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Author: Mark Oberle

Improving The World

Lessons Learned On The Beach 

The volunteer work we did was relatively simple – sift the sand on the beach through screens to separate rocks, debris and other objects so the former seaside resort town could return to its previous beautiful state. The lessons I learned from touring the town and learning about the catastrophe were more complex.

Approximately 30 minutes after the earthquake, a wall of water between 50 and 60 feet high swept through the town with the type of force I had previously only seen (or imagined) in movies. Sixty-two percent of the towns 4,000 households were…

Creating Customer Value

Are You Glocal? How We’re Creating Customer Value 

Celanese wrapped up an incredibly successful Chinaplas® (Asia’s biggest plastics trade fair) exhibition in Shanghai last month.  I won’t know the final count of visitors and meetings for a little while, but based on the latest information, there were more than 2,000 visitors to the booth, over 60 scheduled meetings and countless ‘on-the-spot’ information exchanges.  Our engineered materials, Clarifoil and EVA teams were certainly busy.  A common theme for the show was how Celanese is helping create customer value.

One of the most exciting announcements we had during the show was Celanese’s plan to begin…

Creating Customer Value

Getting Bullish On Indonesia 

Over the past several months, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Jakarta.  Partnering with Pertamina, Indonesia’s state-owned oil and natural gas business, we’re advancing a Joint Statement of Cooperation to develop Celanese’s proprietary technology to make fuel ethanol for use in Indonesia. I have also had the opportunity to get to know our other businesses there as well as we have a long history of doing business in Indonesia with our Acetate and our Acetyls businesses. 

From where I stand, there are several reasons to be bullish on…

Creating Customer Value

Celanese TCX Technology® Can Reduce Indonesia’s $12 Billion Annual Gasoline Subsidy 

I recently returned from another trip to Jakarta, the third time in as many months given the significant progress being made in the country.  The Celanese team has kicked off the work with Pertamina as defined in our Joint Statement of Cooperation and it was rewarding to see the progress they have achieved.  As a reminder, Celanese announced its intention to jointly develop projects with Pertamina, the leading state owned oil and gas company in Indonesia, to convert local coal resources to ethanol using Celanese’s TCX® ethanol technology for use as a transportation fuel in the country.  While in Indonesia, I had the opportunity to meet with the US Ambassador to Indonesia, Scot Marciel, at the Ambassador’s residence.  The Embassy has been very supportive of our efforts and has provided instrumental insight and support into the opportunity.

Ambassador Marciel hosted a reception with members of “Commission VII” of the Indonesian Parliament to discuss the fuel ethanol project between…

Creating Customer Value

Competitive Dynamics Require More From Us In Singapore 

Recently I was in Asia visiting key government officials in China and Indonesia with our Advanced Fuel Technologies (AFT) team.  At the end of the trip, I stopped by our Singapore Acetyl facility on Jurong Island.  The plant has been in the spotlight recently.  Industry conditions and a challenging feedstock position have necessitated the temporary idling of the acetic acid unit.  My objectives in visiting the site were focused on our people. 

Historically Singapore served as our initial gateway to the East.  We launched production in 1997 with vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) and now also produce acetic acid, ethyl acetate and butyl acetate.  The plant has a rich history of process and safety excellence and has been a cornerstone of the…

Employee Growth

Celanese Leadership Program – The Summer Job Of A Lifetime 

In a few short weeks, eleven summer interns and five full-time associates of the Celanese Leadership Program (CELP) will make their way to Dallas.  They will come from Austin, Ann Arbor, Salt Lake City and Charlottesville.  They are chemical engineers, CPAs, mechanical engineers and econ majors.  They will hold passports from China, countries in Africa, India, the US and more.  They want to be general managers, CEOs or CFOs.  They are incredibly diverse.  But they share a common objective:  they all want to develop their skills and talents to accelerate their careers with the types of opportunities that Celanese can provide. 

With Michael Stubblefield, the general manager of our Ticona business, I have the pleasure to serve as the executive sponsor the the Celanese Leadership Program.  Our objective is simple: …

Collaboration

The Accidental Lobbyist 

As a kid, I was a huge fan of cartoons. To this day, one of my favorites is “School House Rock.” In fact, like many of my generation, I learned most of what I know today about the US government from the song “I’m Just a Bill.” As Celanese launched TCX®, our new technology to make ethanol from natural gas and other hydrocarbons, I have been fortunate to work with members of Congress to explore opportunities to apply this groundbreaking technology in the US…