THE RIGHT CHEMISTRY

Mexico 2018 | INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Gerardo Familiar Calderón, President & General Director of the Chemours Company Mexico, on local and international market demand, new facilities, and acquisitions.

Gerardo Familiar Calderón
BIOGRAPHY
Gerardo Familiar Calderón has been overseeing the operation of the Chemours Company in Mexico since 2016. In parallel, he also serves as the Coatings Global Business Director and Fluoroproducts Latin America Director. Before joining the company, he worked for almost 15 years at DuPont. He holds a degree in industrial engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana and an MBA from ITAM.

How relevant is the Mexican market for your company's global sales strategy?

For Chemours, Mexico is an extremely important country, and Latin America is an important region for our global strategy. In terms of sales, we sell about USD400 million in the Mexican market, though we also export to the world from Mexico about another USD400 million. We have an important titanium dioxide manufacturing facility here at Altamira, Tamaulipas, where we produce our Ti-Pure™ product brand. Three years ago, we made a USD560-million investment in that facility to build a second production line, and it was an extremely important and relevant investment for a company; in fact, this was the first investment for Chemours outside of North America. In the last two years, in addition to other investments, we started to build a new USD160-million facility to produce a chemical compound for the Mexican market

What market will your recent investment in the new facility cover, and how will it complement your existing offerings?

Chemours has three large business lines. One is Titanium Technologies, which is related to paints, plastics, laminate flooring, and paper. Another business is Fluoro products; we produce refrigerate gases and fluids that allow refrigerators and air conditioners to work for the supermarket and automotive industries, as well as for houses. Our brands are Opteon™ and Freon™. The other big segment in the fluoro product business is our Teflon brand products, which are used mainly for automotive, consumer electronics, wire and cable, houseware, and the oil and gas industries. Our third business is chemical solutions, and here we have one specific chemical compound under our mining solutions division that supports the development of the mining industry in Mexico.

What are the main drivers of growth here, and which industries have the highest demand for chemical products?

In 2017, Chemours was able to sell USD6.4 billion worth of products and grew about 15% YoY. The expectation is for 2018's EBITDA globally to be around 20% more than 2017's. We predict around 15% growth for Mexico, and there are four key drivers for this growth. One is the volume that is driven by the fact that industries in general are growing, and Chemours is the leader in those markets. We are related to the paint, refrigeration, and automotive industries, and most of our products are related to those industries that are core of the global economy. In 2018, we announced the first acquisition of Chemours in the world, which was done in the US and is focused on the refrigeration market. We are moving down the value chain and going downstream, which is extremely important if we want to bring solutions closer to our customers.

What is your strategy in terms of the environmental impact of your facilities in Mexico?

For a chemistry company such as Chemours, sustainability is relevant in terms of four key points. The first is our core values, and the most important thing is that we are an ethical company. We reinvented ourselves in 2015, though we have been operating for 200 years. We want to continue for another 200 years. The second key thing is how we operate our facilities around the world. We are focused on always taking care of the environment, the communities around us, our team members, and the people who work for us. The third point is related to the products that we create to enable a more sustainable world. The innovative products that we produce enable our customers to deliver solutions to key industries that are improving the lives of people everywhere. Chemours is catalyst for better. The last one is to have products that maintain their unique performance while reducing their environmental footprint.