Feast of Saint Martin

Feast of Saint Martin

Every autumn, Saint Martin’s Day is celebrated in many European countries. Typical for this event are parades with self-made lanterns. Traditional songs are sung and often accompanied by local music associations. Also, the participating children receive a bag with all sorts of treats.


This traditional festival dates back to an old legend. Saint Martin was a Roman soldier who made a sign of charity. On a cold night, he met an almost frozen beggar. No one but Martin paid attention to him. He cut his warm mantle with his sword and gave half to the mendicant. So he didn’t have to freeze anymore. This scene is often re-enacted in Martin’s parades with real actors.

Saint Martin in Kempen

The Kempen Martin parades are known far beyond the borders of the Lower Rhine. There is a specific parade for toddlers and school children. The participants receive a so-called “Blo-es”. This is the local expression for the bag with treats.  For over 130 years, it has been inspiring young and old and runs through the medieval town of Kempen. This is rounded off by an impressive fireworks display. An exhibition of the children’s homemade torches is also organized. A visit is not only worthwhile for locals!

Raising importance of sustainability for SME

Raising importance of sustainability for SME

Sustainability is a current topic that is becoming more and more vital. The latest survey results show that this trend is also spreading further in the commercial sector. The online study was conducted on the YouGov platform from 5 to 10 April and included participants from the DACH region and France.

Results in detail

The study addressed decision-makers from small and medium-sized companies. More than 40 percent of respondents said that the importance of sustainability has increased significantly  (15 percent) or at least slightly (26 percent) in their company. This is a result of the current challenges. In total, only seven percent of respondents report a decline in the importance of the topic of sustainability. According to the survey, even two-thirds of all companies (66 percent) have implemented environmental and climate initiatives in the past twelve months. For example, 13 percent of respondents want to switch their vehicle fleet to electric cars.


The current crises present huge problems for companies in a wide range of fields: Massively rising energy costs and disrupted supply chains are two particularly challenging examples. Nevertheless, the issue of sustainability does not lose its importance and is likely to become even more critical. Petrex GmbH is also actively working on an expansion of sustainability in all three scope dimensions

New ECHA Report

New ECHA Report

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) regularly publishes new reports relating to its Integrated Regulatory Strategy. The aim is to accelerate the generation of data, the identification of groups of substances of concern and regulatory measures by combining different regulatory processes. A coherent approach has been developed for this purpose.

Key messages

By 2021, 30% of the substances had already been thoroughly evaluated. Where structural similarities exist, substances have been grouped based on these. Regardless, there is still a need for regulation for almost 1.300 substances, which have a high annual requirement. 300 substances can require risk management measures immediately. Data must first be generated for remaining substances, or no action is required. The report also shows that the number of substances requiring harmonized classification and labeling has tripled from 2020 to 2021. CLH is often a prerequisite for further regulatory action, so authorities need to allocate sufficient resources and start developing proposals for these substances to avoid regulatory backlogs.

About ECHA

ECHA is an EU authority that regulates the technical, scientific and administrative aspects of the regulation registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals (= REACH Regulation). Its purpose is the general protection of health and the environment.

We started pigment business!

We started pigment business!

Petrex GmbH expands its portfolio continuously.

Today, we are pleased to announce a cooperation with Anshan Hifichem Co. Ltd., one of the leading producers, specialized in high-performance organic pigments and solvent dyes, along with key intermediates. With the slogan “Colorful world, Wonderful life!”, Hifichem offers a unique quality assurance together with over a decade of experience.

Our portfolio includes the following products:

  • Pigment brown 25
  • Pigment orange 64
  • Pigment orange 67
  • Pigment red 144
  • Pigment red 166
  • Pigment red 176
  • Pigment red 185
  • Pigment red 208
  • Pigment red 214
  • Pigment red 254
  • Pigment yellow 128
  • Pigment yellow 139
  • Pigment yellow 150
  • Pigment yellow 151
  • Pigment yellow 155
  • Pigment yellow 180 (HF5M, HG, F)
  • Pigment yellow 181
  • Pigment yellow 192
  • Pigment yellow 93
  • Pigment yellow 95
  • Solvent orange 63
  • Solvent green 5
  • Solvent red 195
  • Solvent yellow 98


These high-purity pigments and solvents are suitable for different industries e.g. coatings, plastics and inks

From product selection and import to logistics – we are at your side as a reliable and experienced partner.

Contact us at info@petrexgmbh.com for more information

Sea freight situation in China and Europe

Sea freight situation in China and Europe

The past months have led to global logistical challenges. Many companies had problems maintaining the supply chain. Ocean freight was especially affected by these impacts. There was a shortage of containers and the capacity of the ports was reduced.

Current situation in China

However, recent data from the US platform FouKnites show an increasing normalization of the situation at Chinese ports. The deceleration of the lockdown leads to an expansion in import and export capacities. For example, the volume of ocean freight at the Shanghai port is rising again in mid-May. This trend can also be observed at other Chinese ports. Road and rail freight transport also continues to advance.

Risks for Europe

The further growth in operations at Chinese ports will have an impact on European ports, as this will tie up significant transport capacities. The container loads now released could, with a certain delay, overload the handling capacity at European ports. The influx of freight into Europe must also find its way through already congested gateways. Therefore, a particular efficiency in scheduling and planning of own logistics is recommended.

The role of sustainability in times of crisis

The role of sustainability in times of crisis

Currently, companies have to deal with a variety of global challenges. The Covid pandemic is not yet over and the war in Ukraine is leading to an energy crisis. Securing the supply chain requires enhanced crisis management. The noticeable cost pressure is another stress factor. Topics such as sustainability are therefore being pushed into the background.

Sustainability in focus

A common approach to dealing with crises is to do what is urgent before what is important. Many companies have therefore changed their focus. This also leads to little external pressure to launch sustainability activities. So far, there are hardly any cases where companies have lost orders due to a lack of sustainability efforts. Although this approach is understandable, sustainability and the reduction of CO2 emissions remained the themes of the decade. Lack of transparency, standards and key figures in sustainability activities also hampers the progress. Regardless, the primary driver of sustainability efforts lies with the management.


However, it should be noted that more and more companies are compiling sustainability reports, although not all are legally obliged to do so. The number of companies audited according to sustainability standards is also growing and public communication around sustainability is becoming increasingly popular. We recommend not to lose sight of this important issue. By revising the internal crisis management, new capacities can be created.

Sulfuric Acid struggle in Europe

Sulfuric Acid struggle in Europe

Sulfuric acid is one of the most important basic chemicals. It can be produced by burning sulfur or as a by-product of smelters. The United States in particular produces this product most often. As the world’s hugest chemical producer, sulfuric acid makes up a large proportion.

Causes of the deficiency

The local price of sulfuric acid is a significant indicator of the general state of a country’s economy. In recent months, the price of the product has increased in Europe. This is mainly due to boosts in the price of elemental sulfur due to supply shortages. This supply shortage arose during the economic downturn at the beginning of the pandemic. Sulfur is produced as a by-product of petroleum refining. As fuel demand had declined at the beginning of the pandemic, refineries stopped production and processed less crude oil. Consistent demand led to a shortage of supply that continues to this day. Demand for acid continued to expand. In addition, sulfuric acid is used in lead-acid storage batteries in solar parks, a rapidly-growing energy source. Another challenge is that sulfuric acid plants are very maintenance-intensive. Transport and logistics costs continue to rise.

Recommended actions

Supply shortages may occur in the future. Sulfuric acid is an essential chemical used in a variety of products. We recommended to analyze your portfolio and building up stocks of safety warehouses.

The castle in Kempen

The castle in Kempen

Our office is located on the Lower Rhine in the picturesque town of Kempen. It is known for its historical sights. In addition to the historical center, a castle is a landmark of the city and is within walking distance of the office.

History of the castle

The ‘Kurkölnische Landesburg‘ delights with its appeal. Originally built in 1396-1400, it was restored in neo-Gothic style after a great fire in 1856. First constructed at the request of the Archbishop of Cologne, the building holds a long history. Whether it was occupied by French revolutionary groups in 1794 or used as a school building from 1863-1925 – the ravages of time have not taken away the castle’s impressive beauty.

The castle today

At the present, the property is used as a district and city archive and is also an adult education center. From the inside, the castle is unfortunately not open to the general public, but culturally interested tourists can request a visit at the Town Hall. Also, the former castle courtyard is now a public park. Perfect for a relaxing stroll.

Digitization in the chemical industry

Digitization in the chemical industry

Digital media have experienced significant growth in recent years and are now irreplaceable in everyday life. Companies also benefit from digitization, for example through increased productivity and competitiveness. Therefore, it has become irreplaceable for entrepreneurs to think about their digital future and invest in it.


Digitization is a dominant issue for the chemical industry in particular. The range of possibilities is wide. It varies from digital solutions for production, maintenance and plant planning/construction to cyber security, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain to big data, machine learning, smart analytics and 5G. Here, it is necessary to differentiate whether digital solutions are to be used for business processes or production. While many companies have already implemented numerous options for their business processes, according to experts estimates, production still offers a lot of potential for expansion among the industry’s big players.

Digitization at Petrex

We have already taken numerous measures to make our business processes more efficient. For example, we invested in a cloud-based ERP system with a multimodal approach. We will continue to examine possible new steps.

Our Human Capital Management

Our Human Capital Management

Our employees are our assets! For this reason, we have evaluated human capital management to guarantee a high level of job satisfaction and a good work-life balance.

The role of the employees in our HCM

We are convinced that we are only as good as our employees are. Our working conditions include flexible working hours, home office (especially in times of the Covid pandemic), and thoughtful health management. We support our employees in a variety of ways – not only with free coffee. We offer regular training courses to keep their know-how up to date and implement various training to promote their physical and mental health. Also, we are family-friendly.