The solvents market is projected to grow from USD 21.8 billion in 2020 to USD 30.0 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period. The decline in crude oil prices and disruption in the supply chain impacted the market. The major drivers for the market is high demand for conventional solvents from applications such as home care, personal care, and pharmaceuticals amidst COVID-19.
Key players in the solvents market include Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (Netherlands), Eastman Chemical Company (US), BASF SE (Germany), ExxonMobil Corporation (US), LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V. (Netherlands), Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (US), Huntsman Corporation (US), Celanese Corporation (US), Honeywell International Inc. (US), and INEOS Group AG (UK). These players have adopted various growth strategies, such as expansions, acquisitions, new product launches, agreements, and joint ventures, to strengthen their presence and increase their shares in the solvents market.
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Growth of the solvents market has been largely influenced by expansions and new product launches that took place between 2013 and 2020. Companies such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc., Eastman Chemical Company, BASF SE, ExxonMobil Corporation, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., Ashland Global Holdings Inc., Huntsman Corporation, Celanese Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., and INEOS AG have adopted the abovementioned strategies to expand their regional presence and enhance their product offerings.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc. is one of the leading manufacturers of solvents globally. It is vertically integrated and is active in both upstream and downstream activities in the oil & gas industry. Its well-established distribution network and brand value serve as important factors for its future growth. The company is mainly focused on its downstream business segment as it has a strong revenue-generating segment with high return-on-investment. It is focusing on expansion as the key growth strategy. The company has been focusing on the expansions and new product launches strategies to maintain its leading position in the market.
- In October 2018, Shell commissioned a new solvent desphalter unit at its Pernis refinery in order to meet the demands of cleaner transport fuels and reduce environmental impact. Moreover, in May 2018, the company started production of the second ethylene cracker at the Nanhai Petrochemicals complex in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China. This expansion helped the company to manufacture ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, propylene oxide, polyols, polyolefins, phenol, and oxo-alcohols.
- In October 2014, the company launched natural gas based paraffinic solvents and fluids and is the first organization globally to offer Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) solvents.
BASF SE is another major player in the solvents market, globally. . It engages in the manufacturing and selling a wide range of chemicals and intermediate solutions. The various products which the company offers include chemicals, plastics, functional solutions, performance products, agricultural solutions, and crude oil. The company has been focusing new product launches, expansions, and agreements in order to remain competitive in the solvents market.
- In 2018, BASF SE (Germany) and ExxonMobil (US) signed an agreement to jointly develop new gas treating solvents and process technologies to be used for natural gas processing and petroleum refining. The agreement helped the company meet customer needs by providing technologies to reduce energy consumption, increase capacity, and meet tighter sulfur specifications.
- In June 2016, the company launched two new products for the US ethanol industry, Lutropur MSA, and Fueltase Phytase. Lutropur MSA is used in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals, as solvents, catalyst in esterification, and in polymerization and alkylation reactions.
ExxonMobil Corporation is another major player in the solvents market. ExxonMobil Corporation engages in the exploration, development, and distribution of oil, gas, and petroleum products. The company has been focusing on innovation, acquisitions, and expansions, as part of its strategic development activities.
- In October, 2018 ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC along with BASF Corporation jointly developed a new amine- based solvent aimed to meet the stringent standards of sulfur emission. The amine gas treatment technology was named as OASE sulfexx.
- In August 2017, ExxonMobil Corporations Singapore affiliate completed the acquisition of one of the world’s largest aromatics facilities on Jurong Island in Singapore, owned by Jurong Aromatics Corporation (Singapore). The acquisition helped the company increase hydrocarbon production to over 3.5 million tons per year, including 1.8 million tons of paraxylene, which is used as a solvent.
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