Innovation, investment key to survival of oleochemical industry

21 October 2009 15:08  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS news)--Innovation and investment are essential ingredients for the survival of the global oleochemicals industry, a senior consultant said on Wednesday.

Norman Ellard, director of Singapore-based Rohen, said that global oleochemical supply currently outstripped demand and production capacity was utilised to only around 60%, an unprofitable and unsustainable situation for producers.

Rather than simply build new capacity and wait for the global economy to recover, “it is necessary to invest in the long-term development of the oleochemicals industry in the form of new products and new uses for existing products,” he said.

Ellard also stressed that innovative marketing was just as important. Producers should anticipate customer needs and build new markets, as well as developing existing ones, instead of relying of the diminishing profitability of current commodities, he said.

Most vital to improving margins was to turn by-products, such as glycerine, into co-products, for example in-demand commodities rather than simply waste materials, Ellard said, echoing several previous speakers at the 7th ICIS World Oleochemicals conference in Berlin.

Not only was it essential that value-added uses for these molecules be developed and then marketed to customers, but continued investment and development was necessary to ensure the industry kept pace with ever-changing customer needs. 

The development of new technologies and products was a recurring them at the conference, and the consensus view from speakers was that innovation and investment were indispensible.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Ross Yeo
+44 208 652 3214

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index