process involved a programme of behavioural safety training and coaching aimed at encouraging the employees to take a proactive approach to health, safety and environmental issues.  The effect of this proactivity didn’t stop there and extended to other aspects of operational performance.



January breakfast 2013 Our 16th January breakfast event featured 4 short industry pitches in addition to the networking opportunities. Simon Chiva from ecoSMARTER spoke about; how energy prices are set to rise by at least 25% by 2020, adding greatly to business costs. However, new technologies are making it much easier to understand how to reduce energy use, often through low cost solutions. Joe Flanagan from the University of Salford spoke about the common perception that the role of Universities is to teach and

to carry out research (the relevance of which to the real world is questionable). From the outside they are often seen as large impenetrable institutions.  In reality, Universities have a great deal to offer to business and now take the ‘academic engagement’ agenda very seriously.   Joe gave an overview of how this engagement can take place and the benefits for business in engaging with Universities.   Richard Davies from Essar spoke about his journey through his Advanced Level Apprenticeship provided by TTE, through to his current role working for

Improving your Exporting Expertise in Central & Eastern Europe Our November Chemical Elements event held at the Heath on 22nd November was based around improving your Exporting Expertise in Central & Eastern Europe. With the North West being the UK’s number one region for chemical exports this subject matter was very topical to help ensure the region maintains this position. The event focussed on Central and Eastern Europe – economies forecast to grow strongly over the next 20-30 years, with easy access from the UK, English as the main business language and a significantly lower risk than many emerging economies. The event helped

delegates to improve their knowledge of the region and its chemical and key end industries, get tips on business culture and understand how to position their products or services within the market. The event finished off with updates from UKTI, relevant trade associations including the CIA and other service providers including HSBC on added value support for UK exporters. Our speakers include Mark Armitage from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Neil Harvey from the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), Tricia Francis also from UKTI, Rob Spowart from HSBC and Steve Cowles from UKTI.

ESSAR Oil UK Ltd. Richard is one of the Chemical Industries Associations Young Ambassadors and has recently been awarded with the Northwest City and Guilds Award for Apprentice Champion. Sarah Hughes from Mexichem discussed how, in 2012, Mexichem Fluor made significant investment of around £20 million into their Runcorn site, with the formation of a new company based on the Rocksavage site, and the redevelopment of their research and development labs. Sarah spoke about the reasons why Mexichem have made this investment in the North West and their future aspirations”.

Future Chemicals Northwest events 8th May 2013 Business Success through Energy Efficiency – sponsored by Siemens Siemens, Congleton (Inc site tour) 14th May 2013 Chemicals Northwest Breakfast networking Heath Business Park, Runcorn 14th May 2013 REACH User Group Heath Business Park, Runcorn 11th June 2013 Successful practices in process safety Heath Business Park, Runcorn For further details on these events please go to uk/events





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Elements Newsletter 4  

Elements Newsletter 4