Chemical and plastics

Chemical and plastics

Catalonia has a strong, developed and international chemical industry, and is also the largest chemical hub in Southern Europe. More than 200 international chemical companies have their headquarters in Catalonia, such as BASF, Bayer, Unilever, Dow or Henkel.

This concentration of large multinationals, especially in places like Tarragona, with one of Europe’s largest chemical hubs, means Catalonia concentrates 27% of all chemical companies in Spain, and their turnover accounts for 44% of the entire sector’s.

A logistics network supporting the chemical industry

Catalonia has a strategic location and first-class infrastructures. The Port of Tarragona is the logistics platform responsible for importing the raw materials required for the production processes in the chemical sector and exporting the products derived from them. The Port of Barcelona has specialized facilities and multimodal distribution for the chemical sector.

Specialised logistics operators skilled in the transport of chemical products are available, working with liquid products, solids, hazardous materials, to name a few. Other service companies specialise in the chemical sector working in areas such as engineering, maintenance, specialized waste managers, among others.

Furthermore, chemistry is a cross-cutting sector whose business applications are very wide: from pharma, to automotive or food.  Catalonia’s strong industrial base means both clients and providers are geographically nearby, with all the related advantages to help boost a chemistry business.

A sector on the radar for international investment

Catalonia is the 3rd region in Western Europe in terms of foreign investment projects, and 4th for job creation in the chemical industry. According to FDI Markets data, between 2014 and 2018, a total of 30 Chemical FDI projects were registered in Catalonia. This represents a capital investment of €652.4 M. It also represents 52.6% of foreign projects and 51.9% of foreign capital investment into the sector in Spain.

A chemical industry with many points in favour

Catalonia boasts qualified and talented workers at a more competitive cost than other comparable countries. Furthermore, there are scientific and technological centres as well as research groups specialised in chemistry, thus facilitating R&D in Catalonia. Its capital, Barcelona, holds important global trade fairs and congresses of the chemical and related sectors, such as Expoquimia and Equiplast.

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Main players and events

Success stories

Masahiro Katayose, Kao Corporation

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