Chemical Industry Needs to Solve Higher Value Added Problems
As someone who closely follows the chemical industry in NE, I read with interest your article on the subject in the most recent MAC Action Newsline. Your argument that we need to increase our supply of natural gas through the LNG is exactly right – but it is probably not enough to stave off the decline for traditional chemical manufacturers in this region. To my mind, our comparative advantage is not in the production of 30 or 40 year old technology which will always be cheaper to do elsewhere, but to solve higher value added problems for emerging market segments and be at the cusp of technology development. What is overlooked about the chemical industry is that key manufacturing processes will now more quickly evolve due to higher energy prices, i.e., we are entering a new period where biotech will fulfill a greater share of chemical synthesis, polymer production, etc. It will be more cost effective and have less environmental impact. Of course, Massachusetts should be at the center of this new period.
Newtonville , MA