APLA ‘10: Bio-based products to make up 8% of chem sales in ‘12

08 November 2010 16:34  [Source: ICIS news]

RIO DE JANEIRO (ICIS)--Bio-based products could make up 8% of chemical sales by 2012, with their share continuing to grow in the future, a consultant said at an industry conference on Monday. 

Sales should increase as crude oil prices continue to rise, said Jorge Fergie, a partner at the US-based consultancy McKinsey & Co.

Fergie was speaking to delegates during a seminar at the annual Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In addition, governments will adopt policies to increase self-sufficiency in energy, which would increase demand for bio-based products, Fergie said.

Consumer preference could also encourage companies to produce more bio-based products, Fergie said. Thirty percent of consumers are willing to pay a 10% premium for bio-based products, he said.

Bio-plastics are niche products, and producers should price them for value instead of cost, Fergie said.

There is a need for producers to attack some of the misconceptions about bio-plastics, he said.

For example, some consumers are concerned about bio-plastics being mixed with other plastics at recycling centres, he said.

This is not a concern for polyethylene (PE) produced from ethanol-based ethylene, he said.

The APLA meeting runs through 9 November.

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By: Al Greenwood
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