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Reaction Rates: Trends in the Global Chemical Industry
6 June 2019
11:00—12:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The chemical industry is a fast-growing and cutting-edge sector of the economy

The petrochemistry industry is one of the fastest growing; according to forecasts by our analytical centre, polyethylene consumption will grow by an average of 2.9% per year over the next 15 years. This is significantly higher than the growth in demand for our traditional products – oil and gas — Anatoliy Tikhonov, General Director, Russian Energy Center of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation.

Mineral fertilizer production is growing at a rapid pace. Year on year, volumes across the world increase. For example, over the past five years global sales of mineral fertilizers grew by 10% — Sergey Momtsemlidze, Chairman of the Board of Directors, URALCHEM JSC.

Society’s and industry’s demand for chemical science and production has grown and changed significantly. The chemical sector is adapting to electronics, robotics, green standards, and the use of secondary raw materials. Even professions in the industry have changed. Today, for example, workers need to have knowledge of IT — Boris Smolkin, Merited Artist of the Russian Federation.

Russia is a global leader in the production of chemical products

Our chemical industry ranks fairly highly internationally. We are one of the world’s top three producers of mineral fertilizers, top five producers of base polymers, and in 9th–10th position overall — Viktor Evtukhov, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.

ISSUES
The potential of the Russian chemical industry has not been fully unlocked

Around half of the country’s chemical products are exported, but we continue to use traditional materials a lot. You would be hard pressed to find other countries with similar levels of wood, metal, glass, and paper usage. Unfortunately, these figures are still growing — Mikhail Karisalov, Chairman of the Management Board, Chief Executive Officer, SIBUR .

A lack of qualified personnel

We are encountering a problem: low numbers of specialists and low numbers of potential employees graduating from our higher education institutions — Yaroslav Kuznetsov, Chairman of Board of Directors, PJSC “Khimprom”.

SOLUTIONS
A systemic approach to developing the industry

We have two roadmaps to develop the sector. One of these, which we are already working on, involves replacing imports, encompassing 200 projects and around RUB 1 trillion in investment. In addition, we are being directed more to the international market in order to increase non-commodity exports. As part of a national project, our ministry has been tasked with increasing revenue from the chemical industry from 17 billion to 37 billion — Viktor Evtukhov, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.

We believe that the tax incentive measures will help revitalize the sector, and that our country will very soon have a decent 4% share of the international market — Anatoliy Tikhonov, General Director, Russian Energy Center of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation.

Training personnel for the industry

We see a need to develop the education system for people and attract them to our wonderful subject and industry, which most people here devote themselves towards — Mikhail Karisalov, Chairman of the Management Board, Chief Executive Officer, SIBUR .

It is vital to study chemistry, physics, mathematics, and artificial intelligence. At the same time, we should not forget about the environment — Vadim Medvedev, Director of the Department of Innovation and Promising Research, Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

Human capital is the main resource which we need to work on and develop — Alexander Mazhuga, Rector, Dmitry Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia.

Building infrastructure and centres of excellence

An engineering centre has already been established [at the Dmitry Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia – Ed.] which is not only developing new product specimens, but is organizing small-scale production. Together with our major partners in the chemical industry, we shall create a tech valley nearby — Viktor Evtukhov, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.

A centre of excellence in organic matter has been established at Roskachestvo. From next year, legislation on organic matter will come into effect, with certification bodies undergoing accreditation. Roskachestvo is working to create such a body — Maxim Protasov, Head of the Russian Quality System (Roskaschestvo).

Observing environmental standards

If you were to ask me what the biggest trend in the global chemical industry was at the moment, I think you can guess the answer – it is sustainability. Consumers and customers are really looking for safe, non-toxic, low-emission products, even with eco-labels, which provide evidence that the product is compliant with nature. Personally, I am a big fan of sustainability — Elisa Markula, President, Chief Executive Officer, Tikkurila Oyj.

We view our objective as completely moving to recycled plastic in our packaging. This is no abstract desire – we have specific plans in place to achieve this by 2020 — Sergey Bykovskih, President, Henkel Russia .

Collaboration between science and industry

It is important to have dialogue. This needs to involve scientists talking to industry and business, and vice-versa — Yulia Gorbunova, Vice-President, Russian Chemical Society.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS