It is a step towards climate neutrality. LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) and German specialty chemical company, Evonik, signed an agreement to purchase high-pressure steam generated from natural gas. The agreement allows LyondellBasell to phase out coal from its power plant in Wesseling, Germany, by December 2023. The power plant currently produces steam and electricity for all production units on the site. The new agreement reduces the site’s CO2 emissions by approximately 170.000 metric tons per year and connects the two neighboring sites, thus optimizing steam supply and demand and improving energy efficiency for both partners.

“Addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the greatest challenges the world is facing,” says LyondellBasell plant manager Tassilo Bader. “While we will continue to rely on energy to manufacture our products, we are working to reduce our carbon footprint and develop solutions that will advance a low carbon economy. Phasing out coal at our power plant is an important first step.”

The two companies have been working on the strategic partnership with a 10-person project team since April 2019. Evonik Site Manager Dr. Arndt Selbach says: “I am very pleased that we are further expanding the energy alliance with our site neighbor and partner LyondellBasell. With the new agreement, we are expanding cross-site energy integration, enabling better utilization of existing plants, and supporting LyondellBasell in its coal phase-out.”

Projects like these demonstrate the chemical industry is clearly committed to climate protection and thus supports the ambitious goals of the European Union. “Climate protection can only be achieved together within the industry. With our innovative solutions and products, we are making an essential contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases and helping to cut emissions in other areas as well,” adds Selbach. One example from Evonik in Wesseling is the so-called green tire. The silica/silane system from Evonik contributes among other things to lower rolling resistance and reduced fuel consumption. It is produced at the site in the world’s largest silica plant.

Evonik aims to increase the proportion of attractive growth businesses with a focus on sustainability throughout the Group. The specialty chemicals company already generates 35 percent of its sales with products and solutions that are above or even well above market level in terms of their pronounced positive sustainability profile. LyondellBasell is also working to make meaningful progress to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. In addition to addressing climate change, LyondellBasell’s sustainability efforts are focused around additional strategic pillars including ending plastic waste in the environment and advancing a circular economy.

Also at LyondellBasell’s production site in Wesseling, alternative feedstocks derived from renewable raw materials such as vegetable oil waste, and advanced (molecular) recycled plastic waste are being processed into new plastics under the Circulen brand. Substituting fossil-based raw materials with renewable-based feedstocks reduces CO2 emissions over the product life cycle, and the use of advanced recycled plastic waste as a feedstock contributes to reducing plastic waste and advancing a circular economy.

Additionally, LyondellBasell commissioned a pilot plant last year in Ferrara, Italy, to further develop its own advanced (molecular) recycling technology to convert plastic waste into raw materials for the production of new plastics. Research under real-life conditions at the pilot plant will help to further scale-up the technology.

These developments complement LyondellBasell’s activities in the field of mechanical recycling. Our joint venture, Quality Circular Polymers (QCP), produces high-quality polyethylene and polypropylene grades from household waste, which are also marketed under the Circulen brand. These polymers are used, for example, in electrical appliances, detergent bottles and travel cases.

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