EEPC Break-out sessions' abstracts on
Challenges and opportunities for the Industry
Thursday 22 and Friday 23 October 2020
1 - From CO2 Reduction to Carbon Neutrality of Ethylene Crackers
facilitated by Gunther Kracker (Linde), Philip de Smedt (Cefic)
Contribution: Jens Becker (LyondellBasell), Matthias Bilawa (McDermott), Gabor Toth (MOL), Henk Hagen (Dow)
One of major topics in the EU Green Deal is the ambition of the EU to become carbon neutral in 2050, while still maintaining a strong industrial activity in Europe.
Ethylene crackers are highly energy intensive and are responsible for over 1 % of the industrial GHG emissions of the EU. Hence, will need to develop their own carbon neutrality strategy to achieve the EU ambition.
In this session, we will discuss the challenges this carbon neutral ambition poses for ethylene crackers. What are technological solutions to significantly reduce carbon emissions, if not eliminate them completely? Solutions available and under development are, among others: cracking of biomass, plastic waste recycling, electrification, CCS/CCSU and new technologies to make olefins such as CO2 chemistry.
Another flagship project fitting under the green deal is the development of a hydrogen economy. We will discuss to what extent ethylene crackers can contribute or rely on this hydrogen economy.
We will also discuss how the process to develop the carbon neutrality roadmap is handled in your company and whether and to what extent you are involved in this development.
Remark: In view of anti-competition rules, discussion will be limited to what is known in the public domain. However, participants to the breakout session will be invited to share their thoughts on the potential for our industry to become carbon neutral and the challenges that will need to be surmounted.
2 - Improvements in Flare Gas Reduction
facilitated by Paul Broekaart (ex-Chair EEPC), Javier Rubio (Dow)
Contribution: Laurent Lemineur (Total), Frans van de Laar (BASF), Andre Vilelas (Repsol)
Flare systems are an essential part of Olefin plants. Plants have ranging fractions of flare losses in order to ascertain safe operation of these plants.
As these essential flare systems burn the flared hydrocarbon losses, it is in that perspective a source of CO2. In this breakout group, we will focus on how plant operations and technologies can be utilised to mitigate the amount of flare losses. We will also focus on flare losses during normal operation, during different plant upsets and flare losses as a consequence of shutting down and starting uo plants as part of cracker turnarounds.
3 - Best Practices on How to Minimize Flaring Impact on the Community
facilitated by Rombout Keldermans (BASF), Martin Harvey (Sabic)
Contribution: Veerle Geers (Total), Fabrizio Lucchese (Versalis), Claire Black (Ineos)
The future is green and noticeable flaring does not fit into this picture. Avoid flaring or at least minimize impact of flaring, e.g. by reducing the visibility of flaring, plays an important role in our “license to operate” strategy.
In this breakout session we’d like to reflect upon ideas and good practices to avoid flaring or minimize the impact of flaring on our neighboring communities.
For new projects, we could think about changing the flaring concept to a concept with less or no impact on the neighborhood (e.g. flare gas recovery concepts, ground flare, flareless start-up,…), but there is a lot we can do on the technical and organizational level to cope with flaring impact in existing units as well.
Following topics may be discussed during our breakout session:
- Technology improvements to avoid flaring by avoiding upsets, avoid or minimize flaring during (scheduled) shutdowns or startups, and improved quality of burning at the flare tips, while reducing sound and light impact in the surroundings.
- Our "know-how" on the organizational level, becoming "of the essence" to improve awareness and stimulate further acceptance of exceptional flaring events in our neighboring communities or the wider society.
- How well do we “listen” to the concerns of our neighbors, how do we cope with their ideas for improvement, how do we keep them informed about actions taken?
- How do we organize our emergency response communication in times of upset?
- How do we cope with the pressure and the communication speed required to positively impact the debate on social media?
- How can we "balance" flaring impact with positive initiatives for our neighbors or for society, pointing at our important role to find solutions or create well-being in society?
More questions than answers, but a vital topic for all of us and an opportunity to share best practices and learn from each other, so we are thrilled to welcome you in this workshop on minimizing flaring impact!
4 - Nontoxic Environment and Zero Exposure Including Inspections
facilitated by Pascal Coenen (Shell), Ramesh Rajaram (TechnipFMC)
Contribution: Werner Van Acker (Evonik), Salman Shahid (McDermott), Michael Steindl (Shell)
This interactive break-out session will be centered on exposure to hazardous substances during normal operations, maintenance and inspection in and around steam crackers. Participants will share ideas and experience on how different ways of working that can reduce the number of safety incidents and their exposure potential. New legislation, new ways of working but also a refresher on existing ways of working will be shared and discussed. The team will prepare a few slides to set the mood and initiate the conversation. These will cover common examples such as benzene freeing of equipment, entry of furnaces and PPE requirements, eye protection for regular furnace inspections, etc...