20 July 2016
The European Commission’s strategy to decarbonise the EU’s transport sector is a big opportunity for chemical producers, the European Chemical Industry Association (Cefic) has said.
In fact, the chemical industry is the "key enabler" for the future of the EU’s transport sector, Cefic said in commenting on the strategy, which was disclosed recently.
The strategy outlines three steps: efficiency in the transport system; low-emission alternative energy sources; and low- and zero-emission vehicles.
"Decarbonising EU transport, whether for passenger or freight transport, will require innovative chemistry," said Marco Mensink, Cefic’s director general.
Mensink noted that EU-based chemical companies already make lightweight composite material for vehicles to increase fuel efficiency.
In addition, the industry is developing energy storage technology, he said.
"We have identified ‘power to gas’ and ‘power to liquid’ as offering huge potential towards decarbonising transport," he said.
"Moving beyond first generation fuels to advanced biofuels is another step change our sector can be part of," he said.
Mensink added that Cefic is looking to the European Commission to be consistent in its policies for second generation bio-based fuels.
After an initial strong push for first generation, food-based biofuels, the Commission then changed tack - which has depressed investment in the biofuels sector for the last years, he said.
"Long-term certainty will be critical in order for investment decisions to support uptake of alternative fuels" he said.
The automotive industry is a major global consumer of petrochemicals which contributes more than a third of the raw material costs of an average vehicle. ICIS tracks the movement of petrochemical raw material costs in auto production both globally and regionally with the weighted ICIS Basket of Automotive Petrochemicals (IBAP).