Dow has announced plans to build the world’s first net-zero carbon emissions integrated ethylene cracker and derivatives site.

The project will triple Dow’s ethylene and polyethylene capacity from its Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. site, while retrofitting the site to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. It will expand the company’s capacity to produce ethylene, polyethylene, and derivatives manufactured across Alberta.

The company says that the production process at Fort Saskatchewan will convert cracker off-gas into hydrogen as a clean fuel to be used in the production process, and carbon dioxide that would be captured onsite to be transported and stored by adjacent third-party carbon dioxide infrastructure. Dow says they selected the Fort Saskatchewan site for this investment as the region offers a highly competitive energy and feedstocks position.

The company expects to allocate approximately $1 billion, equivalent to approximately a third of its depreciation and amortization levels, to “decarbonize” its global asset based in a phased, site-by-site approach, it says.

“Today’s announcement is good news both for our traditional energy sector and for diversification, says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. “Major petrochemical projects like this create long-term additional demand for Alberta natural gas, which in turn will create jobs in the exploration and service sectors. At the same time, this expanded polyethylene and ethylene derivative plant will further diversify our economy and increase global exports. And with Dow’s commitment to net-zero production, this project will highlight Alberta’s growing reputation as a hub for low emissions industrial technology.”

The investment also aligns with Dow’s broader targets to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, to eliminate plastic waste in the environment and increase its positive impacts on customers, business and society.  It also supports Dow’s commitment to reduce its net annual carbon emissions by an additional 15 per cent, reducing net annual carbon emissions by approximately 30 per cent by 2030 (since 2005).

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