BASF highlights progress toward transforming its Ludwigshafen site a it completes demonstration-scale electrically heated steam cracker furnaces; project is a partnership with SABIC and Linde, financed by EU through the NextGenerationEU fund

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September 12, 2023 (press release) –


Final steps in the construction of the demonstration plant for electrically heated steam crackers

The tension rose – in the truest sense of the word – as the team at our construction site for electrically heated steam cracker furnaces installed the last transformers at the demonstration plant. This is one of the final and most crucial steps before the planned completion and took place about a year after construction started. The electricity-based heating concepts for olefin production, which will be tested at the plant in the future, require a total of six megawatts of renewable energy. The transformers convert current to the voltage required at the plant. There are nine transformers in total, and through each of them flows several thousand amps of current. Thanks to the novel heating concepts, electric steam cracker furnaces can potentially reduce CO2 emissions by at least 90 percent compared to conventional technologies. This is a milestone towards electrifying one of the most energy-intensive production processes in the chemical industry and towards the transformation at BASF’s Ludwigshafen site.

BASF, SABIC, and Linde are jointly undertaking the project of building the world’s first electrically heated steam cracker furnaces. Operation of the plant will take place at the Ludwigshafen site. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2023. Followed by a stepwise commissioning. The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection is sponsoring the project with 14.8 million euros as part of the “Decarbonization of Industry” funding program. In addition, the project is being financed by the European Union through the "NextGenerationEU" fund.


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