CT: Chemical companies in Germany have announced a number of investment projects. How do you view current project activities in chemical parks?
Juszak: In addition to the special case of Ticona, there are numerous smaller scale projects currently in progress in German chemical parks. In my opinion, however, the level of investment is still too low. Here we are still suffering the aftermath of the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009. Yet 2010 and 2011 were excellent years for the chemical industry and we can thus expect the resumption of suspended projects. But markets are rather volatile at present.
CT: What are currently the main topics of concern for chemical industrial parks?
Juszak: Members of the association of chemical parks are currently concerned with issues and regulations relating to energy, which affect both chemical park operators with their own power generation and also on-site companies as energy consumers. Above all, climate protection has to be understood as a global task.
CT: Is there not considerable evidence that chemical parks are
aiming for energy self-sufficiency?
Juszak: Anyone who has already attained energy self-sufficiency will be well advised to maintain that status. In any case, large scale consumers should be giving ever more thought as to where the energy they need is going to come from in the future. Investors worldwide are already focussing their attention on these aspects.
CT: Where do you see the strength of chemical parks in relation to energy?
Juszak: The strength of chemical parks lies in sophisticated energy management and in combined heat and power generation. For example, we operate several power stations on the Marl site without a single cooling tower. This means that the power generation plants are fully integrated thermally and operate under optimum conditions. We consider it very important that tax breaks for heat and power cogeneration are retained.
CT: How do German chemical parks rank on an international
Juszak: In my view, chemical parks resembling the members of the VCI Association do not exist elsewhere in Europe. Chemical parks in the Benelux countries cannot be compared with German sites. They are generally ports with huge industrial areas where manufacturers operate their sites individually. The level of cooperation and the range of services characteristic of German sites are simply lacking. Our model is emulated most closely in China: However, the development of chemical parks in that country is state controlled. Overall, Europe offers distinct advantages and great opportunities: There are well-trained employees, a close-knit network of universities, and political stability. And we still have considerable purchasing power. We are strong and intend to stay that way.
The German Association of Chemical Parks and Sites within the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) will be exhibiting in Hall 9.1 at ACHEMA in June 2012.
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