Chemistry and Materials
The chemical industry accounts for almost a fifth of Sweden’s total exports. The Gothenburg region is the hub of the country’s chemical industry, as the home to 240 companies employing around 5,500 people. The strengths of the industry lie in, among other things, sustainable products and renewable vehicle fuels.
Innovation and collaboration ithe driving forces behind the chemical industry
The chemical industry has long had a strong base and position in the region, with a turnover of SEK 74,451 million (2015) and with value added of SEK 12,000 million. Today, the industry finds itself at the centre of a substantial shift towards the greater use of fossil-free raw materials in its production. The major Western Swedish businesses based in Stenungsund – AGA, Akzo Nobel, Borealis, Inovyn and Perstorp – are united by the project “Sustainable Chemistry 2030” and their vision to act as the Swedish hub for the manufacture of sustainable chemical products. The companies also work to make use of each other’s residual products, so-called industrial symbiosis. Read more about Sustainable Chemistry 2030
“Innovation which focuses on sustainability is important for all industries. And the sustainable development currently underway in the chemical industry has a very large impact on other base industries, whose components are often based on the products that the chemical industry delivers. This creates a positive effect in the value chains of several large industries.”
Maria Strömberg, Steering Group for Western Sweden’s Chemistry & Materials Cluster
In Gothenburg, there are also two of the world’s most energy-efficient refineries, St1 and Preem. Together with Perstorp and Fordonsgas Sverige, they account for the majority of the renewable vehicle fuel production in the country. At Preem’s biorefinery in Gothenburg, pine oil is used in the production of renewable diesel, which has helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over two million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Nearly one third of the heat supplied to ST1’s production facilities is recovered and introduced into the Gothenburg district heating network, whereafter it provides heating for approximately 70,000 apartments in the City of Gothenburg.
Western Sweden's Chemistry & Materials Cluster
Western Sweden's Chemistry & Materials Cluster gathers actors in the chemical, energy, recycling and forest industries. The entire value chain is represented, with members from enterprise, academia, institutions and the public sector – which we believe to be a prerequisite for succeeding with sustainable chemistry. The purpose of the cluster is to develop and strengthen cooperation between its members, as well as to initiate innovation and development projects in prioritised areas. There's an inherent strength in bringing together members in a cluster, and it enables cross-industry collaboration. Business Region Göteborg is an active member of the cluster, which is headed by Johanneberg Science Park.
Base for graphene – the material of the future
Gothenburg has a strong standing in materials science, with historic breakthroughs such as osseointegrated (bone-anchored) titanium implants. Development continues and Chalmers University of Technology has been appointed to head the largest research project in the history of the EU. The Graphene Centre at Chalmers is hosting the project, which has been tasked with taking the super material graphene from research to market within ten years. Graphene is 200 times stronger than steel, ductile and the thinnest material humankind has managed to produce. It's assessed to have great future potential.
Read more about graphene >
How we can help
Business Region Göteborg works strategically to assist in the development of Western Sweden’s chemical and materials industries, including by using networks and contacts to make fruitful connections between industries and find links between academia, business, public sector actors and decision makers. Via the Western Sweden Chemistry & Materials Cluster, we strive to improve innovation and knowledge sharing.
Our mission is also to promote Gothenburg and to help forge paths out in to the global market for chemical and materials industry companies based in Western Sweden.
Did you know that…
… the EU's Graphene Flagship project has a budget of one billion euros?
… the researchers who successfully isolated graphene were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010?
… between them, five chemical companies in Stenungsund have 2,500 employees and annual sales of more than 20 billion Swedish kronor? The five are Aga, AkzoNobel, Borealis, Inovyn and Perstorp.
… these five companies have a shared vision that encompasses biomass-based raw materials and that also aims to create a proprietary "industrial ecosystem" with recycling as an important cornerstone? This ecosystem would enable waste from one industry to act as raw material in another while waste heat from production plants could be used for district heating.
… Stenungsund is home to Scandinavia's largest plant for the production of renewable motor fuel from rapeseed oil?
… Preem's biorefinery on Hisingen in Gothenburg produces the biodiesel ACP Evolution Diesel from tall oil?
… Borealis is a world leader in producing polythene for high-voltage cables and pipes?
... chemist is a job expected to be in high demand in the future, according to Saco’s report Future Prospects 2017?
Would you like to get in touch with colleagues in your industry or learn more about the industry? Contact Hans Larsson. If you are interested in establishing a company within the industry, please contact Joel Görsch. Contact details can be found on the left.