Session Details

Global Chemicals Today & Tomorrow

Wednesday, 22 March

9:45 am - 10:05 am (CST) / 22/mar/2023 02:45 pm - 22/mar/2023 03:05 pm

Downstream refining and chemical companies have been solving major problems faced by society for decades. The chemical industry, often referred to as the enabler of modern living, is currently traversing a period low profitability due to oversupply in most major value-chains. While history would suggest that such periods result in cutbacks in sustainability investments, the past 2-3 years have seen the opposite, as more and more companies are making commitments and taking action to achieve reduced emissions. Today, we see this downstream industry sector well positioned to not only support the global objectives for lowering GHG emissions, but instead, at the center of enabling the technologies and real life solutions that can make many “net zero” aspirations possible. While policy makers struggle with finding a balance between incentives and penalties to “get industry aligned”, companies and markets are seeking new business models that will make low carbon and circular solutions viable and sustainable over time. The pathway to net zero will involve a combination of many solutions at the operational level including but not limited to: bio-feedstocks, renewable power, electrification, use of hydrogen, carbon capture, expanded integration of chemicals into refining operations, development of “ready for recycle” packaging solutions, and complete circularity in the use of plastics. Achieving the commitments being made by companies and countries to achieve net zero or lower carbon emissions by 2030 has become the next great challenge for the industry and many questions need to be answered: What technologies are available (or emerging) and what is the incremental impact on CAPEX and OPEX to implement? How will government policies around the world support these efforts? Will market premiums emerge for “low carbon products” to provide an investment incentive? Will new business models emerge that will ensure new solutions to lower emissions will be sustainable over time?    

Session Speakers