Covestro and Lanxess cooperate to produce more sustainable raw materials with reduced CO₂ footprint
Chemical companies Covestro and LANXESS are cooperating to make the energy-intensive production of basic chemicals at their Lower Rhine sites more climate-friendly. LANXESS sources chlorine, caustic soda and hydrogen from Covestro’s ISCC PLUS-certified sites in Leverkusen and Krefeld-Uerdingen. Effective immediately, Covestro will manufacture about one-third of the product volume supplied to LANXESS using energy from hydropower based on certificates of origin.
“On its path to operational climate neutrality in 2035, Covestro is pursuing the goal of completely converting its production to electricity from renewable sources,” says Dr. Klaus Schäfer, Covestro’s Chief Technology Officer. “A particular focus is on the energy-intensive production of basic raw materials. In cooperation with LANXESS, we are using energy in our electrolysis plants in NRW on a pro-rata basis, which will enable us to reduce our reported emissions by up to 120,000 metric tons of CO₂ per year.”
“The joint project with Covestro is an important building block in making our entire value chain climate-neutral. By sourcing raw materials with a reduced CO₂ footprint for these products, we will be able to reduce our indirect emissions by around 120,000 metric tons of CO₂ equivalents annually in the future,” says Dr. Hubert Fink, member of the LANXESS Board of Management. With its Net Zero Value Chain Initiative, the specialty chemicals group plans to eliminate Scope 3 emissions within its upstream and downstream supply chain by 2050. This includes indirect emissions from purchased raw materials, but also in logistics or disposal. For Scope 1 and 2 emissions, the company aims to be climate neutral as early as 2040. “With our program, we are taking the next step towards a climate-neutral product portfolio and thus also supporting our customers, who are increasingly looking for sustainable solutions,” says Fink.
Chlorine, caustic soda and hydrogen are basic building blocks for many products in the chemical industry. However, their production is very energy-intensive. LANXESS uses the raw materials supplied by Covestro for products that then go to the food industry or agriculture, for example.
Covestro produces the three basic raw materials at its North Rhine-Westphalian sites in Leverkusen, Krefeld-Uerdingen and Dormagen. The first two have already been certified to the internationally recognized ISCC PLUS standard for the production of the strategic raw material chlorine, and this is planned for Dormagen in the near future. This certification ensures that the electricity is correctly allocated to the products, and the use of renewable energy is documented by the invalidation of certificates of origin at the German Federal Environment Agency.
Covestro is also actively involved in various projects to build a hydrogen economy that aims to use green hydrogen as an energy carrier. Among other things, the company is supporting the construction of the world’s largest plant for storing renewable hydrogen in liquid organic carriers in cooperation with Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies in Dormagen, Germany.
In terms of energy supply, Covestro relies on power supply agreements (PPAs) for renewable energies or high-quality certificates. Just recently, the company signed PPAs with the Chinese utility CGN New Energy for wind and solar energy, which will cover around 30 percent of the electricity requirements of its important production site in Shanghai. In another project, utility Ørsted is to supply offshore wind energy starting in 2025, which is expected to meet 10 percent of the electricity needs of Covestro’s German sites. ENGIE, Belgium’s largest producer of renewable energy, is providing onshore wind power to meet 45 percent of the electricity needs of Covestro’s site in Antwerp, Belgium.