06/18/2012 | Editor: Dominik Stephan
A drumroll marked the opening of ACHEMA 2012, the leading fair and exhibition for the process industry in Frankfurt/Germany. Despite the energy transition and European sovereign debt – the industry looks optimistically into the future: The challenges of tomorrow can only be solved with chemistry, participants agreed.
“The process industry’s optimism is tangible,” Dr. Michael Thiemann, head of the ACHEMA committee, stated: ACHEMA, as the leading exhibition for the process- and biotechnology, mirrors the development of the branch.
More halls, more diversity and more international participants: 3,800 exhibitors turn Frankfurt into the industry-capital for a week. The organizers expect around 175,000 visitors from over 100 countries. The strong growth on the emerging market is reflected in double digit growths in numbers for Chinese and Indian companies. But also South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and Poland show their strength, sending significantly more participants to Germany, Thiemann explained.
Energy transition, the debate for climate protection and raising oil prices are addressed at with the focus topic “Bio-Based World”: the exhibition will present technologies for renewable resources, biofuels and sustainable production but also host discussions about the ongoing transition within the industry.
Red-Hot drum rythms were therefor followed by vivid panel discussions: While Prof. Dr. Uwe Schneidewindt, president of the Wuppertal Institute for climate, environment and energy, calls upon policy makers and industry to regard the change as a chance, Germany’s number one climate change critic Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, CEO of energy provider RWE and author of the disputed book “Die Kalte Sonne” raised the question wether the energy transition could lead to power shortages, raising electricity bills and a de-industrialisation.
The challenges are immense – but, as DECHEMA chairman Dr. Hans Jürgen Wernicke underlines, they culd not be solved without the chemical industry. “If we talk about energy, chemistry is always included,” Wernicke stated. Five days of ACHEMA will give the industry plenty of opportunity to show, how much energy it has.
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