Landscape of the European Chemical Industry 2018

Landscape of the European Chemical Industry 2018




€2.2 billion

Number of companies


Direct employees


National contact

Hellenic Association of Chemical Industry (HACI)

Panos Scarlatos

Director General



Chemical industry snapshot

The chemical industry is 5.5% of Greek industry but provides 13% of the country’s exports, 44% of the chemicals produced are exported.

Its plants are largely divided between the North Greece region around Thessalonica, responsible for 20% of output and the Central and South Greece region, where the prefectures of Viotia and Attica account for almost 45% of total output.

Nationwide, the chemical industry employs almost 12,900 people. The industry comprises almost 1,000 companies, 99% of them SMEs. A few of big companies produce basic chemicals, fertilizers, petrochemicals and polymers. Many SMEs focus upon construction and isolation materials and , consumer products and agrochemicals, while a handful of micro-enterprises are active in nanomaterials.

Greek universities train significant number of chemists and chemical engineers. Some emigrate, but the presence of well-educated scientists should enable development of further collaboration between universities and industry. Government R&D spending and EU funds together account for 0.7 % of GDP, well below the EU average. It is widely recognised that there is plenty room for improvement.

How are we doing?


  • Located in southern Europe close to the Middle East and Balkans
  • The fast-growing port of Piraeus and its rail connections provide good market access. Many multinationals use Piraeus as a logistics hub
  • Well educated chemists, engineers etc
  • Economic reforms are improving the business environment
  • Hydrocarbon exploration ongoing in the Ionian sea
  • Mineral resources
  • Collaboration between companies, authorities, and users to implement REACH & CLP and other piece of legislation


  • High energy costs for both electricity and natural gas
  • Heavy reliance on imported raw material
  • Comparatively high taxes
  • Difficulties in accessing capital because of bank capital controls
  • Public sector bureaucracy

Our contribution to a competitive Europe

Restructuring the Greek economy will enhance competitiveness of the Greek chemical industry.

The priority for the coming decade is production of pharmaceuticals, advanced materials, insulation materials and agrochemicals, which are needed for domestic consumption.

Greece has important oil refining capacity, a strategic geopolitical location and an outstanding shipping industry that can provide access to natural gas.

Untapped oil reserves are estimated to include 22 billion barrels in the Ionian Sea off the coast of western Greece and more than 4 billion barrels in the Northern Aegean.

Greece has a growing role in the supply of natural gas to Europe. Work has begun on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) from Greece, via Albania and the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy, which will allow gas to flow from the Caspian region to European markets.