Talking TiO2 Issues Ahead of World Summit

AKRON, OH | Jean-Francois Turgeon, executive VP of Tronox, will deliver the keynote presentation at TiO2 World Summit, scheduled for October 3–5, 2017, in Alicante, Spain. In preparation, event organizer Smithers Rapra interviewed Turgeon about the challenges and opportunities faced in the current supply/demand climate and more. Following are excerpts. 

Question: The global shortage of TiO2 has had a massive impact on pigment markets worldwide. As a leading producer of TiO2, what are some of the challenges and opportunities faced in the current supply/demand climate?

Answer: Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has no real substitutes, and it is an essential ingredient in the products of our coatings, plastics and paper customers. The recent increase in demand for pigment, combined with the reduction in supply, has resulted in tight market conditions that stress the supply chain. However, it`s not only the pigment market that is tight. The feedstock market is also struggling to match supply and demand. Environmental pressures in China, the desire by some countries to reduce exports and value add locally, and a general lack of investment have all resulted in a contracting supply base.

Question: Our comprehensive two-day program aims to cover all aspects of the TiO2 Value chain. Can you share with us any particular topics you are looking forward to this year?

Answer: On the mining side of the TiO2 Value Chain, some key suppliers are facing issues such as depletion of their assets, environmental constraints, and economic viability of the capital required for exploration and expansion. Global production will be reduced if new projects are not initiated. As this limitation has a major impact on the mineral sands side of the business, it would be interesting to know what suppliers have in their plans.

Question: What are the benefits of co-locating TiO2 World Summit with Pigment & Colour Science Forum?

Answer: It brings more people with the same interests together at the same time. This dialogue will result in a better understanding of the requirements and objectives of customers and suppliers. This is critical to generation of innovative ideas for new products or supply chain efficiencies.

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