media release

Akzo Nobel invests NLG 500 million in cogeneration plant, making a major contribution to a better environment

Because of the natural gas reserves in the Netherlands investments have been made for many years in environmentally friendly and sustainable technology for the combined generation of heat and power.

These efforts have given the Netherlands a major lead on other countries and provided an important stimulus for the energy saving programs. A similar development can be seen at Akzo Nobel in the Netherlands: in 2000 more than 80% of the desired efficiency improvements will be accomplished by using cogeneration for industrial processes. Worldwide, Akzo Nobel is making continuous efforts to achieve greater energy efficiency and meet ever stricter environmental requirements. Van Lede: “We have set ‘compliance plus’ targets for Akzo Nobel worldwide, which means that we’re going beyond regulatory requirements.”

Akzo Nobel is also set to participate in the Benchmarking covenant. In this covenant energy-intensive companies give a clear commitment that in 2012 they will be among the world leaders as far as the environmental quality of their products is concerned. Van Lede also wants a commitment on the part of the government: “Cogeneration is an important tool to achieve the targets. Compulsory use of this environmentally friendly electricity via the public grid would be a good example of a stimulating government policy.”

Without a cooperative government policy there is a risk that in a free electricity market the investments in cogeneration plants will become unprofitable. This may well lead to a situation in which modern cogeneration plants will have to be shut down on behalf of obsolete brown-coal-fired power stations. “This would have a detrimental effect on global climate and air pollution policies,” Van Lede said.

The new Delesto 2 plant has been built by a consortium under the supervision of General Electric. It is the first project realized in Europe by this company as a turnkey contractor. Van Lede congratulated the builders on the fact that there were no accidents during the 2000 man-years needed to build the plant: “No one comes to work to get hurt.” He concluded his speech by a word of thanks to the Americans: “We are going to demonstrate that the delivered plant will be the global benchmark and will also serve as a sales window for Europe.”

Key figures Delesto 1+ 2:

Capital investment:

Delesto 1: approx. NLG 450 million (USD 215 million)

Delesto 2: approx. NLG 500 million (USD 240 million)

Annual energy saving: 470 million cubic meters of natural gas (equivalent to consumption of 200,000 households)

Annual CO2 reduction: 1,000,000 metric tons (= 2% of total target for the Netherlands)

Annual NOx reduction: 3,500 metric tons (= 1.5% of total target for the Netherlands)