Innovation and infrastructure for successful energy and climate transition  

Posted on 20 Oct 2020

The Flemish, Dutch and German authorities launched a trilateral chemical strategy in 2017. In this strategy, the government, industry, academia and chemical federations are working together on a sustainable vision for the future of the chemical sector. With over 350,000 jobs and a turnover of €180 billion, the chemical industry in Flanders, the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the most important chemical clusters in the world.   

 The trilateral chemicals strategy puts forward two crucial recommendations to better fit energy policy into the objectives of a circular and climate-neutral economy:   

  • the capture of CO2 for storage (CCS, Carbon Capture & Storage) 
  • or reuse as a raw material (CCU, Carbon Capture & Utilization)  


Substantial investments for pipelines  


Pipelines are very important to enable the transition to climate neutrality in terms of infrastructure. The further development of a cross-border and modern pipeline network for the transport of, for example, LPG, propylene, CO2 or hydrogen requires substantial investments and often clashes with complex planning and licensing procedures.  

 That is why eight international chemical companies and the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam have joined forces to further develop the pipeline infrastructure in the region.  

In terms of innovation, the chemical sector provides the essential materials and techniques with which our economy and society can make significant environmental and climate gains. It is a major challenge to invent and test new technologies in a limited period of several decades in order to radically reform industrial production processes and make them more sustainable.  

Three things are essential for this:   

  • Sufficiently high innovation budgets 
  • financial support and public-private investments in high-risk pilot plants and demonstration plants 
  • more innovation potential for start-ups and scale-ups in chemistry.  


This trilateral chemistry strategy will address this major challenge.   



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