31 December 2019

Martyn Tickner Farewell

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Dear Friends of HMC Polymers,

I would firstly like to take the opportunity to wish you and your family the very best of happiness, health and success for the coming years.

Sad to say, but this will be my last message on the HMC website. As you may be aware, the position of HMC President rotates between shareholders every 3 years, and my tenure at HMC has now concluded. Whilst letting go and moving on is never easy, I am however delighted to introduce to you my successor, Khun Siridech Kumvongdee, who became President of HMC on 13th December 2019. Khun Siridech comes to HMC with considerable industry experience and expertise, and I have no doubt he will further realize the potential of our great company.

I will leave K. Siridech to speak in his New Year’s message about the coming years, the challenges that we will face as an industry, and the plans and priorities for the continued success of HMC. Instead, I will look back on our last 3 years, and highlight some of our most important achievements.

When I arrived at HMC, I was challenged by the Board to “make our dream come true, make HMC a truly specialty company”. This is not a simple challenge in the world of Polypropylene, where the technology playing field is very flat and the boundaries of polymer products are already well explored such that it is easier to choose the path of low cost commodity operations. But I am proud to see that HMC has developed the qualities that are required to become a truly differentiated producer…

  • Patience, because development of step out products takes time.
  • Courage, because developments can be expensive and success is never guaranteed.
  • Resilience, because we will encounter set-backs and challenges along the way, such that it is easy to lose confidence and give up on the vision.

These qualities have already been applied to achieve some significant successes in Medical, Pipe, Functional Films and Electrical applications – and with many new ideas currently in the pipeline. Differentiation is also further supported by the multi-year initiatives we have taken to improve “Quality in the Eyes of the Customer” – to look at our product quality and service performance as our customers see it.

Probably the most visible success for HMC was the approval and mobilization of our PP Line 4 project, which will bring HMC back to the position of the largest PP producer in SE Asia, and establish our Map Ta Phut site as one of the largest PP Production sites in Asia. But more importantly, PP4 will have some unique capabilities which will allow us to further pursue our mission in pushing the boundaries of PP application and addressing market needs. The project is now in full swing, timed to come on stream when we expect the market to swing back from downcycle to upcycle.

Another area of particular pride is our investment in people – an ongoing corporate agenda to improve our agility through coaching, empowerment, and the encouragement of more entrepreneurism. From the outset I have been extraordinarily impressed by the quality of our staff, their deep experience, and ability to execute at a world class level. But as with most companies, we can find ourselves locked into established practices, and afraid of trying new things. Pushing past that inhibition is imperative to realize the other part of our mission - to fully unlock the considerable potential of HMC and our production technologies.

And finally, talking about world class excellence, HMC in 2019 reached a milestone of 10.6MM man-hours without a medical treatment case or process safety incident. This requires an unwavering commitment to safety; something that all companies should be able to claim, but HMC is setting a benchmark here. And soon we will be knocking on that same door in respect of the reliability of operation of our process plants.

There is so much to be proud of, but my time at HMC was a 3 year slice of an already 36 year journey and proud heritage. I look forward to seeing what the next years will bring!

My thanks to HMC employees, stakeholders, contractors and of course to our loyal customers for their unwavering support, and although I cannot yet announce what I will be doing next, rest assured that it will keep me at the heart of our industry and the challenges we face, such that I am sure I will meet meet many of you again in the near future.
        
Sincerely yours,





Martyn N. Tickner