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Press release ¤ Information de presse

May 17, 2006

ACHEMA 2006 Interim Report

ACHEMA 2006: Upbeat Mood as the Show Gets Underway

  • Show attracting large crowds since opening day
  • International exhibitor and visitor numbers up compared to 2003

The mood was upbeat as large crowds gathered for opening day at ACHEMA the leading international event for chemical engineering, environmental protection and biotechnology on Monday, May 15 2006 at the Frankfurt exhibition grounds. 3,880 exhibitors from 50 countries are using the world’s biggest platform for the process industries, which runs until Friday of this week, to display their latest equipment, systems, technology and know-how for the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries and related sectors of the material processing industry.

The crowds on Tuesday exceeded the number of visitors who went through the gates on opening day. More than 60,000 people attended the show on the first two days, which is an 8.9% increase compared to ACHEMA 2003. Despite the shorter duration of this year’s event (for the first time the show will not be open to visitors on Saturday), the final attendance figures are expected to be about the same as for ACHEMA 2003. The percentage of foreign visitors (33%) is higher than ever before, and visitors normally stay at the show for more than one day.

A large number of exhibitors have already commented on the quality of the visitors and the discussions at the stands. There are many visitors from Japan, India, China and the Middle East, and high-profile individuals representing the corporate world and leading institutions from the various countries are also on hand. These people plan to establish new business contacts and exploit the opportunities which ACHEMA offers for their developing industrial regions.

The percentage of foreign exhibitors has now reached a record 44.4%, and this figure has increased by 10% during the course of the last three ACHEMA shows. If you include the many foreign companies which are represented by their German subsidiaries, then the international contingent is significantly larger than 50%. “ACHEMA has moved to an entirely new level and solidified its reputation as the leading worldwide show for the process industries,” commented Gerhard Kreysa, DECHEMA CEO and organizer of ACHEMA.

As usual, the largest exhibitor groups will be pumps, compressors, valves and fittings (945 exhibitors) followed by laboratory and analytical equipment (675), thermal processes (447), mechanical processes (389), pharmaceutical, packaging and storage (365), instrumentation, control and automation (340), and engineering (288). The special “Service Providers for the Process Industries” show accounts for the largest increase in exhibitor numbers and floor space. Exhibitors are using a total of 135,514 m2 of net exhibition space in ten halls and outdoor exhibition areas.

Once again this year, the largest exhibitor contingent comes from Germany (2,157 exhibitors), but the number of German exhibitors continues to decline (-5%) as a result of ongoing consolidation in the industry. The number of foreign exhibitors (1,723) has increased by 11%. Italy comes second in the rankings, with 266 exhibitors, followed by the UK, Switzerland, the US, France and Holland, which are third through seventh respectively. The largest growth comes from the Asian region (China: +185%, South Korea +143% and India +61%). The number of exhibitors from Brazil increased to 17 (there was only one in 2003). There was also an above-average rise in the number of exhibitors from Ireland, Holland, the US, Italy and the Russian Federation. Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Croatia have companies at the show for the first this year.

Representatives from China, India, Pakistan and Brazil have already indicated that they will have an even stronger presence at the next ACHEMA show, which they regard as a unique international event for suppliers of equipment to the process industries. Visitors and exhibitors are already showing a high level of interest in ACHEMASIA, which will be held next year on May 14 – 18, 2007 in Beijing.

The optimistic mood of the exhibitors and visitors at ACHEMA 2006 reflects the state of the economy, which is more buoyant than it has been for a long time. The chemical industry, which is a major target group for exhibitors at ACHEMA, had a record year in 2005, and the industry is expected to make significant investment in 2006. Equipment and systems manufacturers have full order books, and demand is particularly strong in the export sector. At the kick-off international ACHEMA press conference last Sunday, industry representatives reported that sustained recovery in the chemical industry is driving demand for automation technology in the process industries.

ACHEMA Congress focuses on the technology of the future

There will be 925 talks at the ACHEMA Congress, which will also set a new record this year. More than 6,000 people attended a variety of talks on the first day of the Congress. Process analysis technology, microreactors, new materials for fuel cells and new process technology with green solvents were the most popular topics.

Interest in issues such as security of raw material supplies, energy efficiency and the environmental impact of processes and products is by no means limited to the Congress. At the podium discussion on Tuesday, experts looked a different ways of decreasing our dependency on oil. New fuels and chemical raw materials from renewable sources will have an important role to play. Scientists and engineers at ACHEMA are presenting new approaches and the first proven processes at ACHEMA.

DECHEMA, the organizer of the 28th ACHEMA show, expects that international response to the 2006 event will be outstanding and that the show will stimulate innovation throughout the chemical, environmental protection and biotechnology industries.

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