- Circular economy at Chemelot Limburg
RWE Generation is developing a project to produce hydrogen by using waste stream at industrial park Chemelot in the province of Limburg in the Netherlands. The FUREC project - Fuse Reuse Recycle - will produce hydrogen for the chemical industry and help to make their production processes more sustainable. Waste streams, such as Limburg's residual waste, serve as a substitute for natural gas in the production of hydrogen. The project contributes to the ambition of the local business community, educational facilities and the province to develop Limburg into a circular hub. Furthermore, it aims at setting up a hydrogen link between the Dutch seaports and the German Ruhr area.
The FUREC project plans to transform residual waste into raw material pellets, which are then converted into hydrogen at industrial park Chemelot. This process will reduce the use of natural gas at Chemelot by more than 200 million m3 per year. This is comparable to the annual gas demand of approximately 140,000 households and results in a CO2 reduction of 380,000 tonnes per year. The CO2 released during the production of hydrogen can be either captured and stored or used as a raw material in the future. In addition to local sales at Chemelot, the hydrogen can eventually be transported to industry in Rotterdam and the German Ruhr area.
Ruud Burlet, Provincial Executive of Limburg (Circular Economy, Sustainability, Environment): „This innovative hydrogen project from RWE and Chemelot contributes significantly to our ambition: making Limburg a role model when it comes to the transition to a sustainable future. With the Chemelot Circular Hub, we want to become the first real circular hub in Europe, where sustainable materials and products that people and society are waiting for are developed with the help of green chemistry. There is no such thing as unusable waste. With this revamped chemical industry, we are turning the sustainability transition into a new economic engine for the region.”
Loek Radix, CEO of Chemelot: „Just like Chemelot, RWE attaches great importance to circularity and innovation. The fact that RWE has chosen to produce circular hydrogen at Chemelot makes me enormously proud and is a great compliment to the way in which Chemelot is positioned. This new collaboration fits in perfectly with Chemelot's and the region's ambition to become the first circular hub in Europe.”
In the coming period, RWE will further develop the project and start the necessary licensing procedures. The company aims to make a final investment decision in 2022. Discussions on the further details of the project are currently underway. RWE is also looking at Sustainable Multifunctional Business Park Zevenellen (gemeente Leudal) as possible location for converting the waste streams in a closed system into raw materials pellets. RWE is discussing the possible future sale of hydrogen with OCI N.V., which has a production plant at Chemelot. Hydrogen would enable the company to make its production chain more sustainable and contribute to circular food production. The FUREC project is a new and important step in the development and acceleration of the transition to a circular economy in the province and the creation of a sustainable value chain.