Sitech Services, TNO, Maastricht University and Brightlands Chemelot negotiate a declaration of intent to set up a center to boost the sustainability of the European process industry

26 october 2018|News

In order for the process industry to meet the climate objectives for the future, as well as a transition to different energy sources, a complete greening of business processes is required. The establishment of this center will add impetus to the development and application of technologies that can be used to achieve the sustainability and safety targets set out by the European process industry. All this is to be achieved on a commercial scale and will be in line with the climate statement and energy transition, tying in closely with the ambitions of the Dutch government and the Province of Limburg.

Contributing to a sustainable future
The chemical industry still makes extensive use of fossil fuels and energy carriers, with the associated CO2 emissions. The center, under the preliminary working title Brightlands Sustainable Technology Center (BSTC) will make a significant contribution to the energy transition of this sector, aiming at  making it climate-neutral. This is a strong statement and will require a great deal of knowledge of sustainable processes, which are brought together in the BSTC and are used to develop and scale up promising technologies.

Robert Claassen (Director Chemelot):
“We are especially pleased that organizations with such a wealth of knowledge and expertise, such as Sitech, TNO and Maastricht University, are working together at the BSTC, at the heart of the knowledge ecosystem based at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. Technology development is crucial for a sustainable chemical sector. With the BSTC, Chemelot will be in a position to further develop its plan to make Chemelot climate neutral by 2050.”

Joost van den Akker (Deputy of Economy and Knowledge Infrastructure, Province of Limburg):
"This cooperation fits perfectly within the proposal that the Province of Limburg has made to the government. Once again, as Limburg, we show to be among the leading group when it comes to developing high-quality, applicable technology. The establishment of the BSTC is a major step towards making Chemelot the most sustainable, safe and competitive chemical site in Europe. The Province applauds this agreement. We look at how we can contribute to the development of the Center."

Positive impact on employment
The center is situated on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. The cooperating parties will become part of the ecosystem of the campus. By way of the declaration of intent, the parties will provide the people, resources and time needed to develop the BSTC, to involve cross-border parties and to embark upon new projects. This makes the center the unique knowledge base for scaling-up ideas from laboratories and further expanding them after implementation in the production phase. In this way, it supports commercial parties in the process industry in the required transitions in connection with sustainability.

The center is having a positive impact on employment in the region by developing and applying innovative solutions for sustainability of chemical processes and associated process safety. The center is expected to create around 100 highly skilled jobs after 5 years and make a major contribution to maintaining future employment at Chemelot.

The cooperating parties are delighted to have signed the declaration of intent and are looking forward to converting the cooperation into results.

Marc Dassen (CEO Sitech Services): “It’s a great opportunity to integrate our knowledge with that of our partners; in turn, this will increase our joint responsiveness and enable us to achieve results more quickly and across a wider area both in the region and throughout Europe.”

Arnold Stokking (Managing Director Unit Industry TNO): “This is a unique opportunity to develop the available knowledge and new technology for ‘Climate Proof Chemistry’ on an industrially relevant scale and to demonstrate this knowledge and technology to international market players."

Prof. Martin Paul (Chairman of the Board at Maastricht University): “This cooperation doesn’t just deliver new investigation results; these results can also be used for society straight away. Sustainability is high on our agenda, as it is on the social agenda; we see this as a unique opportunity to make a difference.”

Bert Kip (CEO Brightlands Chemelot Campus): "We are delighted that this center is set up and located on the Campus in Sittard-Geleen. In the world of chemistry and materials, digitisation and sustainability are important drivers for innovation and new techniques. The ecosystem of our campus and the many parties associated with it will certainly contribute significantly to the center and vice versa."