MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis, OMV, Verbund, and LafargeHolcim subsidiary Lafarge Zementwerke have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the joint planning and construction of a full-scale carbon-capture plant in Austria by 2030 that would process carbon dioxide (CO2) into renewables-based feedstock for olefins, plastics, and synthetic fuels, said Chemweek.
The proposed three-phase project, dubbed ‘Carbon2ProductAustria’ (C2PAT), would significantly cut emissions from cement production, establishing CO2 as a valuable raw material, they say in a joint statement. No investment figure for the project has been given at this time.
The collaboration aims to create a cross-sectorial value chain and the operation of a full-scale plant by 2030, with the facility planned to capture almost 100% of the 700,000 metric tons/year of CO2 emitted at a cement plant owned and operated by Lafarge in Mannersdorf, Austria.
The CO2 would, in combination with green hydrogen produced using renewable sources by Verbund, be converted by OMV into renewable-based hydrocarbons. These would then be used by OMV to produce renewable-based synthetic fuel, or renewable-based olefins at its Schwechat refinery to be utilized by Borealis as feedstock at its polymerization plant at Schwechat to manufacture value-added plastics, according to the companies. The partners “aim to investigate a truly circular approach: with Borealis being a key partner, the captured CO2 can be used for the production of renewable-based, value-added plastics. These plastics are especially suited for recycling at the end of their lifetime, and with this, enable a nearly closed CO2 loop,” they say.
The first phase entails the evaluation and development of a joint strategy for project development, business modelling, and process engineering. A second phase could see a cluster of industrial pilot plants in Austria developed by 2023, while the third phase would see a full implementation of the project to the industrial-scale 700,000-metric tons/year target, according to the consortium. The success of the project will “largely depend on whether the right financial and regulatory framework conditions are created both at the EU and Austrian national level," it says.
The project also demonstrates that “economic viability and climate protection go hand-in-hand based on new technologies. CO2 is not just a greenhouse gas that we have to reduce. It is also a valuable raw material from which we can produce synthetic fuels and feedstock for the chemical industry,” says Rainer Seele, chairman of OMV’s executive board and CEO.
“The plastics industry can be a powerful contributor to climate action, through materials replacement that reduces weight, by minimizing food waste, and by shifting to well-designed circularity that reduces CO2 emissions,” says Borealis CEO Alfred Stern.
Verbund, Austria’s largest electricity company, would supply the green hydrogen—produced when water is electrolyzed using electricity from renewable sources—to recycle the CO2. “Green hydrogen offers huge potential for decarbonizing CO2-intensive industrial processes. In order to reach our national and global climate goals we have to collaborate across sectors and join our efforts for decarbonization and climate neutrality,” says Verbund CEO Michael Strugl.
“We have worked consistently and successfully on the reduction of the CO2 footprint of our cement plants, products and solutions. Ultimately, CO2-neutral cement production can only be possible with the implementation of breakthrough technologies, like carbon capture, which is why we have great expectations for the C2PAT project,” says Lafarge CEO Jose Antonio Primo.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 721,290 tonnes in the first four month of 2020, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments grew partially because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 347,440 tonnes in January-April 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Supply exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.
Borealis is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. With headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Borealis currently employs around 6,500 and operates in over 120 countries.