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Tuesday March 21, 8:12 am Eastern Time

Company Press Release

SOURCE: Envera

Envera 'B4B' Marketplace Launched by a Global Consortium of Chemical And Petroleum Companies

RICHMOND, Va., March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- An international group of chemical and petroleum companies announced today agreement to pursue the creation of Envera, a global electronic-marketplace for B2B transactions and services. Envera will enable cross industry transactions and efficiencies over the Web. Envera calls its network of systems and services ``e-Business For Business'' (``B4B'').

Sponsorship by a consortium of international companies rather than by a single industry entity is a key component of the venture. ``No single industry player can credibly sponsor a global marketplace intended to provide a level playing field for all,'' said Robert Mooney, Envera Chief Executive Officer. Based on the Latin word for ``in truth,'' Envera has been designed from the start as a ``customer-focused,'' neutral site where all industry participants can transact business with assurance of the network's neutrality and confidentiality.

Envera will be a true business-for-business site, enabling a full range of business transactions between trading members (vendors, customers and suppliers in existing supply chains), and complimented by links to global financial institutions, shipping companies and other key service providers. Expecting to be operational by third quarter, Envera is designed to integrate and network chemical and petroleum process companies, and not for spot auctions. The goal is to empower members' core businesses, from improving efficiencies in manufacturing to integrating markets and services worldwide.

``What separates this network from others is that Envera is designed to efficiently manage the relationship between strategic accounts - i.e. between both supplier and customer, '' said Charles K. Valutas, Vice President of Sunoco Chemicals. ``This network's business improvement solutions have the potential to significantly streamline the supply chain, while providing less complexity in connecting to multiple technology systems.''

``Process industry companies need consistent standards to facilitate electronic transactions on the web,'' said David Smith, CIO of PPG Industries. ``If we have to build customized links to each of our customers and suppliers the promise of the internet to speed transactions and significantly reduce costs will not be fulfilled. Envera will help the industry establish trading standards quickly in the process industries,'' said Smith.

``Envera represents an integrated eCommerce network providing low cost solutions to supply chain complexities, systems integration and transaction processing,'' said Russell Gottwald, Vice President of Product Supply at Ethyl Corporation. ``The benefits to Envera members are substantial and include lower IT effort and expenditure, reduced complexities in order fulfillment; improved delivery performance and lower working capital and revenue lift through re-engineered distribution channels. Of course, these benefits encompass all members, customers and suppliers in the supply chain, many of whom are outside of the chemical/petroleum industries. Equally important, Envera provides easy access to management expertise and best of class service,'' said Gottwald.

``E-business is business,'' said John Hunter, CEO of Solutia Inc., ``our customers are demanding efficiencies and Envera's network will provide them.'' Unlike Websites serving mainly the spot market places, Envera is focusing on a full suite of value-added services as well as transaction systems for existing business relationships between companies.

The Envera solution is based on XML standards which will enable participating companies to enjoy on-line efficiencies regardless of their IT sophistication. To develop this standards-based open marketplace, Envera is in discussions with leading technology providers including IBM, XML Solutions, webMethods and Oracle.

``Envera brings true differentiation to electronic marketplaces and will streamline the chemical-related value networks and eliminate the waste and redundancy so prevalent in those chains today. This is the promise to revolutionize the way business is conducted,'' said Craig Hodges, vice president, IBM Chemicals & Petroleum Industry Group. ``IBM is a strong supporter of open standards and we believe that Envera's commitment to open architecture will allow companies of all sizes to enjoy the supply chain efficiencies offered by the Envera solutions.''

Additionally, the Envera team is exploring a wide range of opportunities with ``best in class'' service providers in the areas of consulting, logistics and financial services. To date, PricewaterhouseCoopers is providing Envera with e-business consulting support. Discussions on other potential service offerings have included BDP International Inc., a leading provider of global transportation and logistics services to the chemical industry; Miller Transporters, Inc., a national trucking firm, and Miller Intermodal Logistics Services, Inc., a global container and logistics company; and First Union for financial services.

``First Union is a founder and owner of Spectrum, an electronic bill presentment and payment service designed to bring e-commerce solutions to companies. By supporting Envera's electronic marketplace, we can provide its members with flexible transaction settlement options and a better way to conduct business-to-business exchanges,'' said Sandi Larsen, First Union Global Cash Management Vice President and Internet Development Manager.

``We welcome additional members and strategic investors. We are very pleased that the companies currently exploring the Envera business plan and helping us finalize our e-business model represent nearly $100 billion in revenue,'' said Mooney. ``We are very excited about our future. Through Envera, bricks and mortar are taking back the Internet!''

  • These companies include:
  • Albemarle Corporation Hercules Inc.
  • Aristech Chemical Corporation Occidental Chemical Corporation
  • BF Goodrich Performance Materials PPG Industries
  • Castrol International Rohm and Haas Company
  • ChemCentral Solutia Inc.
  • Eastman Chemical Sunoco Chemicals
  • Ethyl Corporation Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corporation

Companies interested in Envera should contact Rich Chvala at rchvala@envera.com. His phone number is 804-788-5667. The website can be found at www.Envera.com.

About Our Strategic Participants

Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB - news) is a global supplier of specialty and fine chemicals that enhance consumer products. Albemarle serves markets for polymers, surfactants and biocides, pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, photographic chemicals, water treatment, oilfield chemicals and petroleum products.

Aristech Chemical Corporation is a billion dollar producer and marketer of a wide range of chemical and polymer products. Aristech's core businesses are industrial and intermediate chemicals and polypropylene resins. They also have strategic businesses in acrylic sheet and decorative surface materials. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., the company employs 1,100 people in seven locations in four states.

BDP International, Inc. (bdpinternational.com) is one of the largest privately-held global transportation and logistics companies in the U.S. Formed in 1966, the company has become a recognized leader in the management of chemical exports and imports. Revenue from sales totaled approximately $900 million in 1999; 70 percent of which was generated from services to the chemical industry. All internal practices have been formulated to handle the uniqueness of these products. BDP provides a range of services, including surface, air, and ocean transportation; export freight forwarding; import customs brokerage and regulatory compliance; project/dimensional services; warehousing, consolidation, distribution; logistics process analysis and design; and shipment transaction/tracking systems.

BF Goodrich Performance Materials, a segment of The BF Goodrich Company, is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. BF Goodrich, a Fortune 300 company, has leading market positions in advanced aerospace systems, performance materials and engineered industrial products. BF Goodrich sells its performance materials to customers around the world for a broad range of consumer and industrial end-applications in value-added growth markets, such as personal care, pharmaceuticals, food, apparel, medical, electronics, transportation and construction. BF Goodrich Performance Materials is organized into three market-focused groups: Textile & Coatings Solutions, Consumer Specialties, and Polymer Additives & Specialty Plastics.

Castrol International (NYSE: BURMY - news) is the world's largest specialist in the production and marketing of lubricants, and allied products and services. While best known for automotive lubricants, Castrol also produces a wide range of specialty products and services for other applications, including the commercial vehicle, marine and industrial sectors.

CHEMCENTRAL: For over 70 years, CHEMCENTRAL has been a leader in the distribution of industrial chemicals. CHEMCENTRAL's primary focus is on five key markets including: paint, coatings and inks; adhesives, caulks and sealants; household, industrial and institutional cleaning, personal care and cosmetics; and rubber and plastics compounding.

Eastman Chemical Company: Headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., Eastman Chemical Company manufactures and markets more than 400 chemicals, fibers and plastics. An e-commerce leader within the chemical industry, Eastman employs approximately 15,000 people in more than 30 countries and had 1999 sales of $4.59 billion.

Ethyl Corporation (NYSE: EY - news) develops, manufacturers and blends performance-enhancing fuel and lubricant additives marketed worldwide to refiners and others who sell petroleum products for use in transportation and industrial equipment. Ethyl additives increase the value of gasoline, diesel and heating fuels as well as lubricants for engines, automatic transmissions, gear and hydraulic and industrial equipment.

First Union (NYSE: FTU - news), with $253 billion in assets at December 31, 1999, is a leading provider of financial services to 16 million retail and corporate customers throughout the East Coast and the nation. The company operates full-service banking offices in 12 east coast states and the District of Columbia and full-service brokerage offices in 41 states. Online banking products and services can be accessed through www.firstunion.com. First Union is one of the founding members and owners of Spectrum, an Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment service designed to bring e-commerce solutions to the corporate marketplace.

Hercules Incorporated (NYSE: HPC - news) is a global manufacturer of chemical specialties used in making a variety of products for home, office, and industrial markets. Core businesses and their key products are: Process Chemicals and Services Segment - Pulp and Paper, for total solutions to customers' pulp and paper manufacturing needs; BetzDearborn, for water and industrial process systems; Functional Products Segment - Aqualon, for thickeners used in water-based products such as latex paint; Food Gums, for natural gum ingredients in food and beverages; Chemical Specialties Segment - Resins, for hydrocarbon and rosin resins used in adhesives; Fiber Visions, for staple fiber used in hygienic products and automotive textiles. Hercules, established in 1912, is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.

IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) is the world's largest information technology (IT) company and provider of IT services. It creates, develops and manufactures the industry's most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, storage devices and microelectronics. IBM's Global Chemical & Petroleum Industry and ChemSystems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBM, help companies in these markets become more competitive through the innovative deployment of high-impact solutions, from e-business services and business consulting to systems integration and outsourcing. IBM also works with business partners to deliver best-of-breed technology to its customers.

Occidental Chemical Corporation (NYSE: OXY - news) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation and is a leading chemical manufacturer, with interests in basic chemicals, vinyls, petrochemicals, and specialty products. The company is based in Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing facilities in the United States and six foreign countries.

PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG - news) has been innovating process and product technology since 1883. It is the world's largest producer of transportation coatings and a leading maker of industrial, packaging and decorative coatings, as well as flat and fabricated glass, continuous-strand glass, and industrial and specialty chemicals. PPG has about 120 manufacturing facilities in 23 countries.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is the world's largest professional services organization. Drawing on the knowledge and skills of more than 150,000 people in 150 countries, they help their clients solve complex business problems and measurably enhance their ability to build value, manage risk and improve performance in an Internet-enabled world.

Rohm and Haas Company: For more than 90 years, Rohm and Haas has been a leader in specialty chemical technology. Our chemistry is found today in paint and coatings, adhesives and sealants, household cleaning products, personal computers and electronic component, construction materials and thousands of everyday products. The company now consists of four global business groups. The largest is Performance Polymers, followed by Chemical Specialties, Electronic Materials and Morton Salt. Each business has an ever-increasing ability to supply the full range of technology, products and services to meet customers' needs for innovative products of consistent quality anywhere in the world. Rohm and Haas has annual sales revenue of about $6.7 billion. It employs more than 20,000 people and operates nearly 150 facilities in 25 countries.

Solutia Inc. (NYSE: SOI - news) is an applied chemistry company that manufactures products for a wide variety of markets including an integrated family of nylon products; performance films for laminated safety glass and after-market applications; resins and additives for high-value coatings; and specialties such as aviation hydraulic fluid and environmentally friendly cleaning fluid and environmentally friendly cleaning fluids for aviation. Headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., Solutia has 10,600 employees and 34 manufacturing sites around the world.

Sunoco Chemicals (NYSE: SUN - news), based in Philadelphia, is a business unit of Sunoco, Inc, one of the nation's largest independent refiners and marketers. Sunoco Chemicals' line of base and intermediate aromatics and olefins are the raw materials for fast growing markets in fibers, resins, surfactants, and specialties. Located in one of the largest chemical regions in the U.S, and backed by the infrastructure of a large refining base, Sunoco has access to an extensive distribution network of railroads, trucks, pipelines, and waterborne vessels. With a highly innovative workforce, Sunoco Chemicals is committed to new project development and investment to support growing customer demand.

Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corporation (NYSE: UDS - news) is one of the largest independent refining and marketing companies in North America, with revenues of nearly $14 billion and assets totaling $5 billion. UDS has over 20,000 employees in the United States and eastern Canada. The company owns six refineries in Texas, California, Oklahoma, Colorado and Quebec, Canada with a combined throughput capacity of 645,000 barrels per day and has over 5,000 retail gasoline outlets in 20 US states and six Canadian provinces. The majority of these are branded Diamond Shamrock, Ultramar, Beacon or Total. UDS also has significant petrochemical, home heating oil, and convenience store merchandising businesses.

Companies interested in Envera should contact Rich Chvala at rchvala@envera.com. His phone number is 804-788-5667. The website can be found at www.Envera.com.

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