Many chemical companies are cutting their operating expenses and are likely to emerge from the pandemic leaner and more focused, said Jim Fitterling, CEO of Dow, Midland, MI, USA, at the virtual annual meeting of the European Petrochemical Industry Association (EPCA) running from October 5 to 7, 2020. Together with Martin Brudermüller, BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany, Thomas Casparie, Shell Chemicals, The Hague, The Netherlands, and Bernard Pinatel, Total S.A., Paris, France, he was one of the pannelists of the Suite Leadership Forum.
The challenging environment that has burdened the industry and the economy, in general, this year makes it necessary to “trim the fat”. Less integrated projects are viewed critically. Fitterling expects that fewer new projects will find the capital to move forward.
In his opinion, those will be best off who are best positioned to take advantage of the upturn in the coming economic cycle. In addition to the increased focus on costs and efficiency, Fitterling thinks that the pandemic has accelerated the dynamics of the trend toward sustainability and digitization. Especially, digitization has become “critical” for the industry. “The chems industry is always worried about raw materials but data is the new fuel for our industry,” he said.
- EPCA ’20: Chems sector to emerge leaner from the pandemic, project pipeline to narrow – Dow CEO,
ICIS October 5, 2020.