The Ecosystem of Chemical Parks

28.11.2016 -

The chemical industry is marked by changes of every kind and scope – that is why the German-language book "Chemiestandorte: Markt, Herausforderungen und Geschäftsmodelle" ["Chemical sites: the Market, Challenges and Business Models"] by Prof. Carsten Suntrop is a timely publication.

Numerous chemical parks changed ownership at the beginning of the year: N.V. Nuon Energy (Vattenfall), for instance, is selling chemical parks in Germany and the Netherlands. M&A activities in the chemical industry will usher in additional changes at the industrial sites: ChemChina is acquiring Syngenta, Bayer is taking over Monsanto and Dow and DuPont are planning to merge and subsequently split up – to name but a few examples. Add to this the challenges of the energy revolution, which is one of the key factors holding back investment.

That is why the future viability of the chemical parks, as well as the competitiveness of their customers, are the predominant themes. Against this backdrop, the book fulfills various purposes and addresses a wide array of target groups:
● For readers from industry, municipalities, economic developers and service providers, it represents a handbook and standard reference work, providing comprehensive information on all aspects of chemical parks and chemical industrial sites.
● Specialists can expect to find case studies and technical papers on energy management and other topics.
● Customers of chemical parks will discover ideas on optimization and strategic changes for doing business within and with chemical parks.
● And for strategists, business developers and investors, there is a vast array of information on further development, change and reorientation (challenges) of this asset class.

In order to illuminate how chemical parks operate, the publisher Suntrop, an expert with many years of experience on the subject, supplements this textbook with technical knowledge of experts from chemical parks, advisors, universities, along with professionals on individual topics. That is why the 250-page compendium is an absolute must for those wanting to become more knowledgeable about this topic. For the reader seeking to learn more, the five sections of the book are presented in a total of eleven chapters.

It logically starts out with basic concepts and definitions in the context of industrial sites, to make orderly sense out of what in fact is multi-faceted subject matter. The end of the book is dedicated to business models and strategies of decisive significance to location owners and operators. These topics and questions are relevant to anyone interested in the future viability of these industrial sites and the competitiveness of their users. This basic unit is rounded out with information on the historical development of the chemical parks as well as the global changes in the chemical industry that led to the formation of the parks.

The three practical case studies from large chemical parks represent different developments and areas of focus, bringing difficulties to light, illustrating possible solutions and not shying away from tackling issues concerning the future. Even if they do not represent the variety of parks in Germany, they are in fact essential in terms of being written "by practitioners for practitioners", in order to provide professionals in the field with ideas for their daily work. This is among the book's particular strengths. Finally, it is worth touching on the special topics presented.

No work of this kind would be complete without explanations of basic issues of the energy sector. In this, the main focus is not on production and distribution of energy but rather on risk assessment and management in this key field. Investments and revenues depend on it. The authors propose a holistic perspective for mastering the challenges up ahead.

A full section is devoted to site services and industrial services. In balancing the interests of customers, service providers and park operators, it is necessary to weigh solutions for each situation. The authors present a wide array of information and models to facilitate decision-making. The challenge lies in the continuous process of change facing all the stakeholders, because this increases the complexity for the sites.

There are requests for future editions to include case studies of users, in order to get to know their perspective, as well as supplemental viewpoints on the current challenges of the digital revolution. All in all, this publication sheds light on the many interdependent relationships, dependencies and ramifications of changes on the ecosystem of chemical parks.

Dr. Thomas W. Büttner, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

"Chemiestandorte: Markt, Herausforderungen und Geschäftsmodelle"
Ed.: Carstsen Suntrop
Publ.: Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany 2016
284 pages, EUR 79.00
ISBN: 978-3-527-33441-4