BASF & RWE Present Plan for Climate Protection in Ludwigshafen
Iin Ludwigshafen Germany, Dr Martin Brudermüller of BASF and Dr Markus Krebber of RWE, accompanied by Chairman of the Mining, Chemical and
Iin Ludwigshafen Germany, Dr Martin Brudermüller of BASF and Dr Markus Krebber of RWE, accompanied by Chairman of the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industries Union Mr Michael Vassiliadis, recently presented a project idea that shows how industrial production can become sustainable and future-proof. The project envisions an additional offshore wind farm with a capacity of 2 gigawatts to provide the Ludwigshafen chemical site with green electricity and enable CO2-free production of hydrogen. The aim is to electrify the production processes for basic chemicals, which are currently based on fossil fuels. This will involve utilizing CO2-free technologies such as electrically heated steam cracker furnaces to produce petrochemicals. BASF is already working with partners on developing these technologies. To advance the joint project, the CEOs of BASF and RWE have signed a letter of intent covering a wide-ranging cooperation for the creation of additional capacities for renewable electricity and the use of innovative technologies for climate protection.
These plans could result in the avoidance of around 3.8 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year, of which 2.8 million tons would be realized directly at BASF in Ludwigshafen. It shows very clearly how climate protection and competitiveness can be harmonized in the chemical industry. No public subsidies would be needed for the construction of the wind farm.
Realizing this plan will require a suitable regulatory framework. Policymakers have said they plan to significantly increase the expansion targets for renewable energies and accelerate capacity additions. For this to succeed, there will need to be a tendering process for offshore project sites where the current plans only foresee use after 2030. The companies instigate that these sites should be specifically designated for tenders focused on industrial transformation processes. Another important factor: Green electricity should not be subject to EEG levy. In addition, there is currently no regulatory framework for CO2-free hydrogen production.
With the project presented today, BASF and RWE show how a cleverly planned transformation of Germany’s industrial sector can succeed. “We are convinced: Climate-neutral industrial production ‘made in Germany’ ensures that value added and employment remain in Germany and opens up export opportunities for new technologies,” said Brudermüller and Krebber.