Uses and Properties

Lower olefins are petrochemical derivatives produced by cracking feedstocks from raw materials such as natural gas and crude oil.

The main olefin products are ethylene, propylene, butadiene and C4 derivatives. These petrochemical derivatives are used to produce plastics, as chemical intermediates, and, in some cases, as industrial solvents. LOSG represents the interests of companies operating petrochemical crackers in Europe.

The Lower Olefins Sector Group (LOSG) brings together the European manufacturers of lower olefins.

Issues and Regulations

REACH Implementation

The LOA (Lower Olefins Aromatics) Consortium was formed, through which manufacturers have joined efforts to prepare by 30 November 2010 consistent registration dossiers covering 130 to 140 substances within 20 categories.


Ensure that the competitiveness of the petrochemical crackers in Europe is not adversely impacted by the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Specific Issues

  • The toxicology group has a multi-annual science programme dealing with fundamental research into lower olefins and their derivatives. Most of these studies are shared with other Cefic sector groups (Ethylene oxide, Propylene oxide) and with American Chemistry Council (ACC) panels.
  • Work with the IPPC Bureau on its updating of the large volume organic organic chemicals Best Available Technique Reference document; in particular the chapter dealing with lower olefins. The EEPC BREF LVOC Issue Group has developed a background document listing proposals for BAT and BAT-AEL conclusions for the LVOC BREF. These positions focus on a number of issues judged critical for the sector.
  • The European Ethylene Producers Committee (EEPC) is dealing with health, safety and environmental issues related to manufacturing and handling of ethylene. The committee is composed of two-thirds ethylene producers and one-third engineering companies. It provides a forum for the communication of non-confidential information and non-confidential expertise concerning the manufacture and handling of ethylene.
  • A major issue for EEPC is “Corrosion Under Insulation” (CUI), one of the most well-known damage mechanisms in the chemical industry.  Most ethylene producers’ assets are 30–50 years old and CUI typically occurs after 10 years in operation. A Workshop on CUI took place on 24-25 February 2016.
  • An EEPC workshop on Turbo Machinery is scheduled for Q1 2017

Additional Information

LOA (Lower Olefins and Aromatics) REACH consortium press release


Chairman: Jens Utecht, BASF

George Watson, INEOS
Bert Claessens, Sabic


de Smedt Philip
Sector Group Manager
32 (02) 436 94 84