BASF creates renewable energies operation
BASF is bundling its activities in renewable energies under the umbrella of BASF Renewable Energy from the start of 2022. Led by Horatio Evers, this subsidiary will focus on supplying European sites with electricity from renewable energies, electricity trading and global consulting.
“As the leading company in the chemical industry, we are already one of the largest industrial electricity consumers in Europe. Due to the conversion to renewable energy, as well as the launch of new, low-emission production processes based on electricity, our demand will increase significantly in the future,” Evers said.
BASF expects its electricity consumption in Europe to increase from the current level of 9 TWh/year to the point where at least three to four times as much from renewable sources will be needed to reach the net zero goal. To address this, BASF Renewable Energy will initiate new projects to generate renewable energy from its own and partners’s production and will also conclude power purchase agreements (PPAs) with energy producers.
Some PPAs are already in place, such as with Ørsted, where the company has a 25-year contract to purchase 186 MW of capacity from the planned Borkum Riffgrund 3 offshore wind farm in the North Sea. It has also signed a contract with Vattenfall to acquire a 49.5% stake in the Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm with a total capacity of 1.5 GW.
BASF has now also signed a PPA with Engie, under which it will source up to 20.7 terawatt hours of renewable electricity over the 25-year term. This will initially come from onshore wind farms at sites in Spain where Engie acts as an equity investor or energy manager. Later, power may also come from other onshore and offshore wind farms.
Looking more widely, BASF has also created a unit called Net Zero Accelerator to bundle together the activities that are part of its pledge to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25% from 2018 to 2030 and become climate-neutral by 2050. This will focus on “implementing and accelerating projects relating to low-CO2 production technologies, circular economy and renewable energies”.
Net Zero Accelerator will aim to move projects that target the CO2 reduction targets into the implementation phase over the next few years. “By pooling expertise around renewable energies, alternative raw materials and CO2 reduction technologies, BASF will increase the speed of implementation and achieve scaling effects more quickly, thus making an important contribution to climate protection,” the company stated.
From 2030, BASF wants to implement low-emission technologies, such as CO2-free methods for hydrogen production and electrically heated steam crackers. Renewable energies form another field of activity, as do such cross-company projects as methane pyrolysis for the chemical recycling of waste plastics. The new project organisation is based at BASF’s main site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. It will also start operations at the start of 2022, initially with around 80 employees. Unit president Dr Lars Kissau will report directly to executive board chairman Dr Martin Brudermüller.