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LyondellBasell pursues new electric furnace technology; collaborates with Technip Energies and Chevron Phillips Chemical

| By Mary Bailey

 LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Technip Energies (Paris) and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC (CPChem; The Woodlands, Tex.) to potentially design, construct and operate a demonstration unit using Technip Energies’ electric steam cracking furnace technology (eFurnace by T.EN). A joint development agreement is expected to be signed later this year.

This new eFurnace technology could enable the company to use renewable electricity as a heat source for the olefins cracking process in the future, significantly reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of its olefins production process, and helping the company meet its ambitious climate targets.

The efurnace demonstration unit will be located at LyondellBasell’s site in Channelview, Texas (Source: LyondellBasell)

“We are taking decisive steps to reduce our absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions, while creating solutions for everyday sustainable living,” said Peter Vanacker, CEO of LyondellBasell. “Deployment of an industrial-scale electric cracking furnace is one option we are considering in this space because of its ability to reduce furnace GHG emissions by up to 90% compared to a conventional furnace.”

Construction of the demonstration unit, which would be the first for LyondellBasell, is an essential step in the development of eFurnace technology and a critical pre-condition for potential future construction of a full-scale unit. It will enable the company to test the technology and confirm continuous olefin production is possible using electricity as a heat source.

“We are delighted to team up with LyondellBasell and CPChem to bring the eFurnace by T.EN to fruition,” said Arnaud Pieton, CEO of Technip Energies. “Consistent with our purpose to engineer a much-needed sustainable future, Technip Energies is making huge strides toward reducing the COemissions resulting from the production of ethylene and this design will enable olefins producers to take advantage of the growing supply of available renewable energy to operate the most energy-intensive part of the plant.”

The LyondellBasell Channelview site offers an optimal environment for the demonstration unit due to its operational excellence, feedstock flexibility and electric grid infrastructure, proximity to the other MOU parties and access to expertise at the company’s Houston Technology Center. The three parties plan to assemble a joint development team to support implementation of the project.

“Climate change is a global issue that will take action from all segments of society, and we want to be part of the solution by reducing the intensity of our carbon footprint,” said Bruce Chinn, president and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical. “This project supports our efforts toward lowering the carbon intensity of our operations and demonstrates our continued focus on accelerating change for a sustainable future.

LyondellBasell is committed to reaching net zero scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions by 2050 and has set ambitious interim targets to reduce scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 42%, and scope 3 GHG emissions 30% by 2030, relative to a 2020 baseline. To reach these targets, the company is deploying emissions reduction initiatives at its sites. The company has also announced plans to develop an integrated hub in Houston to support the growth of its circular and low carbon solutions business, which will leverage existing capabilities at its sites in Houston, such as Channelview.