European petrochemical industry will stay competitive

Heuser5.jpgBY SPECIAL GUEST COLUMNIST ALBERT HEUSER, PRESIDENT OF BASF’S PETROCHEMICALS DIVISION

The global economic crisis continues to cause a difficult business environment. The petrochemical industry is coping with this crisis in a very agile and flexible way, and indications are that the situation is stabilizing at a low level. But there are still many unresolved issues.

To manage challenges in the long run, it is important to invest in optimization as well as in innovation. Strengthened cooperation between companies as well as efficient Verbund structures within each firm are as important as optimization of logistics and infrastructure.

The key to future success is new technologies and products. New eco-efficient products can lead to significant energy savings as well as mitigate CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The chemical industry is clearly part of the solution to climate change.

Therefore, the primary objective of relevant EU policies should be to safeguard industry competitiveness. We need a global climate policy with fair burden sharing that results in a harmonized global carbon framework with one single price for carbon for all. The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) must not lead to global market distortions.

If we follow consequent strategies and the relevant policies frame the necessary legal conditions, I am confident that the European petrochemical industry will stay very competitive. This is important for our benefit as well as our strong and innovative customer base.

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