The chemical products manufacturing industry converts organic and inorganic raw materials by chemical processes. The need to control environmental conditions to optimize reactions is critical; most processes are energy-intensive. Returns are often very sensitive to fluctuations in energy prices. For industrial chemicals, a migration of the customer base can have serious impacts on profitability since plants are difficult to dismantle and relocate. Most chemical processes rely heavily on networks of steel and steel alloy tanks and reaction vessels; fluctuating steel prices directly impact not only costs of construction, but also costs of capital components used in maintenance processes.
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