Facts and figures about the Dutch chemical industry in 2010
( bekijk feiten over de Nederlandse chemie in het Nederlands)
The Dutch preconditions create a favourable location climate for the chemical industry. Essential raw materials are available or can easily be supplied, and an extensive transport network provides access to the European sales markets. Furthermore, research and education in chemistry in the Netherlands is amongst the best in the world. In combination with the Dutch culture and mentality, this provides the basis for a strong chemical industry that drives the economy and plays a leading role in the development of sustainable enterprise.
The turnover of the chemical industry, following the sharp decline in 2009, almost returned to the previous levels before the recession. In 2010, the turnover was € 47 billion. This represents an increase of 25% compared to 2009. This increase was partly due to higher sales prices. The sector (including the rubber and plastics industry) continued to make a major contribution to the Dutch Gross Domestic Product of almost 3%.
The production volume of the chemical industry went up to almost 104 index points in 2010. This represents an increase of almost 8% compared to 2009.
Approximately three-quarters of the chemical products manufactured in the Netherlands are exported. Around 80% of this is to countries within Europe. Total exports, went up by more than 19% in 2010 compared to 2009. A noticeable development was the increase in exports to the United States by more than 25% and the increase in exports to Belgium by more than 29%. The exports to Asia were less impressive with an increase of less than 10%.
The exports in 2010 were around € 71 billion. That represented more than 19% of all Dutch goods exports. Imports rose by more than 16% to € 51 billion in 2010. The chemical industry made a positive contribution of almost € 20 billion to the balance of trade in 2010, which was 51% of the total balance of trade (goods) in the Netherlands.
Destination of chemical products
The chemical industry supplies products to many other industries. More than half of the sales of the chemical industry concerned base chemicals.
In 2010 approximately 64,000 people were employed in the chemical industry. Around one-third of the workforce in the sector had higher vocational or university qualifications. More than two thirds of the workforce had intermediate vocational qualifications.
Research and development
Innovation is essential for the Dutch chemical industry. This is demonstrated amongst other things by the investment the sector continues to make in research and development. The chemical industry in the Netherlands devotes approximately 2.5% of its revenue to in-house research and development, which is equivalent to some € 1.3 billion (2007 figures).
Health, safety and the environment
The chemical industry is continually working to improve the level of health, safety, and environmental care. The industry measures its performance to show its commitment to improvement and to identify any problems. The latest igures on health, safety, and environment are those for the year 2009. The figures for other years can be found at www.vnci.nl/rc.
Safe working environment
In general, the number of fatal accidents and the Lost Time Injury Rate (LTIR) for the industry is way below the European average. Unfortunately, in 2009 there were a total of 3 fatal accidents at two of our members.
An LTI (Lost Time Injury) is defined as a direct physical condition whereby an employee is physically or mentally (as determined by a competent medical professional) unable to carry out the planned activities for at least one day. The LTIR (Lost Time Injury Rate) is the number of LTI’s per million hours worked.
In recent years, there has been a slight decline in the LTIR in the Netherlands. The LTIR for employees within the industry fell slightly in 2009 from 1.43 to 1.38. A downward trend can also be seen at a European level. There has been a significant drop of this rate in relation to contractors. The LTIR for contractors fell in 2009 from 3.86 to 3.06. The introduction of the new Petrochemical Safety Checklist for Contractors, which placed stricter requirements on contractors, would therefore seem to have produced positive results in terms of the LTIR. But it is difficult to make a reliable trend analysis on the basis of such data.
By focusing on saving energy (and thus a reduction of CO2 emissions) the chemical industry, despite significant growth, has only shown a minor increase in energy consumption. The graph shows the results produced under the MYA-2 and Benchmarking covenants, which have now become the MYA-3 and MEE covenants, with a greater emphasis on energy savings in the chain. Since 2009, reporting is no longer based on a so-called Energy Efficiency Index but on the absolute savings generated by projects. Only the results of the monitoring under the MYA-3 covenant are available for 2009 because the start of the MEE covenant was delayed.
Improvement of (MYA-3) companies in 2009:
An assessment was carried for the MEE covenant based on the energy efficiency plans drawn up by AgencyNL, which showed that in 2009 a total of 13,179 TJ was saved, of which more than half was due to changes in the processes of companies within the industry.
- 8% less energy consumption in 2009 compared to 2005
- 147 measures (in 46 companies) to improve process efficiency: savings of 320 TJ
- 61 measures in the chain: savings of 174 TJ
Companies report on their emissions each year in the environmental annual report. National emission limits have been set at a European level for NOx, SO2, NH3, and NMVOS (non-methane volatile organic substances). These are known as NEC substances. The emissions into the atmosphere of the four NEC substances by the chemical industry has shown a downward trend in recent years. The share of the chemical industry in the NOx emission rights trading is 19%, which represents emissions of 11.4 Ktonnes. National limits for ine particles are currently being developed.