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Comment Sustainability

Air Liquide and BASF welcome support from European Innovation Fund for joint CCS project

By Gerald Ondrey |

Air Liquide S.A. (Paris, France) and BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) are planning to develop the world’s largest cross-border carbon capture and storage (CCS) value chain. The goal is to significantly reduce CO2 emissions at the industrial cluster in the port of Antwerp. The joint project Kairos@C has been selected for funding by the European Commission through its Innovation Fund, as one of the seven large-scale projects out of more than 300 applications.

Kairos@C will be jointly developed by Air Liquide and BASF at its Antwerp chemical site. By avoiding 14.2 million tons of CO2 over the first 10 years of operation, it will significantly contribute to the E.U.’s goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050.

Besides combining CO2 capture, liquefaction, transportation and storage on a large scale in the North Sea, the project includes several innovative technologies. Notably, for capturing the CO2 from production plants, Air Liquide will use its patented Cryocap technology and, for drying the CO2, BASF will apply its Sorbead solution. The project is planned to be operational in 2025.

Kairos@C is paving the way for the next phases of carbon abatement in the port of Antwerp. The project will also be connected to shared CO2 transport and export infrastructures, including a first-of-its-kind CO2 liquefaction and export terminal, which will be built under the framework of Antwerp@C, a consortium that aims to halve CO2 emissions in the Port of Antwerp by 2030. Air Liquide and BASF are founding members of Antwerp@C.

Benoît Potier, chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, declared: “In line with its sustainability objectives, which include reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, Air Liquide’s ambition is to contribute actively to the emergence of a low carbon society. Energy transition requires tackling complex projects and joining forces of both public and private sectors to make these projects a reality. We are very pleased that the Kairos@C project has been selected by the Innovation Fund and it will contribute towards the E.U. climate goals, thanks in particular to some innovative Air Liquide technologies. Air Liquide and BASF have been engaged in a strategic partnership in the port of Antwerp for over 50 years and this groundbreaking project opens a new chapter of our cooperation towards developing a more sustainable industry.”

Martin Brudermüller, chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE says: “BASF wants to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25% by 2030 compared with 2018 and achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. To reach these ambitious goals, we must use all available technologies. 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. Therefore, Kairos@C can become another important step on our path to climate neutrality.”

The European Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest programs for promoting innovative low-carbon technologies to decarbonize Europe’s industry. Receiving this funding is an essential milestone in making a final investment decision and starting the execution of this project.

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