‘Even in 2011 we could not imagine the magnitude of the impact of shale gas on energy supply and chemical industry. Shale gas recovery, and fracking as a technology, have grown big in the US, causing the gas price to take a dive to a level of one seventh of that in the Netherlands. In the US, companies have announced for as much as eight billion dollars in investments in gas cracking plants, which will cause a new kind of reality in Europe. We will have to find an answer to that, if we should wish to stay competitive at the world stage. In my mind, use of shale gas in Europe is simply coupled to energy policy. Energy prices are high here, and Europe as a whole could benefit from a lower gas price here. It could be a powerful motor behind a strong revival of chemical industry.’
Gerard van Harten, head of Dow Chemical The Netherlands, and chairman of the Top Sector Chemistry, 9 October in The Hague, on the occasion of the kick-off of TKIs in Topsector Chemistry.