German minister urges R&D centre for coal-based chemicals

28 May 2010 16:07  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--The economics minister of Germany’s Saxony-Anhalt state has called for a research centre focused on technologies to convert lignite coal (brown coal) into chemical feedstocks, the ministry said on Friday.

Speaking at a conference this week, Reiner Haseloff said coal reserves in central Germany should be the starting point of a sustainable chemical production chain, to maintain and create future employment in the state’s chemical industry.

The region’s coal was of a high quality and much too valuable to burn only for electricity generation, he said.

However, in order to economically tap those reserves for chemical use, the state needed to develop environmentally sustainable technologies, he said.

Saxony-Anhalt is home to a number of chemical production sites, including Leuna, Schkopau, Bitterfeld-Wolfen and Zeitz Piesteritz. The industry employs almost 15,000 people in the state.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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