SABIC Polycarbonate Plant Will Run On 100% Renewable Power

Aug. 4, 2020
Planned to be fully operational in 2024, the 100MW PV solar plant will help SABIC reach its 2025 clean energy targets.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation’s (SABIC’s) polycarbonate facility in Cartagena, Spain, is reportedly set to become the world’s first large-scale chemical production site to run entirely on renewable power, following the signing of a major agreement. The deal will see electric utility company Iberdrola invest almost €70m to construct a 100MW solar PV facility with 263,000 panels on land owned by SABIC. This, says the company, will make it the largest industrial renewable power plant in Europe. The plant is expected to be fully operational in 2024.

The 25-year deal represents another milestone in SABIC’s journey to transition all its global operations to cleaner energy, according to the company. SABIC’s ambition is to have 4GW of either wind or solar energy installed for its sites globally by 2025, rising to 12GW by 2030. In 2019, solar panels were installed at SABIC sites in India and Thailand, reportedly helping reduce greenhouse emissions by 200 tons. SABIC’s Home of Innovation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has been completely solar-powered since 2015, according to the company.

“In recent years, the many breakthroughs in renewable energy technology have made deployment at this kind of scale possible. Our commitment to technology and innovation means we will always be early adopters, and we are optimally positioned to undertake this transformation right now,” says Bob Maughon, evp sustainability, technology and innovation and CTO and CSO at SABIC. “The new PV plant will deliver an 80kt annual reduction in indirect CO2 emissions, and furthers strengthens our support and contribution to wider climate change initiatives like EU 2030 and our alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Once the solar plant comes on line, SABIC’s customers, including those in the automotive and construction sectors, will have access to polycarbonate solutions produced with 100% renewable power, further responding to customer and consumer demands for more sustainable offerings in an increasingly carbon-neutral world, according to the company. Plans are also underway to install PV technology at SABIC’s global HQ in Riyadh. A final-stage feasibility study to explore a $300m, 300-megawatt solar array project on the western coast of Saudi Arabia with Marafiq and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu is underway. Once complete, SABIC will reportedly deliver electricity generated by the plant to local chemicals manufacturing plants.

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