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News archive 2004

Forchem's first year prepares the ground for future growth


ForNews Magazine Article, Leif Lindberg

We knew in advance that Forchem's first year of operations, 2003, would put our new company to the test. We faced the challenges of starting full-scale production with a newly completed modern plant and at the same time of optimising several parts of the process that had not been tested before. Nevertheless, our target was to achieve and even go beyond th emarket quality standards, in terms of both products and services, thereby creating the "Forchem" standard of success on the market.

At the beginning of 2003 our entire organisation was faced with great expectations, and the tension grew: how well will we, a new operator on the market, be able to meet the demands of the long established European chemical industry? Have we assessed our markets correctly? How will the newcomer be received?

Today we can see that 2003 was a year of remarkable success for Forchem. With our new concept and hard work we have been able to achieve almost all our ambitious targets – not only in production but also in terms of quality, customer service and marketing. Naturally, we have had a few moments of disappointment during the past year, but plenty of reasons to celebrate as well. We have reached our targets by assuring Forchem’s position among the top-ranking companies in the industry, and we intend to remain there.

The fact that we have achieved our targets is for a major part due to the strong commitment of Forchem’s staff to their work. It is always a demanding task to start up a new operation. There are no existing practices to underpin the operation, and you have to create new concepts. On the other hand, this is what has inspired us. Our staff and all our partners together have contributed to the good results.

Excellent examples of the dynamic working climate at Forchem are the numerous innovations that our teams have been able to develop during the busy start up year. The most important ones are the inventions relating to production optimisation and the R&D work that resulted in our new top paper chemicals product ‘ForExt 35’. We have submitted patent applications in both these areas. At the same time, we have noted that the industry has been quick to apply the high standards our development work has brought to the market.

In one year Forchem has become a major operator in the chemical industry in Europe, and the prospects for 2004 indicate further growth. We will increase our production and invest in both basic production and production equipment for new products.

How do we justify our growth philosophy? Is it wise to grow, given the uncertainties involved? As already envisaged in the original business idea of the company, it was time for something new to happen on the market after so many quiet years. We saw that international integration would increase pressure on the tall oil market and on customers to streamline their operations, to seek innovations and to increase co-operation with manufacturers. These factors are still behind Forchem’s growth-oriented philosophy.

The year 2003 proved that Forchem has found a concept for success that also has the support of the clientele – the European chemical industry. By developing our company further we will confirm our ability to serve our customers, while at the same time, we will be creating new practices that will increase the competitiveness of the entire sector. This will be our driving force well into the future.

Martti Fredrikson
President and CEO

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