China (Mainland)

Energy Efficiency and Environmental Protection

Ethylene Unit at BASF-YPC Company Limited

An operator conducts a routine inspection at BASF Nanjing Verbund site. Production plants are linked together via a network of pipelines. This saves costs and increases energy efficiency.

As an energy-intensive company, we are committed to energy efficiency and global climate protection. We want to reduce emissions along the value chain and ensure high efficiency by employing advanced technologies and processes, and constantly upgrading our facilities.

Energy

  • Stable energy consumption
  • Measures to improve energy efficiency

 

In 2018, total energy consumption of BASF sites in Greater China remained relatively stable. Electricity consumption totaled 711,766 MWh (2017: 706,897 MWh), and steam consumption totaled 3,168,231 metric tons (2017: 3,272,701 metric tons). Fuel consumption for central energy supply totaled 974,394 MWh (2017: 892,587 MWh).

In 2018, many sites in Greater China took efforts to save energy. For example, one site in Shanghai set up a new absorption refrigerator to drive the cooling system, using heat recovered from low-pressure steam. As a result, both electricity and steam were saved. One site in Shanghai optimized the utility consumption during shutdown and startup. Another site in Shanghai used condensate to heat water in a raw materials tank farm, thus saving steam consumption. Several sites in Jiangsu and Shanghai replaced or optimized motors and pumps which had a high energy demand. A site in Jilin improved its distillation tower. Several sites in Shanghai and Shenyang optimized their steam pipelines and steam supply systems.

In Greater China, BASF continuously reduces carbon emissions through energy optimization, advanced technology and improvements in the production process. Six sites in Shanghai have been actively participating in the local pilot carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS). We also work closely with industry associations such as the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation and the Association of International Chemical Manufacturers in preparing for the national ETS and conducting dialogs with relevant authorities.

BASF has set the goal of introducing certified energy management systems (DIN EN ISO 50001) at all relevant production sites by 2020. Since 2016, several sites in Greater China have been ISO 50001 certified. All energy efficiency measures are recorded in a global database, available as best practices for all our sites worldwide.

Emissions to air

  • Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Slight increase in emissions to air

Two operators inspect the off-gas emission point (the orange pipe). The gas has been treated within the facility before being released at this point.

In 2018, emissions of greenhouse gases from BASF’s chemical operations in Greater China decreased to 1.129 million metric tons (2017: 1.193 million metric tons). To reduce green gas emissions, several sites saved energy consumption via process optimization such as reusing and recycling waste heat from condensation or adjustments of the dryer temperature. Some sites also plan for further projects including the efficiency improvement of de-N2O catalyst and high energy consumption systems upgrade.

Aside from greenhouse gas emissions, BASF also measures emissions of other air pollutants, including inorganic compounds such as carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and ammonia as well as dust or non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC). In 2018, absolute emissions of air pollutants from BASF’s chemical operations in Greater China totaled 328 metric tons (2017: 306 metric tons). The increase mainly resulted from the expansion of production at several sites, For example, the startup of a new production facility at one site in Shanghai created more tail gas emissions. Some other sites in Shanghai and Jiangsu Province also reported higher emissions due to new production lines or process adjustments.

However, in 2018 several sites upgraded non-methane volatile organic compound (NMVOC) treatment facilities, in order to meet the increasingly stringent VOC emission standards in China. Some sites in Shanghai and Jiangsu Province installed online monitoring facilities and set internal alarms to avoid any potential emissions beyond the limit. Several sites in Guangdong, Jilin and Xinjiang conducted a Leakage Detection and Repair (LDAR) program for fugitive NMVOC emissions, resulting in significant emission reductions. 

Water

  • Sustainable water management with mandatory protection plans
  • Stable emissions of water pollutants
  • Using water responsibly

 

Water is of fundamental importance in chemical production. It is used as a coolant, solvent and cleaning agent, as well as to make our products. BASF is committed to responsible use along the entire value chain and especially in its production sites’ water catchment areas. Therefore, we have set ourselves a global goal for sustainable water management.

We aim to use water as sparingly as possible and further reduce emissions to water. To do so, we have set out a Group directive with globally applicable standards. BASF sites in Greater China follows the Group directive and are implementing related measures. A total of 16 BASF sites in water stressed areas in Greater China have completed the European Water Stewardship project until 2018, and one more site is scheduled in 2019.

Wastewater treatment station at BASF Shanghai Pudong Innovation Park

To avoid unanticipated emissions and pollution of surface or groundwater, we have developed water protection strategies for each production site, as a mandatory part of the global Responsible Care® initiative. The wastewater protection plans involve evaluating wastewater in terms of risk and drawing up suitable monitoring approaches. We use audits to check if these measures are being implemented and complied with.

Wastewater risk assessment helps to identify potential risks of unexpected wastewater emissions. In 2018, an online monitoring system for wastewater was introduced in several sites in Greater China to record relevant pollutants in a timelier manner.

In 2018, we were able to maintain the low amount of emissions of water pollutants that was achieved in 2017. Emissions of organic substances (COD) totaled 120 metric tons (2017: 120 metric tons). Nitrogen emissions were at 11 metric tons (2017: 10 metric tons), and heavy metals emissions decreased to 0.03 metric tons (2017: 0.1 metric tons). In 2018, one site in Shanghai increased the efficiency of COD removal by separating wastewater based on the concentration. Another site in Zhejiang Province achieved COD reduction through wastewater recycling.

In 2018, BASF used 8.6 million cubic meters of water in Greater China (2017: 8.1 million cubic meters). The increase of water use mainly resulted from the expansion of production facilities in 2018, as well as the ongoing projects in Jiangsu and Shanghai. Meanwhile, several sites in Greater China carried out water-saving measures. For example, one site in Shanghai upgraded its water supply pipe system to avoid potential leakage. Several sites reused wastewater from the scrubber tower, chilling tower or steam condensate.

We predominantly use water for cooling purposes, after which we recirculate it back to our supply sources. Water for cooling at BASF’s Greater China sites amounted to 521 million cubic meters in 2018 (2017: 498 million cubic meters). The slight increase mainly resulted from opening a new plant in Shanghai. Meanwhile, one site in Guangdong optimized its production process to reduce the running time of its cooling system, thus decreasing cooling water consumption. 

Waste

  • Slight increase in waste volume
  • Audits on external waste management companies

 

BASF aims to avoid waste as far as possible. If waste is unavoidable, we review the options for recycling or energy recovery to close materials cycles using BASF’s existing Verbund structures for efficient waste management. Waste generated from our chemical operations in Greater China totaled 87,352 metric tons in 2018 (2017: 83,006 metric tons), while the recovery rate was 65% (2017: 67%). One site in Guangdong upgraded its sludge press filter to reduce water content in residues and to decrease the amount of hazardous waste. Another site in Shanghai reduced waste generation through process optimization and a facility upgrade.

Meanwhile, we regularly audit external waste management companies, ensuring in particular that our hazardous waste is properly disposed of. Since 2013, we have closely monitored soil and groundwater status at our sites in Greater China and documented the information in a global database.