Chemical reaction

With 27 years experience supplying reference standards of high purity for petroleum, geochemical, and environmental analysis, Chiron AS is one of the leading chemical companies, based in Trondheim, Norway.

The business has delivered standards to high profile companies such as NIST, Petrobras, Norsk Hydro, and Sigma Aldrich, as well as universities, research institutes and testing facilities across the world. Offering a varied, flexible and innovative range of biomarkers to suit the needs of each individual customer, Chiron operates a staff of 20 specialists with backgrounds in chemistry, biochemistry and economics.

Chiron’s main markets are the UK, Germany, France, and the US. Alongside these, the company also sells an increasing number of products to countries that work in petroleum refining or exploration, such as the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.

Within its main market regions, Chiron’s customers are mostly large petroleum companies, and the laboratories that carry out their analytical research. Authorities that provide environmental analysis for issues such as oil spills make up another important market.

Ever since the company was established in 1983, it has supplied chiral and other fine chemicals alongside its reference standards. Chiron’s high focus on basic research applied to environmental and petroleum issues has secured the company a position at the forefront of analytical chemistry. The result of many years of smart investments, as well as the enthusiasm of its team, and a close co-operation with academic institutions and customers worldwide, chiron-01-2010-bthis position reflects the company’s dedication to finding innovative solutions to tackle petroleum problems.

Chiron’s CEO and research director, Jon Johansen, elaborates on the company’s product portfolio: “Chiron’s research is involved in a vast number of processes where analytical standards are required. These include projects relating to geochemistry, petroleum refinery, and environmental analysis. We also import chemicals that we sell on to Norwegian companies in the oil and gas and petroleum industries. These include a variety of chemicals that are used in analytical laboratories. Several patented products and applications are included in our catalogue, and new inventions are continually under development.”

The Chiron Biomarker catalogue, The Collection of Reference Standards 2008, is the culmination of more than 25 years of innovations, investments, research and development, and a pioneering spirit. It offers a comprehensive collection of more than 4000 biomarkers and reference standards, spanning its 470 pages. The collection is the result of the hard work of Chiron’s organic chemists and the numerous scientists from academic institutions and customers worldwide who have contributed to the catalogue.

“As a company we are very well-established and recognised as the leader of highly sophisticated analytical standards for petroleum analysis,” explains Jon. “These are the biomarkers used in drilling exploration, and in petroleum spills forensics for instance. In terms of new product lines, we are continuously developing new products for the biomarker business and we are also now developing new products for forensic analysis, which will fall more under the area of narcotics and the standards for safety analysis.

“Over the last few years we have been working on new products in our biomarker range, and this has been a successful development for us. Rather than developing into lots of new areas just yet, we are currently trying to focus on where we are at the moment, in terms of our products and services and the industries we are currently active on. We are concentrating on securing our position in the market and ensuring that we provide the best possible service to our customers.”

Even though it is faced with some difficult market conditions, Chiron is still performing well, having more than doubled its turnover over the past four years. Jon describes how the company has overcome the financial challenges: “At Chiron, we are developing fast, and have been even during the lowest points of the recession – last year we saw an increase of 25 per cent on most of our markets.

“While it’s always a challenge when the general market is reducing, we are very specialised in the areas we offer, and so we have managed to overcome the negative impact. If we were selling more big instruments then we would definitely see more of an effect. We have noticed that some of the companies we import products from have been hit and so business has been slower in that area for a while, but now they are catching up again. Based on this, we are confident that 2010 is going to be a very promising year for us.”

Looking to the future, Jon is optimistic about the company’s prospects: “We will continue to improve our overall marketing capability, so that we can strengthen and increase our market presence. We know that the products we offer to the international market are strong, and the demand is there in all our main markets, so we need to focus on reaching all our customers to improve and grow the business.”

Chiron AS
Services: Analytical chemicals and reference standards