Energy audit No 6

Energy audit No 6


128 pages
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Chemical industry in the European Economic Community
Energy research
Industrial research and development



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Commission of the European Communities
Energy audit No 6
Chemical industry in the
European Economic Community Commission of the European Communities
Energy audit No 6
Chemical industry in the
European Economic Community
86 rue Regnault
F-75640 Paris Cedex 13
Contract No 84/B/709/11 /019/17
Summary report
PARL. EUROP. Biblioth.
Directorate-General Energy
Ck)R 10739 EN 1986 Published by the
Telecommunications, Information Industries and Innovation
Bâtiment Jean Monnet
Neither the Commission of the European Communities nor any person acting on
behalf of then is responsible for the use which might be made of the
following information
This publication is also available in the following language:
FR ISBN 92-825-6870-9
Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication
Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1987
ISBN 92-825-6869-5 Catalogue number: CD-NA-10739-EN-C
© ECSC-EEC-EAEC, Brussels · Luxembourg, 1987
Printed in Belgium INTRODUCTION
The Commission of the European Communities (Directorate-General for
Energy) entrusted SERETE, under contract n° 84/709/11/019/17 dated the
6/2/85, with the task of updating a study carried out in 1982 on the
Energy Balance of the European Chemical Industry, and examining thor­
oughly some of the conclusions of this earlier study in order to define,
in particular, the means of instituting specific and effective consul­
tations with the CEFIC, the European Chemical Federations and the Pro­
fession on the activities to be pursued in terms of energy savings in
the different sectors of the chemical industry.
This in-depth examination proved necessary in view of the great diver-
isty and the great complexity of the many sectors within the chemical
industry (large number of product/process pairs, varying levels of tech­
nology, varying levels of information available, etc...).
The present report constitutes, a summary of this work on the energy
balance in the Community chemical industry. This summary was drawn up
on the basis of the data which figured in the previous report. These
data have been updated.
The additional information came, in particular, from contacts with those
working in the chemical industry, and from an analysis of recent statis­
tical, economic or technical documents.
Ill — This report comprises three parts :
1. A summary­conclusion outlining the situation, the problems involved
and the different types of action to be considered in the field of en­
ergy savings in the sectors of the chemical industry in the Community.
2. The development of these ideas? which forms the main corpus of the
report, supporting and expanding on the main features of the conclusion.
3. Appendices comprising all of the economic and technical information
which is essential for a good understanding of the document.
1. The European chemical industry - Introduction VI
2. Analysis of investments VII
3. The energysavingsofthe chemical industry:initial balance VIII
3.1. StructureofenergyconsumptionVIII
3.2. Recenttrendsinthestructure of energy consumptionIX
3.3· Trends in specific types of consumption XI
4. The potential energy savings inthechemical industry XIII
4.1. Potential energy savings : qualitativeapproachχιν
4.2. l energy savings : quantitativeapproach χν
5. Programme of the types of action which may betakenχιχ
5.1. The obstacles XIX
5.2. SettingupanactionprogrammeXIX
5.3. TheareasofactionXX
6. ConclusionXXII
In a difficult international economic context, the level of competitivity
of firms depends more and more on their ability to control production
costs. For basic industries such as the chemical industry, the control
of production costs depends largely on the control of their fairly high
levels of energy consumption. It is estimated, for example, that in 1Ş82,
the European chemical industry consumed 10.2% of the energy sources nec­
essary for European industry as a whole.
Moreover, a specific characteristic of the chemical industry is that it
uses energy sources both as fuel and as raw materials (mainly oil and
natural gas); it is, in fact, structurally very dependent on energy prices.
In view of the emergence of a new source of competition outside the EEC,
which has recent production plants and cheap energy supplies (in partic­
ular, the countries of the Middle East), the European chemical industry
must rationalize its energy consumption structure in order to preserve
its competitivity on; the international level.
The present report, which is a re­updated summary of 10 studies concer­
ning the national chemical industries of the 10 countries of the Europ­
ean Economic Community (EEC), aims at drawing up an initial balance­sheet
of the energy savings achieved in this industry, assessing the potential
of the savings which can still be made, given the present state of the
art, and presenting the major points which an action programme should
take into consideration.
At a time when "immediate" energy saving possibilities (thermal protect­
ion, insulation,...) are mostly being used, any further reduction in
specific consumption will require a heavier financial investment for
industrialists in the chemical sector.
An analysis of the investments of the chemical sector on the basis of
the available data is shown in table A.
Table A ­ Volume of investment (machines, installations, vehicles) made
by the European chemical industry from 1980 to 1982
Year Investment in millions Trend
of ECU's (constant1980values) in%
19805 878
1981 5 275 ­ 10.5
19824996­ 5.3
Thefigures for 1983 are notyetavailable for all of the EEC, but it
would seem that this year shows a slight upturn in investment. This drop
in the level of investment calls for several comments, however :
­ The share of investment in the turnover of the chemical sector (4.8%
in I98I) remains comparable to that of industry as a whole (4.2% in I960
and 1981).
VII — - Although, in the majority of member states of the EEC, investment
is declining, some countries invest much more than others. We could
mention, in particular, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Un­
ited Kingdom, which, in 1981, were responsible for almost 60% of the
productive investment of the European chemical sector.
- The chemical industry is suffering from excess production capacity.
This is the case, in particular, of the petrochemical sector, where
the rate of utilization of equipment fluctuates around 70%, according
to the years. In this difficult economic context, industrialists in
the chemical industry do not invest much in new production plants.
- Finally, we note a change in the type of investments. The financial
efforts of firms now aim more at maximizing the operation of produc­
tion plants (modelling, computerization). This type of investment is
considerably less capital intensive than increases in production cap­
In 1982, the European chemical industry consumed 144t978 kToe (l) of
energy sources, of which 47·1% were used aá fuel and 52.9% as raw mater­
(l) kTce = 1000 tonnes of coal equivalent
— VIII —