Partners start financing waste-to-chemistry project in Rotterdam
A consortium of companies comprising Air Liquide, AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, Enerkem and the Port of Rotterdam Authority has signed a development agreement for the initial investments in an advanced waste-to-chemistry plant in Rotterdam. The aim is that this will be the first plant of this type in Europe to offer a sustainable alternative for waste incineration, by converting plastic and mixed waste into new raw materials for industry, Port of Rotterdam said in its press release.
These investments – for detailed engineering, the establishment of a special joint-venture and the conclusion of the licensing procedure – amount to some € 9 million. The consortium is aiming for the project’s final investment decision, estimated at € 200 million, to be taken later this year and has appointed Rabobank as adviser for the financing process.
The project realisation is being supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, which aims to promote new mechanisms and the scale-up of new technologies and, in doing so, stimulate the transition to a low-carbon economy. There is also support from the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Province of South Holland and InnovationQuarter, the regional development agency.
The plant will be able to process 360,000 tonnes of waste into 220,000 tonnes or 270 million litres of ‘green’ methanol. This is more than the total annual waste from 700,000 households and reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 300,000 tonnes.
The plant is being realised in Port of Rotterdam’s Botlek area, using exclusive technology from Canadian company Enerkem. Non-recyclable mixed waste, including plastic, will first be processed into synthetic gas and then into clean methanol for the chemical industry and the transport sector. Currently, methanol is usually produced from natural gas or coal. The plant will be equipped with two production lines. This is double the capacity of the large-scale Enerkem plant in Edmonton, Canada.
The Rotterdam plant will benefit from the hypermodern infrastructure at the Port of Rotterdam, and from partnerships with Air Liquide and AkzoNobel for the supply of the required oxygen and hydrogen. AkzoNobel is also a consumer of the ‘green’ methanol.