AkzoNobel goes full steam ahead to slash CO2 emissions

Chemical giant AkzoNobel has announced a new deal to purchase sustainably-generated steam that will reduce its carbon emissions by more than 100,000 tonnes a year.

The Dutch company has signed a 12-year deal with Eneco, which will commence in December 2016, to purchase steam from Eneco’s recently-retrofitted biomass facility in Delfzijl Chemical Park, in which AkzoNobel operates.

The steam will be used to power AzkoNobel’s salt factory within the Chemical Park, as well as the operations of neighbouring customers. 

AkzoNobel says the deal will allow the company to cut emissions equivalent to what is produced by 12,500 households each year.

Knut Schwalenberg, managing director of AkzoNobel’s Delfzijl activities, said: “Together we are taking a big step forward in making the chemical sector more sustainable. Competitively-priced renewable steam can play an important role in future-proofing the chemical sector. It will also mean a significant reduction in our CO2 footprint, which is a key element of our Planet Possible sustainability strategy of doing more with less.”

Eneco recently received a green light to retrofit the Bio Golden Raand biomass facility to produce steam in addition to electricity. As part of this new partnership, AkzoNobel will invest in infrastructure at the Delfzijl chemical plant.

The company will supply the neighbouring customers with any excess steam by using Groningen Seaports distribution pipelines to transport the steam to other interested parties.

Eneco’s managing director of solar, bio, hydro and strategic assets said: “We are taking a big leap in terms of sustainability. By taking the same amount of biomass, which amounts to around 300,000 tons of wood chips made from reclaimed wood, we will be able to produce double the amount of renewable energy.”

Green gains

The announcement comes on the back of a double boost for the AkzoNobel. The chemicals company has been shortlisted in the Employee Engagement and Behaviour Change category for edie’s very own Sustainability Leaders Awards.

AkzoNobel also leads the material sector in the 2015 edition of the influential Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), which the company has since claimed will generate even more momentum for its sustainability plan.

Anders Österlund, director of energy, AkzoNobel recently wrote a guest blog for edie highlighting the company’s flexibility to manage a mix of energy sources.

Matt Mace

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