Oil And Gas And … Edelweiss?


Switzerland has no natural resources apart from its Alpine natural gas producers, scenic beauty and water. If you watch the following video, you can join those four legged producers as they contentedly add flavour to Switzerland’s famed pure mountain air.

Oil and gas are otherwise nonexistent except for gas produced from recycled decomposable waste – biogas – in a country that is also very environmentally conscious. Yet despite that lack of physical resources Switzerland is home to some world leaders such as Trafigura and Vitol. Both are very large oil and gas traders and they also own enormous midstream assets around the world such as this LNG import project Trafigura is involved with in Pakistan.

Neither company is listed so we cannot invest in them in the traditional way.

In that earlier article on Switzerland I also mentioned:

Innovation. Switzerland is the world’s number one innovator based on patent applications per head filed with the European Patent Office: 973 per million people compared with 133 per million for the US.

Start-up friendliness. IMF research puts Switzerland in the number one position due to the legally friendly framework. This is supported by the universities, with many entrepreneurs emerging from some of Europe’s top business schools. That list includes the University of St Gallen, IMD in Lausanne and the business incubator part of the renowned technical university, ETH in Zurich.

A new leader is emerging from among those being nurtured at that incubator:

Tomorrow’s world leader: UniSieve.

UniSieve is a company with patents applied for their platform technology focusing on separation applications. Globally, over 10% of the total energy consumed is used for separation processes. For the purification of natgas and petrochemicals fractionation plants are employed, like the <a href="http://“>Mt. Belvieu plant  owned by one of my listed investments; ONEOK (NYSE:OKE) in the US.

UniSieve is aiming to supplement, extend or replace currently installed distillation infrastructure with membrane units that promise to save a major portion of the enormous operating costs and carbon dioxide emissions that are a concomitant of that current technology.

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