BASF and MAN Energy Solutions form partnership to produce steam from electricity from renewable sources

Latest:BASF and MAN Energy Solutions have entered into a strategic partnership for the construction of an industrial-scale heat pump at the BASF site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The project aims to make an important contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, establishing the use of low-CO2 technologies in chemical production, and reducing natural gas consumption at the site. As a first step, project partners are conducting a feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The planned large heat pump will be able to generate steam from electricity from renewable sources, using waste heat from BASF’s cooling water system as a source of thermal energy. The waste heat from the water will be compressed and the resulting steam will be fed into the plant’s steam network. By integrating the planned heat pump into the site’s production infrastructure, it is possible to generate up to 150 tons/hour of steam, equivalent to a heat output of 120 MW. The project could reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by as much as 390,000 tonnes/year. At the same time, it will make cooling water systems more efficient and less dependent on climate and weather conditions.

Steam is the most important source of energy in the chemical industry. In Ludwigshafen, BASF needs about 20 million tons/year of steam. The plants at this site use most of their production as process steam, for example, for drying products, heating reactors or for distillation. About half of the steam required at the Ludwigshafen site is already produced by recovering heat from the production facility using a low-CO2 process. The remaining roughly 50% of steam demand is met by gas and steam power plants, which emit carbon dioxide in the process of generating electricity.

Martin, Chairman of the Executive Board of BASF AG
Dr Brudermüller said: “In the medium term, we want to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% by 2030. Using technologies such as large heat pumps that already exist and can be scaled to industrial scale brings us closer to this goal. In the cooperation with MAN Energy Solutions, we are combining the expertise of the Verbund site with the know-how required for the technical implementation of such a project. This technology has the potential to pave the way for projects at other BASF plants as well.”

Uwe, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions
Dr. Lauber commented: “We are very much looking forward to the close cooperation with BASF. Space heating and process heating account for around one third of Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions. Together with BASF, we hope to address this important lever with innovative solutions. We believe that our heat pump solutions can make a decisive contribution to a climate-friendly steam supply at the Ludwigshafen site. BASF is a global pioneer in the energy transition of the chemical industry, a model for deploying innovative technologies to protect the planet, and a Great project partner. Both industry and climate protection depend on the innovation that this strong partnership brings.”

Uwe, President, European Integration Base, BASF AG
Dr Liebelt said: “We first need to be open to new technologies in the face of transformation. In Ludwigshafen we are testing and developing a number of technologies and alternative processes to replace fossil fuels –
This includes electricity production from steam. Protecting the climate means not only avoiding greenhouse gas emissions, but also using energy sustainably – an industrial heat pump can do both. In the future, they will be an important part of the sustainable energy infrastructure at the Ludwigshafen site. ”

Through this project, the two partners hope to gain experience in the integration and operation of industrial-scale heat pumps and to pave the way for the standardization and deployment of the technology at other sites. The conclusions from the feasibility study regarding the economic viability, efficiency and competitiveness of the technology will form the basis for the subsequent decision-making process for heat pump construction.

BASF has set itself the goal of achieving net CO2 emissions by 2050. In addition to using renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency in production, new technologies such as the electrification of steam production will help achieve this. Scaling up this climate-friendly process to the industrial level will have a decisive impact on the transition to low-CO2 chemical production.

MAN Energy Solutions has made technological solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry, energy production and shipping at the heart of its future strategy. In addition to technologies to avoid harmful emissions, the company pays particular attention to reducing or compensating for inevitable residual emissions in industry.