Top 40 Power Players in the Chemical Industry Named

The 2007 ranking of the Top 40 power players in the chemical industry is published today (Monday 3 December) in ICIS Chemical Business. The Top 40 listing includes industry leaders, association heads, politicians and legislators. Full story:

Mohamed al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO of SABIC, has been named the most influential person in global chemicals in the ICIS Top 40 Power Players 2007. "China's Iron Lady", vice premier Wu Yi, is in at No 18, while Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are among ICIS's "politicians to watch".

Al-Mady won the top slot with the $11.6bn acquisition of GE's plastics business which boosts SABIC's turnover from a whopping $23bn to $30bn, and takes the former commodity-oriented producer upmarket into engineering polymers and squarely into the US market.

Close on Al-Mady's heels in second place in the ICIS Top 40 Power Players list is Len Blavatnik, owner and chairman of Access Industries. US-based Access Industries is building a global chemical empire with the acquisition of Lyondell Chemical for $19bn. Blavatnik will merge European polyolefins giant Basell, already owned by Access Industries, and US-based Lyondell into one global company, called LyondellBasell Industries.

ICIS's third Power Player is 55-year-old former Hong Kong financial secretary, Antony Leung, chairman of Blackstone Greater China and board member of China National Bluestar. Leung was behind negotiations in the Chinese government's $3bn investment in US private equity firm, Blackstone.

ICIS also highlights future Power Players - rising stars and people to watch; politicians who've shaped our business for better or for worse; and the consumer chiefs who ultimately dictate the chemical industry's strategy, production and direction.

China's vice premier Wu Yi, well-known as China's top trouble-shooter, has an impressive track record including negotiating China's way into the World Trade Organization. She was again called on to lead a task force on product quality after several toy recalls. China's deputy minister for the state environment and protection administration (SEPA) weighs in at No 19 on the ICIS Top 40 Power Players list. Pan Yue has been the face for China's environment watchdog in its crusade to clean up the country's pollution.

Iran's president Mahmoud Admadinejad is mentioned by ICIS as a "politician to watch" because of his "dogged pursuance of a nuclear development program". The chemicals media information group adds: "Despite Iran's vast upstream resources, the political fall-out and harsher trade sanctions threaten Iran's chemical thrust."

Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez also joins the ICIS Top 40 Power Players list of "politicians to watch" because of his talk of nationalization of petrochemical assets in a "petrochemical revolution" - inspired, he says, by the Iranian model - and reportedly involving $20bn investment in new plant build over the next five years.

ICIS editors worldwide ranked their Top 40 Power Players in order of their industry influence through 2007. ICIS also asks:"Where are they now?" These are the folks who have been displaced in what we've termed "unplanned outages." ICIS also focuses on the Middle East, where it finds little known but highly influential personalities in the chemicals sector in the ICIS "Middle East people to watch" section of its Top 40 Power Players.

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