Chemical, energy and resources industries

Chemical, energy and resources industries

In Catalonia, chemical, energy and resources have always been an essential factor for competitiveness and economic development. This powerful sector includes both basic and fine chemistry, energy production and distribution, energy efficiency, water cycle treatment and waste management, among others.

Thanks to its industrial and entrepreneurial culture, Catalonia has accumulated a tremendous level of sectorial know-how and features a large number of suppliers in raw materials, energy and resources, chemical and plastics, and circular economy.

27,000 Turnover (M€) and 56,700 Employees (chemical and plastics)

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In the chemicals area, Catalonia stands out as the largest chemical hub in Southern Europe. More than 200 international chemical companies are located in the region, boosting the Catalan industry ecosystem in the entire value chain, from raw materials and petro chemicals, to basic and specialty chemical companies. Furthermore, it is highly dynamic when interacting and creating synergies with other economic sectors.

One-hour south of Barcelona, there is a leading chemical hub located in Tarragona that congregates a wide range of competitive companies as well as leading infrastructures like the Port of Tarragona.  The Tarragona chemical hub (ChemMed) is a strong logistics platform that facilitates the import and export of chemical materials to the Mediterranean and the North of Africa, and concentrates potential partners and suppliers for your chemical, energy and resources business.

Kao, Merck, Repsol, Dow, Hempel, BASF or Akzo Nobel are just a few of the multinationals that have settled in Catalonia, backed up by highly active industrial clusters, excellent research institutions, and a wide network of providers in the chemical and plastics sector. What’s more, Catalonia ranks 3rd in Western Europe for the number of foreign investment projects attracted into the chemical industry.

R&D activity is highly dynamic thanks to leading institutions such as the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) and Eurecat, as well as universities like the University Rovira i Virgili, the University of Barcelona, the University Autònoma of Barcelona or the Chemical Institute of Sarrià (IQS).

A focus on energy efficiency innovation

There are a significant number of companies developing innovative solutions in energy efficiency in Catalonia, with high export potential. Moreover, the region shows great possibilities for the development of solar, wind power and biomass projects. Specific clusters work in the energy area, such as the Energy Efficient cluster of Catalonia (CEEC), the solar Energy Cluster (SOLARTYS) or the Catalan Cluster for the Sustainable Use of Water (Catalan Water Partnership). In total, energy sector industries represent a global annual turnover of €10.500M.

Moving towards a circular economy

Catalonia is actively working on promoting environmental sustainability in business models. The circular economy is a much-needed reality and a wide-ranging network of companies are already offering circular economy solutions in waste materials, water or renewable energies, meaning that you’ll easily find suppliers in Catalonia to help you develop innovative solutions regarding obtaining more energy efficient processes.

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Success stories

Sergi Vilar, Merck Group

We have excellent universities that provide high level technical profiles and it’s easy to attract talent from outside if we need it due to the region's appeal

Masahiro Katayose, Kao Corporation

In these very competitive surroundings, it is key for our supply chain to be close to the Tarragona chemical cluster