Petrochemical Heritage Award
2013 Winner: Jim Ratcliffe
Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of INEOS, received the 17th annual Petrochemical Heritage Award on March 25, 2013, at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, Texas.
The award was presented at the 2013 International Petrochemical Conference hosted by the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).
About Jim Ratcliffe
After graduating in chemical engineering from Birmingham University in 1974, Jim Ratcliffe began his career in the chemical industry in accounting, marketing, and business management with Courtaulds and Exxon. After 15 years in manufacturing, during which he completed a 2-year M.B.A. degree at London Business School, he moved into private equity as director of Advanced Materials with the U.S. company Advent International, retaining a particular focus on the chemicals sector.
Ratcliffe put the experience gained at Advent to good use in 1992 when he led his own buyout of a BP specialty chemicals business based in the United Kingdom. The company was to be called Inspec, and as one of two founder shareholders and managing director, Ratcliffe initiated a number of acquisitions that saw the company grow significantly. Two years later it was floated on the U.K. stock exchange.
In 1998 Ratcliffe sold his interest in Inspec to lead another buyout opportunity. This time it was the Inspec’s Antwerp facility, which was to become known as INEOS. For the past 15 years Ratcliffe has concentrated his efforts building INEOS as its chairman and major shareholder.
Under the management of Jim Ratcliffe and the board of INEOS Capital, the company has established a strong track record of acquiring businesses and improving their profitability through safe operation, tight financial management, and good customer service.
Today, INEOS is one of the world’s largest chemicals companies, employing together with its joint ventures, around 20,000 people across 104 sites in 25 countries. Additionally it has joint ventures with PetroChina, BASF, Total, and Carlyle Private Equity. Sales in 2012 reached $45 billion.
About the Petrochemical Heritage Award
CHF and the Founders Club established the Petrochemical Heritage Award in 1997 to recognize individuals who made outstanding contributions to the petrochemical community; to inspire achievement; and to promote public understanding of the modern sciences, industries, and economies.
Past recipients of the award include Mohamed Al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC); Peter R. Huntsman, president and CEO of the Huntsman Company; Dave C. Swalm, founder of Texas Petrochemicals Company; Dan L. Duncan, chairman, Enterprise Products partners; J. Virgil Waggoner, former president and CEO of Sterling Chemicals; Ting Tsung (“T. T.”) Chao, founder of the Westlake Chemical Corporation; William A. McMinn, Jr., former president of Cain Chemical; Harold A. Sorgenti, former president and chief executive officer of ARCO Chemical Company; Herbert D. “Ted” Doan, former chairman and CEO of the Dow Chemical Company; Jon M. Huntsman, founder of Huntsman Corporation; Gordon Cain, well-known chemical engineer and business entrepreneur; John T. Files, founder and chairman of the Merichem Company; John R. Hall, chemical engineer and former president, chairman, and CEO of Ashland; and Ralph Landau, cofounder of Halcon/Scientific Design Group.
About the Founders Club
The Founders Club was founded in 1981 by a group of petrochemical-industry executives who participated in the establishment of the Petrochemical Committee of the NPRA and ultimately generated the International Petrochemicals Conference (IPC) as a separate identity within NPRA. The Founders Club today is a select group of individuals with a minimum of 25 years of distinguished service in the petrochemical industry. The club proudly advances the legacy inherited from these original “Founders” as contributing stewards of the petrochemical industry with a respect for the past (legacy), activities for the present (networking), and support for the future (recognition).
About American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers
AFPM is a trade association representing high-tech American manufacturers of virtually the entire U.S. supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, other fuels and home heating oil, as well as the petrochemicals used as building blocks for thousands of vital products in daily life.
About the Chemical Heritage Foundation
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) is a collections-based nonprofit organization that preserves the history and heritage of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences and technologies. The collections are used to create a body of original scholarship that illuminates chemistry’s role in shaping society. In bridging science with the humanities, arts, and social sciences, CHF is committed to building a vibrant, international community of scholars; creating a rich source of traditional and emerging media; expanding the reach of our museum; and engaging the broader society through inventive public events