The future of petrochemicals

The petrochemical industry thrived for many years in the past, as it was a great way for growing markets with the resources to sell could earn a sizeable profit. However, with growing concerns over sustainability and climate change coming to the forefront in recent years, there is a great deal of pressure on the industry to evolve and alter their approaches and do what they can to become more efficient and reduce the negative impact on the planet.  

The rise of petrochemicals 

Up until recently, the petrochemical has experienced consistent growth worldwide. For example, in 2000 the amount of ethylene being produced on an annual basis was 100 million metric tons, by 2016 this had increased by 50 million. However, it was around this time that countries and people from everywhere were starting to take note of the damaging effects petrochemicals have on the planet and things began to shift for the industry as a whole.  

The industry has often been based on countries who were well-positioned to capitalise on petrochemical manufacturing with access to cheap gas dominating the market. This advantage won’t last forever though as costs rise and public awareness of harmful contaminants increases.  

What does the future hold for petrochemicals? 

New and continuously emerging trends have started to leave the petrochemical industry behind in the past. In order to find their place moving forward, businesses working in this area will need to get creative and find ways to adapt and fit in with the modern ideas of environmental friendliness and preventing further damage to the planet.  

Make the most of new opportunities 

With the growth of petrochemical products slowing, the industry will need to look into new ways they can be profitable and successful. This means moving away from particularly harmful products and finding new opportunities in more sustainable ones. At first this might be more challenging as certain petrochemical products are cheaper and easier to invest in, so profitability was assured and significant. However, sticking on this path will ultimately lead to downfall and it will be better to utilise products and methods that will be more environmentally efficient.  

Plan ahead and be ready to adapt 

This relates to the previous point, but the industry will need to be clear with their plans moving forward and think strategically about their growth. Now is the time to be innovative and make changes that will be beneficial to the direction of the market. It might not be easy but that’s why our petrochemical engineering consultants are on hand to help. Our team are experts in the industry and have the knowledge and experience to help petrochemical businesses make their operations as cost effective and sustainable as possible for future success and growth.  

Spending money in the right places 

Costs are consistently going up and whilst it was effective in the past for petrochemical businesses, as inflation increases, the price of construction, chemicals, equipment, etc isn’t always manageable. Therefore, a stricter approach will need to be taken when it comes to determining where your investment should be spent from your petrochemical plant construction, all the way through to your finished products.  

Investing in modern technologies that are more stripped back will be helpful in both ensuring your operations are effective cost wise and in becoming better for the environment, reducing the negative perception of the industry. The greener the petrochemical sector can become, the brighter the future will be.  


The petrochemical industry will need to adapt in order to survive and be successful heading into the future as it has experienced some decline in recent years, largely due to a stronger focus on sustainability and helping the environment. 

Our petrochemical consultants at FESS can help businesses in this sector evaluate how their operations are running and see what improvements can be made to help them become more efficient and cost effective. Contact us today to find out more or get started by requesting a free site survey through our website. 

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