Dow Benelux unveiled a path for reducing the existing CO2 emissions from its Terneuzen, Netherlands, operations by more than 40% by 2030 and achieving net CO2 neutrality by 2050.
Terneuzen becomes an exceptional location and role model for the company’s global transition to carbon neutrality by 2050, as outlined in the roadmap. The roadmap is divided into three phases. The plan’s first phase calls for the development of a clean hydrogen factory that will convert byproducts into hydrogen and CO2.
Hydrogen is employed as a zero-emission fuel in the manufacturing process. CO2 is caught and stored indefinitely in the absence of alternative technology. Dow will also explore ways to incorporate CO2 into its processes rather than storing it.
Dow at Terneuzen would be able to minimize CO2 emissions by about 1.4 million tons per year with the hydrogen facility when it begins operation in 2026. This is the equivalent of over 300,000 automobiles’ annual emissions. Additionally, the first phase will invest in infrastructure for CO2 storage and removal, oxygen production, and hydrogen delivery.
The project will result in the creation of green jobs. The new hydrogen plant and accompanying infrastructure are estimated to require between 3,500 and 4,000 engineering and construction jobs over a three-year period, as well as 400 to 500 permanent positions at Dow, in the region, and with suppliers. By 2030, Dow will absorb CO2 from its ethylene oxide facility and replace certain gas turbines with electric motors in the second phase.
As a result, an additional 300,000 tons of CO2 emissions will be prevented each year. The third and final phase of the strategy will see the development and implementation of more ground-breaking technologies to eliminate the need for fuel in manufacturing processes. Dow’s previously announced agreement with Shell to electrify the furnaces in the ethylene steam crackers is an example of this.
These stoves are currently fuel-dependent, which means they emit a significant amount of CO2 if not powered by clean hydrogen. By switching to electric cracking powered by sustainable electricity, the CO2 footprint of the manufacturing process will be reduced to practically zero.
Commenting on the plan, Anton van Beek, President of Dow Benelux, said: “We are part of a vital and critical industry – we provide building blocks for thousands of consumer goods, many of which provide carbon-reducing benefits to our customers and the value chain. We want to continue supplying those products while strengthening our longstanding commitment to sustainability, so we need and want to adapt the way we manufacture those products to help tackle climate change. made.”
A preliminary investment decision on the implementation of Dow Terneuzen’s roadmap is expected in 2022. Van Beek: “In order to reach a positive decision, we will complete feasibility studies and continue to further develop and optimize new technologies. In addition, public-private cooperation are of the utmost importance. The scale and complexity of the challenge are such that only through cooperation between industry, academia, government and others can we turn the tide of climate change. We encourage the Dutch government to continue to cooperate with stimulate business and investment in clean energy and related technologies to support the long-term competitiveness of Dutch industry while reducing CO2 emissions and achieving net CO2 neutrality.”
These efforts also contribute to Dow’s broader aims of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, eliminating plastic waste from the environment, and increasing the company’s beneficial effect on customers, business, and society. Dow has cut its entire greenhouse gas emissions by 15% since 2005. And today, Dow is the chemical industry’s largest consumer of clean energy, ranking among the top 25 global clean energy procurement businesses. For example, the company’s Tarragona, Spain, facility now obtains 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.