This spring we say a fond farewell to EMEA Monomers Sales & Marketing Director Peter Snodgrass, a much-respected pillar of the business, whose career in the chemical industry has spanned over 30 years and two continents.

After qualifying with a degree in Mining Engineering, Peter joined ICI Nobel explosives as a commercial assistant in 1985. Within a year he had joined the export department, with responsibility for sales into Africa and the Middle East. By 1988 he had started regularly visiting East Africa in his sales role, giving him a passion for travelling that continues to this day.

Pictured: Peter in the 1980s, providing technical service on a seismic exploration line in Nigeria.

In 1997 Peter joined ICI Acrylics and relocated to Cassel Works in the North East of England to manage sales of solid Cyanide, for gold processing, and methacrylates into Africa and the Middle East. The Reagents and Effect Chemicals business was purchased by DuPont, triggering the end of cyanide production at Cassel and a 100% focus on methacrylates. 1999 saw the sale of the business to Ineos Acrylics and Peter became Customer Service Manager at Cassel before taking over as Commercial Manager for the newly acquired Ineos Acrylics South Africa business. Following his return to the UK in 2001, Peter was appointed Sales Director for the EMEA Monomers business, a role in which he has remained to this day.

Pictured: Peter leads a discussion with the EMEA Monomers sales team at their annual conference, 2016.

“It’s been a privilege to lead the monomer sales in EMEA,” says Peter. “Methacrylates continue to be a monomer of choice for our customers. Our products have an important future and will grow in importance as the inherent recyclability of Methacrylates aligns with the global KAITEKI drivers of MCC.” Over the past 30 years, Peter has witnessed a significant evolution of the MMA industry with the introduction by Mitsubishi Chemical of new propriety Alpha production technology; the rapid demand growth in LED screen technology using pMMA and the strong growth in Asian demand. Within Europe the growth has generally been above GDP, assisted by the introduction of VOC legislation and continued divestment by the large chemical companies. This has resulted in an industry that has changed quite fundamentally over the past 20 years.

Methacrylate use in Europe for coatings started out as a backbone for architectural coatings, but today they are increasingly used for industrial coatings. The plastics side of the business has evolved into an agile and focused plastic sheet industry, with production in Northern Europe moving to Southern/Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Peter says that he has always been fortunate to work with great people.

“The EMEA Monomers business is now in a strong, sustainable position with a sound track record and a clear vision for the future which will be both exciting for everyone and rewarding for our stakeholders”, he says. Peter’s plans for the future are focused on a potential relocation from North Yorkshire back to the South West of England, where he and his wife Anne met, and where they have many friends and family.

He intends to remain active, including enjoying golf – although he admits his handicap needs some attention! Peter’s colleagues and many friends throughout the industry wish him a long and happy retirement with the time to create the garden he dreams of, to enjoy sailing the waters around the Cornish coast and to continue the activities that he and Anne enjoy sharing including Scottish dancing and singing.