Why?

How?

CCS Explained

#1

CO2 Capture

The CO2 is directly captured from 5 different industrial plants operated by Air Liquide and BASF

#2

Open access Antwerp@C CO2 Export Hub

After purification, the captured CO2 is transported to the Antwerp@C CO2 Export Hub, where it will be liquefied for onward shipping & storage

#3

CO2 Shipping & Storage

After liquefying CO2 at the Antwerp@C CO2 Export Hub, it will be transported by ship for secure and permanent storage in appropriate location, whether offshore or onshore

Where?

map

Who?

A joint initiative

Kairos@C is a joint initiative of Air Liquide and BASF, who are joining forces to reduce CO2 emissions on the BASF chemical site in Antwerp. Air Liquide and BASF have been engaged in a strategic partnership in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges for more than 50 years, and this ground-breaking project opens a new chapter of this cooperation towards developing a more sustainable industry.

Financially supported

Kairos@C has received financial support from the European Commission through its Innovation Fund, after a very competitive selection process involving more than 300 applications.

Kairos@C has also received financial support from the Flemish government in relation to the Innovation Fund support.

Accessible to all

Both Air Liquide and BASF are also founding members of Antwerp@C, the consortium developing shared CO2 export infrastructures within the Port of Antwerp-Bruges that would be accessible to all interested emitters.

BASF Antwerp

60 years ago, BASF started a production site in the port of Antwerp. The site has since grown into the largest integrated production site in Belgium and the second largest of the BASF Group worldwide. Every day, more than 3,700 employees in around fifty production plants produce basic building blocks for various products in almost all processing sectors, such as the automotive industry, the construction sector, the production of paper, leather and sporting goods, as well as the textile, food and pharmaceutical sectors. BASF Antwerp’s product range includes basic chemicals and specialty chemicals, plastics and precursors, finishing products and inorganics. Since its pioneering years in Antwerp, BASF has been striving to find the balance between economic, ecological and social needs of society.

Air Liquide

A world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, Air Liquide is present in 73 countries with approximately 67,100 employees and serves more than 3.9 million customers and patients. Oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen are essential small molecules for life, matter, and energy. They embody Air Liquide’s scientific territory and have been at the core of the company’s activities since its creation in 1902. Taking action today while preparing the future is at the heart of Air Liquide’s strategy. With ADVANCE, its strategic plan for 2025, Air Liquide is targeting a global performance, combining financial and extra-financial dimensions. Positioned on new markets, the Group benefits from major assets such as its business model combining resilience and strength, its ability to innovate and its technological expertise. The Group develops solutions contributing to climate and the energy transition—particularly with hydrogen—and takes action to progress in areas of healthcare, digital and high technologies.

Milestones

Why?

Since we are facing a climate urgency, we have to act now. Both Air Liquide and BASF are companies that are committed to reduce their emissions and reach climate neutrality by 2050. Carbon capture and storage is a ready-now solution to reduce the CO₂ emissions of the BASF site in Antwerp due to its prime location in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges with direct sea access. The Kairos@C project, unprecedented by its scale, already represents an important step in the reduction of industrial greenhouse gas emissions in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges.

First, Antwerp is the second largest European port (after Rotterdam) and the largest European chemical cluster. In addition, the BASF site located in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges is the largest integrated chemical production complex in Belgium and a flagship site for the two companies. Its prime location with direct sea access makes it an attractive option for CO₂ carbon capture and export towards the North Sea. Finally, the project will benefit from Air Liquide’s and BASF’s long-lasting strategic partnership in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, which already lasts for more than 50 years.

Kairos@C is a prominent example of a Sustainable Energy Technology (SET) Plan strategy implementation, which looks for clusters and hubs linking a range of carbon and energy intensive industries to increase synergies. The project will support the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in becoming a regional hub for innovative energy and carbon value chains, hence contributing to the EU 2050 carbon neutrality objective. The project will also contribute to maintaining and reinforcing European industry’s global competitiveness, in line with the EU Industrial Strategy.

We do not think renewable energies deployment should be opposed to carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology deployment. They are, on the contrary, complementary solutions. In fact, CCS will allow for the gradual shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies as it provides a rapid solution where there is no cleaner alternative. It is available now and will help us reach long-term targets, especially in hard-to-abate sectors and industries.

CCS should also be seen in the perspective of the development of the hydrogen energy economy, as it could accelerate the production of low-carbon H₂. Indeed, CCS is one of the solutions to produce low-carbon H₂, using our current well mastered and energy efficient natural gas method.

What?

Kairos@C combines three first-of-its-kind innovations, embedded across the project. It is also one of the first cross-border carbon capture and storage chains being deployed for hard-to-abate CO₂ emissions, especially in Europe. On top of this, several elements in the chain have never been performed on such an industrial scale, e.g. Air Liquide’s CryocapTM technology, the energy efficient CO₂ liquefaction and export terminal (ten times the capacity of the largest CO₂ liquefaction unit in operation today) and the liquid CO₂ vessels.

Every single step of the complete carbon capture and storage chain already exists, but not necessarily on the same scale.

The big innovation of Kairos@C is to bring all these elements together and scale them up to an industrial scale.

How?

Monitoring of the greenhouse gas emissions avoidance is a key requirement under the Innovation Fund grant agreement and under the EU ETS monitoring rules. The partners will implement a comprehensive and auditable monitoring plan that will cover the entire carbon capture and storage chain for the duration of the project.

Safety is the utmost priority of all partners, and they will pay extreme attention to this point, before taking any final investment decision.

Carbon capture and storage projects have already been successfully implemented in several regions in the world.

Now Each field and each carbon capture and storage project is different and as such all studies, tests and monitoring procedures need to be conducted with the highest professionalism.

Kairos@C received a grant of 356,9 million euros from the EU Commission Innovation Fund in 2022 for the realization of the project. This grant is necessary to bridge part of the funding gap of carbon capture and storage, which currently comes with a significant additional cost compared to the alternative of continuing business as usual. Kairos@C also received a grant of 10 million euros from the Flemish government.

Decarbonization refers to “alternative ways of living and working that reduce emissions and capture and store carbon in our soil and vegetation”2. The difference between carbon capture and storage and decarbonization is that the former refers to a specific method of reducing CO2 while the latter refers to the whole of the efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. These efforts include CCS, reducing fossil fuel consumption, switching to low-emission technologies, switching to more environmentally friendly consumption, reforestation, etc… CCS therefore contributes to decarbonization of the environment, but is only part of the effort. Countries, companies, and individuals: everyone can and should contribute to decarbonization.

2 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Decarbonization cannot wait, https://unfccc.int/news/decarbonization-cannot-wait

The Port of Antwerp-Bruges is Belgium’s biggest economic hub and one of Europe’s biggest ports. The port is vital for the Belgian and European industry and economy. Due to major industrial and naval activity at the port, it will not be possible to reduce the total amount of CO2 emissions to zero in the short term, unless the port is completely shut down, but this is not a desirable option. Nevertheless, BASF and Air Liquide understand the environmental challenges we are facing and the urgency to reduce global CO2 emissions. This is why BASF and Air Liquide have invested in the Kairos@C project, which uses carbon capture and storage, a ready-now solution to reduce CO2 emissions in the short term.

With this project, BASF and Air Liquide contribute to the European objective of making the EU climate neutral by 2050. The European Parliament defines climate neutrality as “having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere”3. Being climate neutral thus requires absorbing as much CO2 from the atmosphere as one emits into the atmosphere. The Kairos@C project will help avoid the emission of 1,5 Mt of CO2 to the atmosphere per year over the first ten years of operation at the BASF chemical site in Antwerp. This corresponds to a reduction of almost 10% of the total annual CO2 emissions of the Antwerp Industrial Cluster per year. This project is a step forward in Europe’s efforts to become carbon neutral by 2050.

3 European Parliament, What is carbon neutrality and how can it be achieved by 2050?, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/topics/en/article/20190926STO62270/

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the granting authority. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.