Interview with Arnaud Closson, PHP Fibers: Th...
Interview with Arnaud Closson, PHP Fibers

The perfect time to reconnect

Arnaud Closson (Source: PHP Fibers)
Arnaud Closson (Source: PHP Fibers)

Now the Techtextil and Texprocess are finally taking place in person in Frankfurt/Germany, what do you hope/expect from this fair?
For Indorama Ventures as a leading global supplier of fibers, nonwovens and fabrics, the Techtextil show is a major opportunity to meet with a large number of existing and new customers, where we do not have a business relationship so far. After 2 years living with the pandemic restrictions, it is the perfect time to reconnect with the industry and key stakeholders.
This exhibition offers a significant benefit, especially to show our latest innovative and sustainable products and technologies, to explore the latest innovations in materials and to foster ecosystems that will enable to build a more sustainable and circular textile industry.
To the point: Techtextil is THE trade fair to be at this year!

What will you present at the Techtextil?
For the first time, we will present us as “One IVL”. The focus of the presentation will be in the Indorama Group, and not on the legal entities. Under the umbrella of Indorama Ventures, the 3 Fiber Verticals - Mobility, Hygiene and Lifestyle - will present the latest developments and innovations in a combined manner.
Under the theme "Reimaging Chemistry together for a better World", a broad portfolio of sustainable products, advanced technologies and consumer-centric solutions will be presented.
One focus will be the Deja brand; it is Indorama Ventures’ platform of sustainable products, which includes products such as fibers produced from recycled PET.
Products with a neutral carbon footprint will also be shown including Breathair cushion materials as well as bio-based materials.
Future designed products will be another part of samples, showing the latest work and ideas how to reach a better carbon footprint for existing products like tires, airbags broad fabrics or MRG, enhancing performance, safety, compliance, sustainability simultaneously. This includes products based on rPET, bio-based PA 4.10, Enka TecTape or sustainable yarns from mass balance approach.
Another highlight will be the demonstration of the Biotechnology process. To mitigate plastic pollution in the open environment, Indorama Ventures is introducing polyolefin fibers and nonwovens that are biodegradable, through recently launched Biotransformation technology. This is a process in which the physical state of a fiber changes from crystalline solid to a bio-available wax.

At the moment, every new development, every new product should also be sustainable and environmentally friendly. What is your approach to a greener world?
Our statement is “Reimagining Chemistry together to create a better world”. Sustainability is driving our business from the very beginning. This is why IVL celebrated its 10th year of sustainability reporting through the 3Ps – People, Planet and Prosperity in 2021.
This means very concretely that sustainable practices are our number 1 objective from Indorama Mobility Group. Climate change, carbon pricing, and customer relationships are the key drivers, and we are focused on producing low carbon footprint in order to provide sustainable solutions for customers. We continuously improve our systems and processes to deliver results that meet the environmental needs of our customers while exceeding their expectations. Our product portfolio reflects our strategic support for the circular economy, focus on innovation and our vision of making great products for society.
In order to achieve this, it requires renewable energy, coal phase-out, green projects and future technologies. With focus on our fiber products and processes, we have grouped our efforts into four sustainability pillars on the stand:
-     Recycled material
-     Biomaterials
-     Products with lower carbon footprint
-     Future Designed products where we future proof our products with material optimization and base weight solutions to reduce carbon emissions or offer carbon replacement.

What are the biggest challenges for the textile industry in times of pandemic and war in Europe?
For the first time, the fiber business is confronted with a multitude of profound impairments in the market, both in the economic and political environment, which are unprecedented in this accumulation and concentration.
Disrupted supply chains for key raw materials and escalating and volatile energy prices continue to be the main reasons for most of the negative developments in the industry, with the closures in China and the war in Ukraine exacerbating these problems, putting pressure on global business activities downstream of value chains.
-    The shortage of semiconductors is still an important limitation for the global production of light vehicles. And the outlook remains gloomy, although the supply situation for semiconductors is expected to ease towards the end of the year.
-    Energy prices have increased significantly (natural gas, electricity) placing a considerable burden on our European sites.
-    Oil price has also increased, which is driving consumers not to use their cars to save petrol, with a potential negative impact on the tire replacement business.
-    The stock markets for commodities such as aluminum, palladium, nickel, neon gas and others essential to the automotive and other high-tech industries reacted immediately, and prices rose sharply. Russia and to some extent Ukraine are among the leading global suppliers, and shortages will significantly affect global value chains.
-    These various disruptions will have a negative impact on the automotive sector, especially in Europe.  Initial estimates predict a loss of more than 3.5 million cars on global production; this would correspond to around 4.5% of forecast annual production.

Inflation in the euro zone is heading for a new record high. Goods and services in May 2022 were 8.1% more expensive on average than a year earlier. Import prices even increased by almost 32% compared with the same month a year earlier.
The problem with high inflation is that it leads to a significant drop in real wages. This may lead to a reluctance to consume, which could weigh on the economy to the point of recession.

Breathair, Deja = registered trademark
The interview was conducted by our TextileTechnology team with Arnaud Closson, COO, Indorama Mobility Group (PHP Fibers)

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