What we buy?
In Clariant the category Petrochemicals is responsible for the sourcing of the main building blocks of the chemical industry, namely Ethylene (C2) and Propylene (C3). The major downstream products of these two olefins Ethylene Oxide (EO), Propylene Oxide (PO) and their respective Glycols are globally key raw materials for Clariant.
The Category Base Chemicals covers a wide range of commodities like acids / alkali, solvents, alcohols, monomers, carbohydrates and peroxides, which are used in many production sites around the world for a variety of applications. In addition, procurement of all the ingredients for specialty chemicals used in Oil & Mining applications are managed by a global team in close coordination with the business.
Color Pigments & Dyes
Globally speaking, Clariant is one of the major manufacturers of organic pigments – but also one of the major purchasing organizations. In the area of inorganic pigments, Clariant is only purchasing pigments for the production of Masterbatches and other pigment preparations.
Additionally, the Category is buying non-textile dyes for the organization for special applications such as the agrochemical business, personal care or plastics.
Oleochemicals e.g. Fatty Acids and Fatty Alcohols are derived from various oils and fats like palm oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil or tallow and many more. There are appr. 200 mn tons/a of oils & fats being produced which are either consumed for food/feed applications (80%+), converted into biodiesel (~10%) or used in the chemical industry (~6%). The overarching trend towards sustainability and increasing usage of renewables particular for consumer care segment supports the consumption in the chemical industry. The category is completed by Aliphatic Amines & Biocides.
Metals & Catalysts CarriersThe Category manages the building blocks for modern catalyst production.
- Precious Metals like Palladium and Platinum are used for doping of carrier based catalysts.
- Amongst other industrial metals, Base Metals like Copper, Nickel and Zinc are used to produce plenty of metal catalysts.
- Alumina Powder and Alumina Carriers that are made from powders – consist of Aluminum Oxides with a defined crystalline phase and specific surface properties resulting in a fit for purpose catalyst performance.
The main Category scope is thermoplastics, - mouldable polymers also just called plastics. Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass which typically can be moulded into solid objects of diverse shapes. They are usually synthetic, most commonly derived from petrochemicals, but many are partially natural. Plastics are used in an enormous and expanding range of products. The market volume shows a consistent track record of growth for more than hundred years. Within Clariant the (main) application is as carrier in the BU MB.
Aromatics’ key industrial products and feedstocks are benzene, toluene, phenol, the isomers of xylene and the coal tar derivative naphthalene. The Category Aromatics sources mostly highly substituted aromatic specialties, predominantly used for the production of pigments but also as agro and consumer care precursors or for additives.While the Clariant user units are distributed worldwide, Aromatics are mainly sourced from Europe, China and India.
Phosphor Derivatives, Waxes, AdditivesMain market driver for phosphor derivatives is the fertilizer industry following the growth rate of the global population. Halogen free flame retardants is the key industrial application for phosphorus products beside food ingredients and water treatment application. Polymer Additives and Waxes help to develop and protect the mechanical properties and appearance of polyolefin, polyurethane and engineering plastics widely used for consumer goods, industrial and technical application.
While TiO2 consists of white pigments, Carbon Black is composed of black pigments. Titanium Dioxide is normally produced starting from minerals like ilmenite and rutile depending on manufacturing process. On the other hand, carbon black is a product of the incomplete combustion of various heavy petroleum products. Both are used in the color industry but only Titanium Dioxide is also used as a food colorant. The most common use for Carbon Black is as colorant for rubber tires in the automotive industry.
Bentonites & Derivatives
Named after the Benton formation near a river in Wyoming, Bentonites are a wide variety of raw clays. Depending on the different containing amount of other chemical elements in it, the name changes. Bentonite is a clay generated frequently from the alteration of volcanic ash. In the industry, two different types of Bentonites are commercially relevant: Sodium and Calcium Bentonites. Largest producer of bentonites with more than one third of the world share are the USA – followed by China and India. Derivatives comprise the full range of industrial minerals that Clariant is using all across the BUs as coal, talc, perlite, etc.
Site & Maintenance ServicesBeing the largest category, Site & Maintenance Services encompass the construction and the servicing of offices and plants, but also the technical maintenance of the same. Two further, crucial areas are the waste segment and the procurement of analytical studies. Heavily influenced by environmental laws they both require a strong technical and regulatory expertise.
The category strategically sources all products and services which are usually not site and/or production – related. This includes all areas from travel services, information technology services, consulting & documentation, human resources services, marketing & communications as well as insurances to office supplies. Main stakeholders are the corporate functions, however, every employee of Clariant is impacted by the sourcing decisions made in the Corporate Services Procurement team.
Investments and Technical EquipmentsBesides the general daily technical supplies, the category Investments and Technical Equipment is focusing on capital expenditure projects and technical / lab equipment.
Investments and Technical Equipments is the category with the highest number of transactions as well as the category with the most diversified portfolio regarding the top suppliers.
Energy & Fluids
As a result of an increased market complexity, the successful procurement of energies (e.g. electricity, steam, natural gas) has become a differentiator for globally competing companies. Energy procurement therefore promotes and supports key initiatives in the area of sustainable and captive power generation. Moreover, it establishes the rules and the structures for competitive energy buying from external suppliers.
The category Packaging is characterized by a high diversification regarding the spend per region and country. One of the key challenges of this category is the spread of sustainable and reliable qualities and the global price pressure. Furthermore the quality of the sourced products and therewith the performance of procurement is directly linked to end-customer satisfaction and their requirements. Besides this transport safety and legal aspects are crucial.