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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09THEHAGUE754 2009-12-17 11:00:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

CWC: OPCW WORKSHOP ON OTHER CHEMICAL PRODUCTION

Tags:   EIND PARM PREL OPCW CWC 
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1. (U) SUMMARY: In conjunction with its annual
meeting for National Authorities (ref A), the
Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons (OPCW) hosted a workshop on other chemical
production facilities (OCPFs) in The Hague on
November 25. Washington experts from State/VCI and
Commerce/BIS as well as local Delrep attended. The
workshop, organized by the OPCW's Technical
Secretariat (TS), was chaired by Brazilian
Ambassador Jose Medeiros and included a range of
speakers from the TS, National Authorities and
chemical industry. The workshop provided an
overview of OCPF characteristics and of the
Chemical Weapons Convention's regime for OCPFs
before focusing on the relevance of the OCPF regime
in an evolving chemical industry and approaches to
make the regime more effective. Following the
workshop, Commerce representative went on a site
visit to a Dutch OCPF on November 26. END SUMMARY.



--------------------------

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EVOLVING CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND THE OCPF REGIME


--------------------------

-



2. (U) Steve Wade (Head of the TS Declarations
Branch) and Satya Dobhal (a Senior Industry Officer
in the TS Industry Verification Branch) addressed
declaration and verification requirements for OCPFs
and described experiences since entry-into-force of
the Convention. They emphasized that the OCPF
regime is an important nonproliferation tool whose
implementation is carefully balanced against the
cost and impact on chemical industry. Wade
encouraged the use of product group sub-codes --
proposed by the TS in 2008 -- by member states
declaring activities at OCPFs in order to help the
TS reduce the probability of selecting lesser-
relevant plant sites for inspection. He noted that
27 member states (just over 35% of those declaring
OCPFs) used the proposed sub-codes in their 2008
updates on OCPF activities. Dobhal stated that the
TS pays special attention to administrative issues
and technical points in final inspection reports,
including: owner/operator identification, numbers
of DOC/PSF plants, production ranges and activity
codes, and differences in interpretation of the
Convention between the TS and the inspected state
party.



3. (U) Dobhal spoke about the benefits of
sequential inspections, stressing increased
efficiency and financial savings to the TS and
member states. During the question and answer
session, a representative from the Pakistani
National Authority noted Pakistan's concern that
increased efficiencies through sequential
inspections would only lead to more OCPF
inspections. A representative from the Indian
National Authority followed up with concerns on
protecting confidentiality of different plant sites
during sequential inspections.



--------------------------


CHARACTERISTICS OF OCPFS


--------------------------





4. (U) Peter Boehme (a Senior Industry Officer in
the TS Industry Verification Branch) described the
technical features of OCPFs and their chemical
production processes. He addressed unit, batch and
continuous processes and applied these to examples
Qcontinuous processes and applied these to examples
of processes for OCPFs in the chemical industry.
Laurentiu Lazar (another TS Senior Industry
Officer) spoke about the experiences gained by the

TS during OCPF inspections. He noted the
significance of a site's engineering capabilities
for producing discrete organic chemical (DOCs) --
rather than the chemicals themselves -- to
determine the absence of Schedule 1 chemicals
during an OCPF inspection. Explaining the
rationale behind the proposed product sub-codes
mentioned by Wade earlier, Lazar stated that
approximately 200 of the 639 OCPF inspections
carried out were at sites with dedicated and
typically continuous operations which produced
items of low relevance to the Convention (such as
urea, formaldehyde methanol and soaps).



5. (U) Boehme noted that about 10% of OCPF
inspections went to sites which should not have
been declared due to member states failing either
to update their OCPF declarations or to understand
declaration requirements. (Del note: Boehme's
figure was for 2007, which saw a spike from
previous years. Inspections at non-
declarable/inspectable sites fell to 4% in both
2008 and 2009. End note.) Boehme also posited
that during OCPF inspections the TS increasingly
will encounter new technologies and materials,
including use of micro-reactors, nano-materials and
genetically-engineered catalysts and products.



6. (U) Tsuyoshi Okuyama (a Senior Policy and Review
Officer in the TS Policy Review Branch) presented
an overview of the current methodology for
selecting OCPFs for inspection. Okuyama
highlighted the uneven distribution of OCPFs among
the 76 member states declaring facilities: 10
member states have more than 75% of declared OCPFs
while 38 member states have only 3%. Due to this
situation, he predicted that, in a couple of years,
the current methodology will concentrate the
majority of OCPF inspections in a few member states
and these OCPFs will be of lesser relevance to the
Convention.



--------------------------



--------------------------


APPROACHES TO MAKE THE OCPF REGIME MORE EFFECTIVE


--------------------------



--------------------------





7. (U) TS Inspection Team Leader Antonius Roof
reviewed current inspection procedures, from
planning to on-site execution to finalization. He
emphasized that a good pre-inspection briefing and
a thorough plant site tour are important to insure
an efficient and successful inspection. Roof
opined that sampling and analysis (S&A) would
enhance OCPF inspections and that, with newly-
developed sample preparation procedures, S&A could
be accomplished in the 24 hours allotted to OCPF
inspections. Bill Kane (Head of the TS Industry
Verification Branch) followed Roof's presentation
with a call for member states to implement the two
TS proposals on enhancing OCPF declarations: using
product sub-codes and providing additional
information on plant site characteristics. He
reiterated the TS claim that the proposals will
help focus the selection of OCPF inspections to
more relevant sites. Marthinus van Schalkwyk
(South Africa), the facilitator for consultations
on OCPF declaration enhancements, reported that his
consultations so far have not resulted in member
states reaching a consensus decision on the
proposals; he noted that the outlook for agreement
Qproposals; he noted that the outlook for agreement
was not promising.



8. (U) Stephanie Dare-Doyen from the French
National Authority gave a presentation on the OPCW
confidentiality regime and its relation to
inspections. She commented that the experience of
France has been positive and that the regime
appears to be adequate. However, she noted the

need for TS inspectors to understand industry
concerns about protecting confidentiality,
particularly related to the development of new
technologies, such as biological-sourced chemicals
and micro-reactors.



--------------------------

-
EVOLVING CHEMICAL INDUSTRY AND THE OCPF REGIME


--------------------------

-



9. (U) Four representatives from different National
Authorities made the final round of presentations
addressing national perspectives on the OCPF regime
and its relationship to their countries'
industries. Yinong Zhao (China), stated China's
concern that, since 2008, the Director-General's
modified interim OCPF site selection methodology
has sent too many inspections to China. Zhao
explained this situation was a result of the
geographic selection element (p=0.5xN1/2) in the
selection algorithm, and he proposed using a cube
root (p=N1/3) to redress the problem. He also
expressed China's view that PSF plants are the most
important OCPFs and that the A-14 selection
algorithm should be modified to increase the
probability of selecting PSF sites for inspection.


G. Narendra Kumar (India) reiterated the Indian
position that there is an over-emphasis on OCPFs to
the detriment of scheduled chemical facilities. He
suggested that the verification regime should
consider looking at end users rather than
producers. Like the Chinese presenter, Kumar
stated that the A-14 selection algorithm should be
modified to increase the probability of selecting
PSF sites for inspection.



10. (U) Melanie Reddlar (South Africa) described
the evolution of South African chemical industry,
noting the current trend to produce chemicals for
niche markets rather than commodity chemicals. She
posited that the current OCPF site selection
methodology does not guarantee selection of the
most-relevant sites. Reddlar suggested that
declaration requirements should be changed to
include actual chemicals produced thereby allowing
the TS to focus inspections on the most-relevant
OCPFs. With only a few minutes left to give his
presentation at the end of the workshop, Bob
Mathews (Australia) noted that most of his comments
on the technical aspects of the OCPF regime were
taken from an article he had written for the July
2009 edition of the CBW Conventions Bulletin
(published by the Harvard-Sussex Program). Having
been involved in the negotiations on the Convention
in Geneva, Mathews explained the reasoning behind
the OCPF regime, citing concerns that Saddam
Hussein had used OCPFs to produce chemical weapons
in Iraq in the 1980s. He commented that much needs
to be done to maximize the non-proliferation
benefits of the OCPF regime.



--------------------------


INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION STATEMENT


--------------------------





11. (U) Eric Jandraseta of the Swiss Chemical
Association presented a statement on behalf of the
ICCA/CEFIC and ACC clarifying their 2008 statement
on the two TS proposals for OCPFs. The current
position of the chemical industry association is
that the elements proposed by the TS will not
improve OCPF site selection for inspection. The
Qimprove OCPF site selection for inspection. The
industry association statement also included a
recommendation that the A-14 algorithm be modified
to lower the probability of selecting OCPF sites
which had previously been inspected under the
Schedule 2 and/or Schedule 3 regimes, claiming
these sites would pose a lower risk to the object

and purpose of the Convention.



12. (U) Beik sends.

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