Market Perspective

Dissecting the Bioeconomy

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Bio-based industries increases slightly

“Of particular interest,” so Michael Carus, Managing Director of Nova-Institute, “are the often underrated bio-based industries, such as chemicals and plastics, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, forest-based industries, textile sector, biofuels and bioenergy. This sector shows considerable turnover of 600 billion EUR and 3.2 million employees in 2013 for EU-28.”

The data show an overall slight increase in the bio-based share of the chemical industry in the EU-28 from 5% in 2008 to 6% in 2013. The raw materials used by the chemical industry are about 50% organic (fossil and bio-based) and about 50% inorganic (minerals, metals).

Only taking the organic part into account, the overall bio-based share increased from 10% in 2008 to 12% in 2013. Denmark stands out as the one member state with the highest bio-based share in the chemical industry in 2013, which is mainly due to the high production of enzymes. Latvia and Sweden follow primarily due to a large production volume of charcoal and tall oil.

With regard to investments, the last annual survey from the end of 2014 showed that BIC members intended to invest 1.1 billion EUR during 2014 to 2015 in bio-based industries—mainly demo and flagship projects, of which more than 820 million EUR were pure private investment. Private investments in the amount of more than 2.1 billion EUR are in the pipelines of those same BIC members for the time between 2014 and 2020. Most of the short-term investments will take place in the lignocellulosic and forestry based value chains.

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