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APIC 2011

Asian petrochemical players should continue investing in green energy and technologies to keep the industry sustainable, amid tighter environmental regulations and high energy costs, top industry officials said on Friday.

“Environmental protection, conservation and pollution should continue to be a key initiative for all businesses across our industry,” said Preston Chen, chairman of the Petrochemical Industry Association of Taiwan.

As with many countries in Asia, Taiwan’s government and petrochemical industry are working together to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, said Chen.

He was speaking at the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC), which is being held at Fukuoka in Japan on 26-27 May.

Chen added that the collaboration in Taiwan has also initiated many other efforts to reduce pollution and conserve energy.

“Although we still have a long way to go, our efforts to protect the environment should continue to be one of the top priorities driving our industry,” Chen said.

Investments made by petrochemical industry players in green energy and other related fields, such as biotechnology, semiconductor and other high-tech industries inter-related with the petrochemical supply chain, is expected to contribute more to the future growth of the industry, Chen added.

While the petrochemical industry in Asia is leading the growth in the global market, it faces great pressure from persistently high oil price, commercial friction caused by protective trade and recently tightened environmental regulations, said Chong Bum-shick, chairman of the Korean Petrochemical Industry Association (KPIA).

“We have to focus on the changes of international environmental policies surrounding our petrochemical industry,” said Chong, who was also speaking at the sidelines of APIC.

Concerns about the global environment have been increasing and various regulations, such as the Climatic Change Convention, are getting stricter, Chong added.

The players in Asia’s petrochemical market can maintain their competitiveness by mutually sharing their experiences and ideas for chemical management, improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases, Chong said.

Chemical companies in Singapore will constantly need to innovate through new chemical technologies to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency, said Chiew Nguang Yong, a board member at the Singapore Chemical Industry Council.

“These initiatives are challenging for the chemical industry in view of the very competitive market that we are facing today,” said Chiew, who was also present at APIC.

“We firmly believe that working towards these goals will help to open up more opportunities and spur further growth for the industry, therefore enhancing long-term sustainability of the chemical industry as a whole,” Chiew added.

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