The increase in the energy efficiency of our energy supply and production plants is one of BASF’s core competencies. We have achieved continuous progress in past years through the implementation of the unique Verbund concept and process-integrated optimization of our energy use. For us, energy efficiency is the key to combining climate protection, conservation of resources and competitive economic advantages.
Energy is one of the main cost drivers of production. Therefore an efficient energy generation and use of energy in the production is very essential for BASF. The Energy Verbund and combined heat and power plants are of major importance in that respect.
Our Verbund concept which is applied at all major sites makes an important contribution to energy efficiency by linking our production and energy demand. Waste heat from production processes is captured to be used as energy in other production plants. Thanks to the Energy Verbund, BASF saved in 2017 around 19.2 million MWh per year, equal to an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 3.9 million metric tons. More than 45% of the steam consumption of BASF group is covered here by use of excess process heat and of the energetic use of by-products from production. The Verbund is one of our prime strengths in ensuring the efficient use of resources. It therefore offers us a crucial competitive advantage, while also having a positive impact on the environment.
We increasingly use combined heat and power (CHP) plants to generate both electricity and steam. Such cogeneration plants are an extremely effective means of supplying energy and, with an overall fuel efficiency of almost 90 percent, are the front-runners among energy conversion methods suitable for use on an industrial scale. Worldwide our sites are supplied by more than 25 gas turbine plants in combined heat and power mode, the majority of them operated by BASF. By using CHP technology, we are able to meet around 70 percent of BASF’s electricity demand and saved about 12.7 million MWh of fossil fuels in 2017, compared to conventional electricity and steam generation. This corresponds to 2.6 million metric tons worth of prevented carbon emissions.
As a company with a high energy demand, we have been paying attention to the efficient use of energy for decades already. With our comprehensive energy management we continuously analyze, improve and review our energy performance. At a considerable number of production sites globally we have certified energy management systems according ISO 50001 in place. To further enhance the energy efficiency of our production we set ourselves a new energy efficiency goal in 2015. By 2020, we want to have introduced certified energy management systems at all relevant production sites to have finally 90% of our primary energy consumption covered with ISO 50001.
A leaflet on “Energy Management, Energy Efficiency and ISO 50001 at BASF” you can find below. Certificates are available on request.
Our sites require a reliable energy supply at a reasonable price if they are to remain globally competitive. Renewable energies can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and their use is CO2 neutral. We are continuously examining the use of renewable energy sources. In order for renewable energies to take a permanent place in our energy mix, they need to be competitive in terms of costs and supply security and availability.
Our energy management research cluster focuses on the energies of the future. Several products in our portfolio contribute to the development of renewable energy, for example in catalysis and electro-chemistry for fuel cells.