Germany-headed energy major Uniper SE has announced that it intends to develop a plant for the production of biomass-derived syngas at the Chemelot Industrial Park in the Netherlands. This sustainable gas can replace fossil gas in chemical production processes.
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Through a scalable process, biomass is torrefied and then converted into syngas. This process produces biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), which is used to produce sustainable chemicals thus making syngas a key element in the green production of plastics, fertilizers, and pharmaceuticals, among other things.
The project is now in the early development phase aiming at potentially a first operational phase in 2027/2028. The plant could then be scaled up in subsequent years.
An interim decarbonization project
According to Uniper, its aim is to make an important contribution to making industry more sustainable, whilst ensuring the security of supply of green energy.
Green gas and electrification are possible routes to making chemical production processes more sustainable.
However, the construction of the hydrogen backbone for Chemelot is planned to start after 2028, and the expansion of the electricity grid at Chemelot after 2030.
Electrolyzer at Maasvlakte
In the meantime, Uniper is considering using syngas from torrefied biomass to help make chemical production more sustainable.
By 2035, Uniper wants its European portfolio to be CO2 neutral and it wants to help make the same pace possible for its customers.
This project is an excellent example of Uniper’s commitment to its activities in the Netherlands and to the decarbonization of hard-to-abate industries such as the chemical industries here at Chemelot. This forms part of our wider decarbonization activity across Europe and at the Maasvlakte, where we currently undertaking a FEED study for 100 – 500 MW of green hydrogen production, said Dr Holger Kreetz, Chief Operating Officer at Uniper.
In addition to the syngas plant at Chemelot, Uniper is also developing a 200- 500 MW electrolyzer for green hydrogen at the Maasvlakte in the Netherlands.
Chemelot has the ambition to be the most sustainable chemistry site in Europe using the strong integration of the site. As soon as possible we want to replace our fossil resource streams consisting of natural gas and naphtha with renewable raw materials and start producing in a fully circular way. In that respect, Uniper’s syngas plant fits perfectly into Chemelot’s strategy, said Loek Radix, Executive Director of Chemelot.
About Chemelot Industrial Park
Chemelot is one of the key industrial clusters in the Netherlands. In the Chemelot Industrial Park, 17 production companies are active in 60 different plants, which are strongly interconnected, both in terms of energy and raw material flows.
At these companies, and in the unique combination with the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, a lot of work is being done on the transition to sustainable production.
Besides the energy transition, the raw material transition is just as important. Chemelot’s ambition is to reach full circular production by 2050. Just because of the high level of integration, Chemelot is in an excellent position to achieve this. Approximately 8 000 employees in more than 200 companies work on the 800-hectare site.