BASF plans 120-MW heat pump to decarbonise Ludwigshafen site

BASF's acetylene plant at the company's site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Image by BASF SE.

July 4 (Renewables Now) - German chemicals giant BASF SE (ETR:BAS) is planning to build a heat pump with a thermal output of 120 MW at its site in Ludwigshafen to generate steam from renewable energy in a bid to reduce the site's natural gas consumption and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

To implement the large-scale project, BASF has agreed a strategic partnership with Augsburg-based MAN Energy Solutions SE.

The partners are now conducting a feasibility study that should be completed by the end of 2022, they said on Friday.

Under the plan, the heat pump will use green power to produce steam, tapping waste heat from the cooling water system at BASF as a source of thermal energy. The steam produced from the residual heat in the water will be fed into the steam network of BASF's Ludwigshafen site, reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by up to 390,000 metric tonnes per year.

The heat pump will be capable of producing up to 150 metric tonnes of steam per hour which is a key source of energy in the chemical sector. In Ludwigshafen, BASF produces half of the required steam of around 20 million metric tonnes per year by recovering heat from its plants. The other half comes from gas and steam power plants.

“In the medium term, we want to reduce our CO2 emissions by 25 percent by 2030. The use of technologies such as large heat pumps, which already exist and can be scaled up to industrial size, brings us a lot closer to this goal," said BASF's chief executive Martin Brudermueller.

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