Chemical industry takes concrete steps towards energy & feedstock transition

april 13, 2018

The Trilateral Innovation Workshop, today at Brightlands Chemelot Campus, kicked off the energy and feedstock transition for the chemical industry. The workshop was attended by representatives from AkzoNobel, Aramco, ARLANXEO, BASF, Borealis, Cargill, DowDuPont, Royal DSM, Eastman, Evonik, Indaver, LyondellBasell, SABIC, ThyssenKrupp, 3M, and other organizations.

Industry, knowledge institutes, and governments from the Netherlands, the Flemish region, and the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia were represented in this Trilateral Region workshop. In the Trilateral Region the largest chemical cluster of the world is located. Purpose of the workshop was to identify possible supranational collaborations around innovative solutions, in addition to national programs.

During the workshop, eleven themes, including carbon circularity, electrification and (electro) chemical conversion, and Industry 4.0 for digital transformation, were discussed. The themes – introduced by experts from the chemical industry – ensured that all aspects were covered in which generic and local solutions can take shape.

To realize the full potential of innovative technologies, trilateral consortia were set up during the workshop. Since the transition requires a strong supportive legislative framework, solutions were proposed to enhance that.

The initiative for the workshop dates from September 2017, when the Ministries of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands, the Flemish region, and the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia presented in Brussels the joint “Trilateral Strategy for the Chemical Industry”. It was established that an ambitious and costly energy and feedstock transition is required to meet obligations laid down in the Paris Agreement to strongly reduce GHG emissions.

The main objective of the Trilateral Strategy is to become the most competitive and sustainable cluster, where global competitiveness comes hand in hand with meeting global climate demands. Among the key success factors to realize this are technical innovations to enable the energy and feedstock transition, digitization to enhance competitiveness, and framework conditions to enhance innovation and cross border cooperation. Urgency and need for speed are widely felt within the industry, and it is believed that the transition must be realized by the industry.

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