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EU funding for the world’s largest CCS project in Flanders

Ambitious funding for an ambitious project! French industrial gas leader Air Liquide and German chemical giant BASF are planning to develop the world’s largest cross-border Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) value chain. Where? In Antwerp, Flanders! The aim is to greatly reduce carbon emissions within the chemical cluster of the Port of Antwerp. Going by the name of ‘Kairos@C’, the joint project has now been selected as one of seven large-scale projects that will receive funding from the Innovation Fund of the European Commission. 

Toward climate neutrality

Kairos@C will be jointly implemented by Air Liquide and BASF at their Flanders-based chemical site in Antwerp. By cutting 14.2 million tons of CO₂ emissions in its first 10 years of operation, the future-minded project will make a significant contribution to the European goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050. 

Scheduled to become operational in 2025, the project will combine CO₂ capture, liquefaction, transport and storage on a large scale in the North Sea. In addition, it will include several innovative technologies. For example, CO₂ from production facilities will be captured by Air Liquide’s patented Cryocap™ technology, while BASF will use its Sorbead® solution for drying CO₂. 

We are pleased that the Kairos@C project was selected by the Innovation Fund and will contribute to the European climate objectives thanks to some innovative Air Liquide technologies. Air Liquide and BASF have had a strategic partnership at the Port of Antwerp for over 50 years, and this groundbreaking project will mark the start of a new chapter in our collaboration towards a more sustainable industry.

Benoît Potier
Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide

Given our excellent location at the Port of Antwerp, with direct access to the sea, CCS technology is an attractive solution for reducing carbon emissions from industrial-scale production processes within a relatively short time frame. I have no doubt that Kairos@C will be another important step towards climate neutrality.

Martin Brudermüller
Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF

Looking at the broader picture

What’s more, Kairos@C is the first step towards the realization of a much more extensive CO₂ capture operation. As such, part of the initiative is to investigate if other players at the Port of Antwerp – from refineries to chemical firms – could roll out similar processes. This broader ‘Antwerp@C’ project could neutralize a large part of the 18 million tons of CO₂ emitted in the port area annually. 

This ambition fits in perfectly with the green transformation plan that the soon-to-be-unified Port of Antwerp-Bruges is developing. If companies such as Borealis, ExxonMobil, INEOS and TotalEnergies decide to participate alongside Air Liquide and BASF, the total project will require an investment of around EUR 3 billion.

Climate Tech ecosystem

While its large scale is impressive and bound to be followed with great interest by industrial clusters around the globe, Kairos@C isn’t the only example of climate neutral goals taking the lead in Flanders. In fact, the region is home to a cutting-edge business and R&D ecosystem dedicated to climate technology. Meanwhile, Flanders’ leading chemical industry has been focusing on sustainable projects for years, powered by spearhead cluster Catalisti, among other innovative organizations. 

Discover more about environmental tech and sustainability in Flanders. 

More info

Reported by
newspaper De Tijd, website BASF
7 April 2022

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