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Chemelot’s journey to sustainable chemistry

Helping to shape the transition to a climate neutral chemical industry

Due to its size, the chemical industry—in Limburg centred mainly around the Chemelot site in Geleen—can play a key part in achieving the climate targets. The Brightsite Transition Outlook offers an overview of how and when Chemelot’s climate targets can be achieved and what is needed to make this a reality. In this way, Brightsite supports the site users and the investments they are making in the future of Chemelot. The 2030 targets are expected to be largely achieved through measures that have already been identified. However, the target of net zero emissions by 2050 still requires several new solutions.

Download the Brightsite Transition Outlook

This inspiring brochure provides you with more information about how Chemelot is becoming climate neutral.

Download paper

Download the all-in-one infographic

Download the all-in-one infographic for one strong overview of the Dutch climate task and the most important solutions.

Download infographic

Brightsite Connaction Event 2050 Kickstart


July 5 | Brightlands Chemelot Campus Geleen


Remco de Boer

Host | Researcher and publicist, Studio Energie

Focco Vijselaar

Director General for Business and Innovation at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy

Allard Castelein

CEO Port of Rotterdam

Prof. dr. Gert Jan Kramer

Professor of Sustainable Energy Supply Systems at Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and Utrecht University

Carola van der Weijden

Director of the Province of Limburg

Dr. Ir. Colette Alma-Zeestraten MBA

Chair of the innovation working group of the trilateral strategy chemistry and former director VNCI

Loek Radix

Managing Director Chemelot

Jo Peters

Chairman Chemelot Circular Hub

Arnold Stokking

Managing Director Brightsite

Reinier Grimbergen

Principal consultant industry transformation TNO

Information and program

The climate targets for 2050 are clear and the plans are in place. Prime Minister Rutte has even said that we can lead the way in Europe. There is no lack of ambition in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine is turning the energy market upside down, China is lurking on the horizon and the clock is ticking. Now is the time for action. In recent years, COVID-19 has proven that a crisis can lead to a new way of doing things. Under pressure, everything becomes more fluid. Isn’t it about time we had a Climate Management Team to follow in the footsteps of the Outbreak Management Team? Making plans and acting alone is no longer enough. We need intervention. We need to let go of conventions, find connections and join forces to work on the greatest task of our time. We will only lead the way if we actually start the race.  

Taking our cue from the main theme of our recent issue of Brightsite Transition Outlook, ‘What is required to reach the climate targets?’, we connect guests with important pivotal roles in business, knowledge institutions and government. Because we are only able to realise the transition from today’s Chemelot to the first fully circular chemical site in Europe if we work together. Remco de Boer (Researcher and publicist, Studio Energie) approaches the table discussion in his own unique way in search of connection and activation. Loek Radix (Managing Director Chemelot) and Jo Peters (Chairman Chemelot Circular Hub) share opportunities and challenges from the Chemelot site, a significant factor in the Dutch energy transition. We ask Allard Castelein (CEO Port of Rotterdam) not only to share his experiences in Rotterdam, but also how he thinks we can participate in the energy transition as a ‘gateway to Europe’. Colette Alma-Zeestraten MBA (chair of the innovation working group of the trilateral chemistry strategy and former director of VNCI) is responsible for the expansion to a trilateral context. Because transition is not just a matter of chemistry cluster, but can only be achieved in consultation with governments and the environment, we talk to such figures as Focco Vijselaar (Director General for Business and Innovation at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy), Carola van der Weijden (Director of the Province of Limburg), Gert Jan Kramer (Professor of Sustainable Energy Supply Systems Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and Utrecht University) and Reinier Grimbergen (Principal consultant industry transformation TNO).

Specifically, it concerned the following topics:
– Ambitions vs reality: where does Chemelot stand currently?
– The raw materials and energy transitions, including the necessary infrastructure
– Government-led incentives
– Public support

These topics are highlighted from different perspectives and we strive to translate them into concrete collaboration initiatives to accelerate the time take from planning toward realisation.

In short, a stimulating conversation at a special, complete table, led by one of the Netherlands’ best researchers.

Did you miss the event?
Then be sure to watch the livestream on our website. There you also find an impression in photos.

The Brightsite way​

Given our dependency on external factors, it is currently not possible to state with any certainty what is realistically possible at Chemelot after 2030. What we can do is carry out technical and scenario analyses with increasing reliability on the basis of Brightsite’s stimulating and model-based approach. For example, we can assess sensitivity to changes in prices, regulations and availability of renewable raw materials, energy and CO2 emissions. This allows us to identify ‘no-regrets’ options with high potential and low risk, which are therefore the most suitable for development and integration on the Chemelot site of the future. In this way, Brightsite will continually assess the potential economic and social impact of new technologies and translate this into the transition scenarios for Chemelot. If there are positive results with a high potential, Brightsite also works with partners and stakeholders to mobilise the necessary resources to scale up technologies from the laboratory and pilot phase to demo plants. Once this has been done, the approach and outcomes for Chemelot can be translated and extended to comparable industrial sites and linked to other models based on raw materials and energy that have already been developed internationally.

Last but not least, launching specific degree courses and expanding the professorships and infrastructure for experimental research and development at Chemelot will ensure that international talent comes to Limburg to learn and work in order to put all of these opportunities and challenges into practice. Brightsite experts will be happy to tell you more about our approach towards a climate neutral Chemelot. A green chemical industry will be sustainable, innovative and competitive. At Brightsite, we are ideally placed to boost the development and commercial application of innovative technologies that are needed to achieve the climate targets.

Would you like to know more about how Brightsite supports the transition of the chemical industry or would you like to contribute to it? Please contact us.