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SABIC setting its sights on the electrification of ethylene production

SABIC has signed an agreement with Coolbrook to assess Coolbrook’s Roto Dynamic Reactor (RDR) technology in support of decarbonizing ethylene production.

SABIC is committed to achieving its stated decarbonization ambitions – 20% reduction by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050 – and in supporting customers in achieving their own decarbonization ambitions.  This new collaboration is one of SABIC’s many active programs aimed at reducing, and ultimately eliminating, the CO2 emissions from manufacturing facilities as well as supporting customers on their energy transition journeys.  One very promising option is the electrification of steam cracking plants, which in conjunction with the use of renewable power has the potential to reduce the Scope 1 and 2 emissions linked with ethylene and propylene production by over 90%. 

Aruna Subramanian, Managing Director, SABIC Ventures, said, “This reaffirms SABIC’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 through, among many pathways, the electrification of steam crackers. Collaborations with, and support of external innovations, such as Coolbrook’s RDR technology, is a testament to SABIC’s interest in driving our industry and world forward.”

In addition to pressing ahead with the commercialization of near term available electrification technology, SABIC, via SABIC Ventures, its global corporate venturing arm, continues to stimulate the industry ecosystem and invest in a pipeline of early stage technologies with the expectation that some of these, once fully developed, can be commercialized to support SABIC’s and the wider petrochemicals industry’s transition towards carbon neutrality. SABIC believes collaboration and partnership are key to achieving its ambitious climate targets in line with the industry’s growth aspirations.

Joonas Rauramo, CEO of Coolbrook, said: “SABIC is a global leader in petrochemicals, and we have already established a close cooperation relationship in The Netherlands, where both companies have a strong presence. We are confident that together we can have a significant impact on reducing the climate impact from ethylene production here and globally.”

SABIC is already working with partners BASF and Linde to develop and commercialize technological solutions to the challenges associated with electrically powered steam cracking and anticipates the commissioning of the world’s-first commercial-demonstration scale electrically powered cracking facility later in 2023.  Furthermore, SABIC has selected cracker electrification with the SABIC-BASF-Linde technology for inclusion in its 1st Adopter Program with the ambition for having a full commercial-scale electrical cracking furnace in operation at one of its manufacturing facilities within the next several years.  

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