DUBAI: SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co., a Saudi Basic Industries Corp. subsidiary, has gained the world’s first independent certification for blue hydrogen and ammonia production, said a senior company official.
TÜV Rheinland, leading independent testing, inspection, and certification agency based in Germany, has certified the blue hydrogen and ammonia production facilities of SABIC AN and Saudi Arabian Oil Co.
It recognized SABIC’s Jubail facility for producing 37,800 tons of blue ammonia and Aramco’s wholly owned refinery in the same city, known as SASREF, for 8,075 tons of blue hydrogen.
Commenting on the certification, SABIC’s executive vice president of sustainability, technology and innovation, Bob Maughon, told Arab News that people will “see more examples of that from us to come.”
The chemical giant is on a path to ensure that it reduces its carbon neutrality by 20 percent compared to its 2018 baseline.
The company is also well on track to achieve net-zero for scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050, said Maughon on the sidelines of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association Research and Innovation Conference in Dubai.
The US Environmental Protection Agency defines scope 1 emissions as direct greenhouse gas emissions from sources owned by an organization.
Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHG emissions from purchased electricity, steam, heat or cooling.
SABIC currently emits approximately 53 million tons to 55 million tons of carbon per year, including scopes 1 and 2, he said.
These figures are well aligned with the Vision 2030 blueprint, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 278 million tons per year by 2030, added Maughon.
Besides reducing carbon emissions and producing blue hydrogen, SABIC supports the transition to electric power and helps meet global climate change goals.
Maughon, who is also the chief technology and sustainability officer of SABIC, said the company recently launched the Bluehero initiative that focuses on solutions for the broader electrification market and electric vehicles.
The initiative supports the automotive industry’s mission to create better, safer and more efficient EVs, optimizing structural battery components with flame-retardant materials.
He said that materials for “lightweighting” EVs, encapsulating batteries and many other solutions, are being developed by the company to improve fuel efficiency and performance.
Several major brands worldwide have announced that they will deprioritize investments in internal combustion engines and make significant investments in preparing for the conversion to EVs, according to Maughon.
As a result, he believes SABIC will benefit greatly from these lightweight trends with its differentiated material portfolio, which is crucial for reducing battery demand and increasing car range.
Maughon said that SABIC is investing significantly in research around low-carbon processes and circular plastic.
Earlier this month, it joined hands with European companies BASF and Linde to start the construction of the world’s first pilot plant for large-scale electrically heated steam cracker furnaces in Germany.
The new technology uses electricity from renewable sources instead of natural gas, which allows it to reduce carbon emissions of one of the most energy-intensive production processes in the chemical industry by up to 90 percent compared to technologies commonly used today.
The demonstration plant, scheduled to be launched in 2023, will be fully integrated into one of the existing steam crackers at BASF’s Verbund site in Germany’s Ludwigshafen city.
SABIC and BASF will handle the investment, and BASF will operate the plant. On the other hand, Linde will oversee the project’s engineering, procurement, and construction and will commercialize the developed technologies in the future.
The project has been granted €14.8 million ($14.7 million) by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action to help overcome challenges caused by global conditions and energy costs.
With the new technology, BASF, SABIC, and Linde aim to develop full-scale commercial production plants “that can achieve significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, compared with today’s technology.”