The feedstocks prism
Unveiling value in volatile and complex petrochemicals
Deloitte’s latest report discusses how companies can gain a more precise understanding of the potential of emerging trends, including their broader complexities and interdependencies, to venture into new competitive spaces through the use of advanced analytics.
The face of the global chemical industry, chemistry, and chemical manufacturing has changed. It did not come about all at once and it is not apparent from every angle. But, for those taking notice, this new look could mark a time of accelerated transformation. While numerous articles have been written about megatrends and their impact on demand, societal change is only part of the story. This transformation can also be attributed in large measure to how changes in information technology, digital design and discovery, materials systems commercialization, biotechnology, manufacturing technology, and trans-ecosystem collaboration are being deployed and by whom.
In contrast, there is an historically attractive and resilient core global chemical industry. From that angle, many long-time industry watchers would suggest the industry will grow apace with gross domestic product like always. However, there are challenges with this prediction. A closer examination of the competitive environment shows that certain market challenges are intensifying, and potentially to disruptive levels. Some companies, especially those that are already disadvantaged relative to their peers, may find it difficult to compete, remain independent, or even survive. Especially in a volatile environment.
So, timing is critical in the global chemical industry; including for large producers and users of major feedstocks—decisions made and implemented over the next few years will be crucial. Moreover, how these decisions are made will be as important as the decisions themselves. The feedstocks prism: Unveiling value in volatile and complex petrochemicals focuses on the road ahead for upstream feedstocks and energy, and examines ways in which the familiar historical platform for the (still thriving) world of chemistry, materials science, and industrial biology could change. It demonstrates how companies can determine whether time-honored critical success factors will be sufficient for the decade ahead by exploring the nature of feedstock production, its evolution and connection to energy, its relation to a changing global-demand picture, and a fuller scope of plausible technological disruptions (physical and virtual).
The feedstocks prism also discusses whether a constantly shifting landscape of choices in energy (“fuel mix”) combined with breakthroughs in renewable sources presents any lifelines for companies in an otherwise disadvantaged position. That is, what opportunities are available along the feedstock curve and under what conditions can these opportunities offer sustainable value propositions? Through the use of advanced analytics, companies can gain a more precise understanding of the potential of emerging trends, including their broader complexities and interdependencies, to venture into new competitive spaces.