The chemical and pharmaceutical industry in the United Kingdom has maintained a positive outlook despite “significant concerns” about the impact of the country’s recent vote to leave the European Union, according to a recent survey by the Chemical Industries Association (CIA; London).
CIA’s second-quarter member company business survey shows that, looking one year ahead, 89% of CIA members expect R&D investment to stay the same or increase, 87% believe exports will stay the same or increase, and 80% anticipate that sales will stay the same or increase. “While some investment is expected to take a hit from Brexit uncertainty, three quarters of companies will maintain or increase capital investment expenditure, while 71% say that employment levels will reman the same or increase,” CIA says.
The survey, carried out after the 23 June EU referendum, highlights uncertainty over the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the European Union and exchange rates as some businesses reign in investment, CIA says. But, on the positive side, CIA members believe there are opportunities for growth through expanded production capacity, new products coming online, and other operational improvements. The lower value of sterling is also expected to boost exports, although as a consequence import costs will increase, CIA says. The chemical and pharmaceutical sector is the United Kingdom’s largest manufacturing exporter with annual exports of about £50 billion, CIA says.
“It is right we acknowledge that we are in uncertain times while the country exits the European Union, but our survey shows that there is still confidence that the UK can be a good place to do business,” says CIA chief executive Steve Elliott.
By Ian Young
Source: Chemical Week
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?