The German multinational chemical company BASF has ambitious plans: it wants to transform its Antwerp production unit, the second-largest in the world, entirely climate neutral as soon as possible. On Wednesday, the company threw light on its plans during Belgian King Filip’s and Queen Mathilde’s visit to Ludwigshafen.
The BASF Group aims at climate neutrality by 2050, but the Antwerp site hopes to reach that target much earlier. According to Jan Remeysen, CEO of BASF Antwerp, the site’s emissions should be halved by 2026 compared to 2018.
Therefore, the company will further focus on renewable energy. Quite an achievement when you consider that BASF Antwerp accounts for approximately 3% of the total electricity consumption in Belgium.
BASF already invested in the construction of the wind farm of Vattenfall; it should be operational by the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023. It will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world that is not financially supported by subsidies.
Apart from that, BASF will capture its CO2 emissions and transport and stock them into the empty gas fields in the North Sea. The company and Air Liquide received millions of subsidies earlier this year for this expensive project.
Also, the site in Ludwigshafen will get financial support from the German government because its steam cracker will not be powered by gas but by renewable energy.
The royal visitors were taken around the BASF site by bus. The gigantic site – the equivalent of 1 600 soccer fields – has its own train station, a hotel, a hospital, and three fire department stations. BASF Ludwigshafen employs 39 000 people.