Meet the Speaker: Joerg Krueger, CEO, Synova

Published 24 October 2023


Ahead of the 2023 edition of our flagship conference, the European Refining Technology Conference, taking place in Lago Maggiore on  13 – 16 November, we had the pleasure of engaging in a discussion with one of our distinguished speakers, Joreg Kruegr. During our conversation, we gained insights into his perspectives on the state of the industry and and what aspects of the conference he is eagerly looking forward to.

So Joreg, what are your views on the current climate for European Refining?

There is a lot of volatility caused by uncertainties (future demand, energy prices, regulatory, wars and other conflicts) in the market right now, and uncertainty causes companies to focus on preserving cash and to give preference to investments in parts of the world where there is more clarity. Therefore the current climate in Europe is bad. European refining capacity will shrink over the coming years, and who wants to survive has to move away from fossil oil being the dominant carbon source for production.

Petrochemicals are referred to as the backbone of the refinery economy, and with the increased demand, what future trends do you see coming in five, ten years?

While the energy sector can be largely decarbonized the petrochemical sector cannot, because the desired molecules still contain carbon. Therefore, at least from a future demand perspective, the outlook for petrochemicals is much more stable and predictable (e.g. demand for plastics will continue to grow) compared to the energy/fuels market. In the next 5 to 10 years new technologies to produce petrochemicals based on renewable or recycled carbon as feedstock will be commercialized at scale, become competitive and gain market share.

What protection should projects investigate to build resilience against the current volatility in energy prices, cost structure and lack of regulation?

It is not the time to invest more in the same. The best protection, from my point of view, is to invest in markets with a predictable outlook and in new technologies that have a favourable cost position relative to competing technologies in the value chain.

Finally, Chemical recycling is a top topic right now for the industry, and many advancements have been made to allow several multinational companies to make public announcements. What are you keen to find out from the refining community at this year’s ERTC?

Yes, there have been many announcements in the chemical recycling space and some of them might have been a little premature. At SYNOVA we choose to announce our collaborations only if they have reached a mature stage. I would be keen to see an honest reflection about the challenges and real results of the few chemical recycling plants that are actually operational.

Join Joerg on November 14th during the first day of ERTC, where he will deliver a presentation on production of olefins and aromatics from waste and is it commerical viable. 

SYNONA (Tech) develops and licenses solutions to enable a circular plastic supply chain. Its proprietary waste-to-chemicals technology is a superior form of chemical recycling called molecular recycling, designed to reduce and eventually displace the need for virgin fossil feedstocks.

SYNOVA's technology, originally developed by TNO, a premier Dutch research institute, is uniquely positioned because it operates at temperatures optimal for the direct conversion of (mixed) plastic and biogenic waste into high value molecules. To harvest the high value molecules in the most desired way for our clients, we cooperate with world class partners. To find out more, visit

13 - 16 November 2023  |   Lago Maggiore, Italy