Technology vs. Execution Expertise

Industrial Plant Manufacturer Positioning in Global Marketplace

02.01.2015 The chemical industry is a booming sector for industrial plant manufacturers. Among other things, the shale gas bonanza in the US is inundating European and especially German industrial plant manufacturers with new projects.However the challenges associated with increasing project size affect not only EPC suppliers but also owner engineers at chemical companies, whoare now looking for new forms of collaboration.


When the chemical industry does something, it tends to do it in a big way. Chemical producers such as BASF, Bayer and Dow have launched huge projects around the world in places like Ludwigshafen, Dormagen, Al Jubail and Freeport. Industry leader BASF has set its sights on increasing annual turnover from the current level of 74 billion euros to 110 billion euros by 2020. To make this figure a reality, the company is investing around 4 billion euros a year in new plants and equipment. The picture is similar at BASF rival Dow. The US chemical maker has multiple mega projects underway. At the Al Jubail site in the Saudi Arabian desert, Dow together with the oil company Saudi Aramco is building the Sadara petrochemical complex at a cost of around 10 billion euros. In June, Dow began construction of an ethane cracker in Freeport, Texas at a cost of 1.3 billion euros. The plant is expected to produce 1.5 million t/a of plastic and elastomer products starting in 2017. 

Assuming that figures published by ACC (American Chemistry Council) are on the mark, worldwide investment in chemical plants and equipment will double within the space of eight years, reaching a total of 487 billion euros by 2018. If that is the case, growth in chemical plant manufacturing will far outstrip the cross-industry average worldwide. The VDMA Large Industrial Plant Manufacturing Group (AGAB) has recorded annual growth of roughly 5% for about the last eight years. This growth is driven by global megatrends including worldwide population growth, the rise of the middle class in emerging nations and strong demand for raw materials.

Heftausgabe: Compendium of Industrial Parks 2014

Über den Autor

Armin Scheuermann, Redaktion