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The Netherlands and Europe want to reduce CO2 emissions from industry completely by 2050. The Dutch plastics and fertiliser industry, which is concentrated in the southern Netherlands, can make an extremely important contribution to this. The impact of this base chemical industry on the climate is great.
Editorial office / The Hague

Because it supplies basic materials, it also has a major impact on the sustainability profile of many value chains downstream. The economic importance is also great. If we accelerate the necessary greening of base chemicals, we will create a cleaner environment and new jobs.

With this potential as a starting point, the action agenda ‘Green Chemistry, New Economy’ was drawn up, initiated by the Economic Network South Netherlands (ENZuid).

Accelerating the greening

This action agenda focuses on accelerating the greening of the process industry, starting in the southern part of the Netherlands. The ambition is to replace substantial amounts of crude oil with recycled and bio-based raw materials by 2025, in addition to applying processes based on green electricity. By scaling up innovations, the large chemical companies and the supplying SMEs will contribute to the climate objectives and to new employment opportunities.

The action agenda is the starting point for a multi-year programme involving major chemical companies, companies from the manufacturing industry, the agricultural, ICT and recycling sectors, financiers, government authorities, regional development agencies and knowledge institutes.

The action agenda defines 22 actions, clustered in three groups:

  • Cooperation to enable new chains and upscaling of innovations;
  • Developing financing constructions for initiatives;
  • Drafting and implementing new policy measures.

Nine scaling-up initiatives are started, which illustrate many additional initiatives that are already in place or will emerge in the coming years. The first industrial fill-ins are expected to be in place in 2025.

Under the leadership of Arnold Stokking (CEO Brightsite) a coalition has been formed to implement and further develop the action agenda. The participants in this coalition are: SABIC, VDL, Cosun, the Moerdijk Port Authority, Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Chemelot, Brightsite, Smart Delta Resources Foundation, Invest-NL, FME, the Royal VNCI, TNO, Brainport Industries, Brainport Development, Circular Biobased Delta and the regional development agencies, now initially BOM, LIOF, Impuls Zeeland and InnovationQuarter.

The coalition takes ownership of the action agenda and will significantly accelerate the envisaged transition. Moreover, the implementation is supported by the top sectors Chemicals, HTSM, Energy, Agri & Food and TKI-BBE – essential because of the cross-chain character of the action agenda. For instance, the upscaling lessons from the high-tech manufacturing industry will be applied to base chemicals.

Image: ENZuid