"Despite the challenges, in 2020 we achieved the best results in the history of the company. Oxiquim has a profit sharing system, and it was very positive for the workers."
What have been the main milestones achieved at Oxiquim since you became general manager in May 2020?
I would like to highlight in a very special way the management that we carried out with the team to face the pandemic. From the beginning, we formed a Covid committee, holding daily meetings and implementing communication by WhatsApp to facilitate operations for all of the 410 people that form part of Oxiquim. We made modifications in the shifts to have positions covered in case of contagion within the company, and this prevented infections. This strategy paid off and allowed us to take care of the health of our collaborators and maintain operational continuity. Despite the challenges, in 2020 we achieved the best results in the history of the company. Oxiquim has a profit sharing system, and it was very positive for the workers.
To what extent has demand for the chemical products Oxiquim distributes evolved in 2021?
Demand in 2020, for some products, exceeded demand in 2019 because we sell chemicals that are used for disinfection and cleaning, such as sodium hypochlorite or ethyl alcohol. Fortunately, we had enough volume to supply that demand. In 2021, demand for these products has not been as strong as in 2020, but it is still above 2019 levels. In other products, demand has fallen.
Can you explain Oxiquim’s commitment to the communities and environment surrounding its operations?
We seek the sustainability of our operation by acting responsibly and being always concerned about our workers, the environment that surrounds us, and getting involved with the needs of neighboring communities.
For the company, the activities that we carry out with neighboring communities are very relevant, and we are also interested in making sure that these communities know the activities we carry out. We have a person dedicated to relations with the neighboring communities in Mejillones and another person in Quintero. We have built relationships of trust, always enhancing transparency, since we are convinced that dialogue, knowledge and participation are key aspects to contribute to the development of local communities.
How is the company’s marine terminals business evolving?
I have a special affection for this business because I led it from 2010 until last year. In March 2021, we finished building a liquefied gas storage plant at our Mejillones terminal and we received the first ship at the beginning of April. The reception was impeccable; we did not have to halt the download at any time, with very good organization and without problems. The project was budgeted to finish in January 2021 and we finished in March, despite Covid (we were building in the middle of the pandemic during 2020), and we also finished within budget. We are very proud of the result of this important project. We are currently working on other projects in the terminal business, which I cannot comment on for now.
Do you have a final message for fellow APLA members regarding the Latin American chemicals market?
Oxiquim has a tremendous commitment to the chemical sector, and we believe that we need to bring the industry closer to the ordinary citizen. Sometimes the chemical industry is associated as polluting or dangerous. In fact, chemistry is found in our lives on a daily basis, it is vital to society, and the general public may not perceive this. As an industry, we have a responsibility to show society that we do what we do well, that we work with high standards, we are sustainable and we are concerned about looking after the environment.