Value chains in the chemical industry
VCI analysis of the future of basic chemicals production in Germany until 2030
The production of basic chemicals lays the foundation for the chemical industry and subsequent industrial value creation. With sufficient investments and adequate framework conditions, basic chemicals production in Germany can remain competitive globally and thus make major contributions to preserving and strengthening the integrated industrial structures in Germany, also in 2030.
Multi-stage and frequently interconnected value chains, in which over 30,000 products are manufactured in a very wide range of complex processes, are characteristic of the chemical industry’s production philosophy. In almost all cases, these products stem from substance streams of a small number of basic chemicals and basic processes. The production of basic chemicals thus lays the foundation for the chemical industry and subsequent industrial value creation.
The future demand for basic chemicals in Germany / Western Europe largely reflects the expected growth of the chemical industry and its customer industries. Because of the close integration between the chemical sectors, basic chemicals production will benefit from the rising importance of specialty chemicals. This is a feature specific to Germany and should be seen as a central competitive advantage. Up until 2030, Germany will remain among the few countries which have both a strong basic chemicals and a large specialty chemicals production.
In order to safeguard and maintain competitive production structures for basic chemicals, considerable reinvestments in industrial plants like crackers and infrastructure will be necessary over the coming decades.
Investments in basic chemistry invariably have a long-term orientation. Long-term planning security presupposes societal consensus on industry-friendly framework conditions – more concretely and in particular, in the form of secure and competitive supplies of energy and raw materials. Centrally located in Europe and with well-integrated structures, Germany has uncontested advantages as an investment location. On the downside, there are disadvantages due to politically motivated costs which do not exist in other regions of the world.
A sustainable industrial policy needs to create and maintain framework conditions which allow basic chemicals production to hold its own in global competition and, consequently, to make major contributions to preserving and strengthening the integrated industrial structures in Germany.
You will find the full analysis of VCI (17 pages, numerous charts) in the download section at the top of this page. The site map contained in the document - showing basic chemicals prodution sites in Germany - can be downloaded in diverse formats and in high resolution.