SOURCE: Frost & Sullivan

March 16, 2011 01:30 ET

Frost & Sullivan: Rising Environmental Pressures Motivate South African Chemicals Industry to Focus on Bio-Renewables

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - March 16, 2011) -  The South African bio-renewable chemicals industry is in an emerging market stage with a number of local end-user companies such as paper and pulp investing in biomass-to-energy projects. This is expected to stimulate investment and growth in the local bio-renewable chemicals industry. Currently, the local market is dominated by imports from multinationals or local subsidiaries of international companies.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, South African Market for Bio-Renewable Chemicals, finds that the market earned revenues of $75.7 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $118.4 million in 2016. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following products: glycerol, lactic acid, succinic acid, 1,3 propanediol.

"The global market for bio-renewable chemicals has been drastically transformed by the influence of environmental restrictions from the Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions," notes Frost & Sullivan Chemicals, Materials & Food Industry Analyst Laura Peinke, "This has had a knock-on effect on the local market even as looming deadlines for environmental change are set to impact the South African market."

The change has come about quickly, particularly since South Africa has such a large abundance of natural feedstocks from the sugar and paper and pulp industries. These feedstocks include cellulose, starch and glycerol, all by-products of manufacturing and agro-processing industries.

Since the South African market is still considered young, it is classified as an emerging market. It is therefore projected to experience intermediate to high growth of approximately 6 per cent until 2016.

The most important restraint in the local market for bio-renewable chemicals is the dominance of long-established multinationals that have been able to bring completed imports into the country. This, coupled with the high capital requirements of the bio-refinery infrastructure, has discouraged local companies from entering the bio-renewable chemicals market.

"Evidence of this fact is that the only local investments in biomass-to-energy have been in conjunction with government projects and with multinational subsidiaries in the local market," explains Peinke.

The government and major chemical companies such as Sasol Limited and Omnia Group are essential in supporting local market development and promoting the uptake of bio-renewable chemicals. Companies such as Tongaat Hulett Starch and Illovo Sugar Ltd have already started producing downstream products in the bio-renewable chemicals industry.

"Suppliers and industry regulators, such as the Chemical and Allied Industry Association (CAIA) and development finance corporations will be crucial to local market development, especially if interventions are enforced," concludes Peinke.

South African Market for Bio-Renewable Chemicals is part of the Chemicals & Materials Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Strategic Analysis on Sub-Saharan African Markets for Polyurethane and East African Coatings and Adhesives Market. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail to Christie Cronje, Corporate Communications, at, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country.

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South African Market for Bio-Renewable Chemicals

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