The world’s largest chemical company, BASF, has built its own offshore wind farms in partnership with the energy companies Vattenfall and RWE in order to secure sufficient renewable energy for its chemical plants in Northern Europe.
European industry is responsible for up to 20% of EU-27 emissions. M.Renewable energies are needed for decarbonization, said Martin BrÃ¼dermÃ¼ller, CEO of BASF.
“Successful decarbonization of our industry requires massive amounts of renewable energies,” said BrÃ¼dermÃ¼ller on Wednesday (23 June) at an industry event.
However, the expansion of renewable energies is currently not progressing at the required pace, as supply cannot meet demand, he warned.
Before that, BrudermÃ¼ller had criticized the EU policy framework for renewable energies, stating that regulation was too complex and the pace of transformation too slow.
The expansion of renewable energies has slowed in Germany, as onshore wind projects due to bureaucracy and legal challenges through an alliance of Conservationists and climate change deniers.
BrÃ¼dermÃ¼ller now seems to have taken matters into their own hands. On the one hand, BASF is cooperating with the Swedish energy company Vattenfall on the construction of the largest offshore wind farm off the Dutch coast.
The “Hollandse Kust Zuid” wind farm will have a capacity of 1.5 gigawatts and is expected to go into operation in 2023. It will directly supply BASF’s second largest plant in Antwerp with renewable electricity.
In cooperation with the German energy company RWE, the chemical company is also planning to build an even larger wind farm in the Baltic Sea. The offshore wind farm, which will be completed by 2030, will have an even larger capacity of 2 gigawatts. It will supply the largest BASF plant in Ludwigshafen.
The chemical industry will “need unprecedented amounts of renewable electricity,” the European chemical association CEFIC told EURACTIV. Companies are taking increasingly bolder steps to gain reliable access to renewable energy, highlighting a broader trend in the chemical industry towards purchasing green power certificates.
The process industry is committed to being CO2 neutral by 2050
As Europe sets out to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the process industry is under increasing pressure to decarbonize.
To coordinate their innovation programs, they have an association called STRIVE, which brings together industries in sectors such as cement, ceramics, chemicals, engineering, minerals and ores, non-ferrous metals, pulp and paper, refining, steel and water management.
And the pressure is now also coming from within, say their representatives.
“Our people, our managers, are pushing us to go faster,” said Michael Koenig, CEO of Elkem, a Norwegian company that specializes in the manufacture of silicon for the photovoltaic industry.
âWe’re not here today to request anything. We are here today to offer our commitment, âsaid Luis Cabra, deputy CEO of Spanish oil retailer Repsol, adding that his company is committed to being carbon neutral by 2050.
On Wednesday (June 23) the starting signal was given for the joint commitment of the process industry to decarbonisation: Processes4Planet (P4P). The plan aims to guide the industry’s transition to carbon neutrality and circular economy through cross-sector innovation.
It identifies 16 innovation areas, such as the integration of hydrogen into industry, and 36 innovation programs, such as the direct electrolysis of raw materials.
“To kickstart such investments, innovation mitigation support is now required,” the plan concludes.
[Edited by FrÃ©dÃ©ric Simon/Zoran Radosavljevic]