BASF, Air Liquide CCS project in Antwerp granted EU funding

Author: Jonathan Lopez


MADRID (ICIS)--BASF and Air Liquide are to receive EU funding for a carbon capture and storage (CCS) joint project at the petrochemicals hub of Antwerp, the two companies said on Monday.

The German chemicals major and the French industrial gases producer said the project would be “the world’s largest cross-border” CCS value chain.

Start-up is expected in 2025, and during the project’s 10 years of operations, it would capture and store 14.2m tonnes of CO2, halving emissions at BASF’s Antwerp site, the companies said.

The project, called Kairos@C, will receive a grant from the EU’s European Innovation Fund, although financial details were not disclosed.

BASF and Air Liquide had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.

The EU said the large-scale CO2 capture layout project would be a “first-of-its-kind multi-feed scheme”, which would optimise and integrate CO2 capture and purification from five different BASF production units in Antwerp.

The five facilities under the project would be two hydrogen plants, two ethylene oxide (OE) plants, and one ammonia plant.

“Kairos@C will use the services of the Antwerp@C consortium, which is developing a multi-modal infrastructure to transport CO2 to multiple permanent storage sites around the North Sea. A first-of-its-kind energy efficient liquefaction technology will be deployed,” said the EU.

“First-of-its-kind liquid CO2 vessels will be engineered and constructed in the project timeframe for transport to the storage sites. The CO2 storage will take place in storage sites in the North Sea (Norway, the Netherlands and/or in the UK).”

The European Innovation Fund promotes innovative low-carbon technologies to decarbonise the EU’s economy; receiving its funding is an “essential milestone in making a final investment decision [FID]” and starting up the project, BASF and Air Liquide said.

The EU’s Green Deal aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement targets to slow down the pace of global warming.

“Besides combining CO2 capture, liquefaction, transportation, and storage on a large scale in the North Sea, the project includes several innovative technologies,” said the companies.

“Notably, for capturing the CO2 from production plants … The project will also be connected to shared CO2 transport and export infrastructures, including a first-of-its-kind CO2 liquefaction and export terminal.”

BASF’s CEO, Martin Brudermuller, reiterated the company’s aim to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25% by 2030, compared with 2018, and achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

“Especially for BASF’s Verbund site in Antwerp, due to its prime location in the Port of Antwerp with direct sea access, CCS is an attractive solution to reduce CO2 emissions from production processes on an industrial scale within a relatively short timeframe,” added Brudermuller.