MOSCOW (MRC) -- In pursue of more ambitious goals on its journey to climate neutrality and net zero emissions by 2050, BASF, the world's petrochemical major, is also significantly raising its medium-term 2030 target for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions: the company now wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by 25% compared with 2018 – and to achieve this despite targeted growth and the construction of a large Verbund site in South China, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.
Excluding the effects of the planned growth, this means cutting CO2 emissions in half in the current business by the end of this decade. Overall, BASF plans to invest up to EUR1 billion by 2025 to reach its new climate target and a further EUR2 billion to EUR3 billion by 2030. Thus, BASF will invest up to EUR4.0 billion (US4.7 billion) to cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2030 compared with 2018.
In 2018, BASF Group’s worldwide emissions amounted to 21.9 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents. In 1990, this figure was roughly twice as high. The new 2030 emissions goal represents a reduction of approximately 60% compared to 1990 levels, which exceeds the European Union’s target of minus 55%.
“The new climate goals underscore our determination and BASF’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Climate change is the greatest challenge of the 21st century. In response, we must adapt our processes and our product portfolio. We need to accelerate this transformation now. We must first concentrate on the initial steps of this journey, not the final ones. That is why BASF will increase its use of renewable energies. And we will accelerate the development and deployment of new CO2-free processes for the production of chemicals. With transparency and offerings to systematically and incrementally reduce the carbon footprint of BASF products throughout the entire value chain, we help our customers in all industries to reduce the carbon footprint of their own products,” said Dr. Martin Brudermuller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE.
At the heart of the long-term transition toward net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 is the use of new technologies, which will replace fossil fuels such as natural gas with electricity from renewable sources. Most of these technologies are being pioneered by BASF in collaboration with partners and are currently in a pilot stage. Broad scaleup of these technologies will only be fully realizable after 2030. In order to accelerate the avoidance of CO2 emissions prior to that date, BASF also continues to systematically implement continuous improvement processes for existing production plants. In addition, BASF will progressively switch to renewable sources to meet its electricity needs and intends to invest in wind parks to facilitate this.
One of the most important new technologies that BASF is currently developing are electrically heated steam crackers for the production of basic chemicals such as ethylene, propylene and butadiene. These chemicals are building blocks for numerous value chains and are essential for chemical production. Hydrogen is another important feedstock for many chemical production processes. To achieve CO2-free production of hydrogen, BASF is pursuing two processes in parallel: the commercially available water electrolysis and methane pyrolysis, for which BASF has developed a new process technology. Another important lever to increase energy efficiency is the use of electrical heat pumps to produce CO2-free steam from waste heat. BASF’s goal is to work with Siemens Energy to gradually ramp up this technology to industrial scale and use it for waste heat recovery at entire sites.
BASF expects that this switch to climate-neutral production processes will lead to a sharp increase in electricity demand at the group’s major sites, including the largest production site in Ludwigshafen, in the coming decade. From around 2035, the group’s electricity demand is expected to be more than three times higher than it is today.
As MRC reported before, in mid-February, BASF said it was restarting one of its steam crackers at its Ludwigshafen complex in Germany after operations were halted last Wednesday due to a technical issue. The naphtha cracker produces ethylene and propylene, and is one of two crackers on the site. One has a production capacity of 420,000 metric tons/year, with the other's capacity at 240,000 metric tons/year, according to IHS Markit data.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC"s ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 241,030 tonnes in January 2021 versus 217,890 tonnes a year earlier. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 141,870 tonnes in January 2021 versus 123,520 tonnes a year earlier. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.
BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.