OQ Plans Switch to Renewable Electricity

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OQ Chemicals recently announced it would switch to electricity from renewable sources as part of its path to becoming a climate-neutral company. OQ Chemicals’ products that are used in production of lubricants include carboxylic acids, poly alcohols and amines.

Its locations in Monheim am Rhein in Germany; in Houston, Texas, in the United States; and in Amsterdam already use 100% green – or environmentally friendly – power generated from renewable sources, the company said. At its other sites in Germany and the United States, OQ Chemicals will initially use green power certificates – Energy Attribute Certificates or EACs during a transitional phrase. In the medium term, the company said it intends to use only green power at all its locations worldwide. It also plans to examine various options for producing carbon dioxide-neutral energy to secure demand.

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“Up to now, we have generated part of our electricity requirements at the Oberhausen site through natural gas-fired power generation,” Albrecht Schwerin, chief operating officer at OQ Chemicals, said in a press release. “We will initially procure this share as well as the demand for our site in Marl with EACs, and later entirely as green power. The volume corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of 8,000 German private households.

“In a very effective cycle, we generate the remaining electricity as well as steam and heat ourselves in our on-site power plant via highly efficient cogeneration, using waste gases, waste streams, and byproducts generated during production. We feed part of the heat into the Oberhausen district heating network of energy provider Energieversorgung Oberhausen.”

OQ Chemicals CEO Oliver Borgmeier said the switch to green power is a small but effective building block in the company’s global “reduce” program, with which it is aiming for climate neutrality by midcentury. “We work holistically and look at all areas – raw materials, production and the end product,” Borgmeier said. “Achieving climate neutrality will be one of the most important goals for OQ Chemicals in the coming years.”

Plants at OQ Chemicals’ Oberhausen and Marl sites in Germany produce carboxylic acids, which are used for manufacturing energy-efficient lubricant esters for refrigeration units such as air conditioners and refrigerators, among other uses. The Oberhausen site also produces neopentyl glycol, known as NPG, and di-n-butylamine, an amine used in lubricant applications.

Last month OQ Chemicals said it reached a final investment decision to build additional propionic aldehyde capacity as well as infrastructure to support Röhm in constructing a world-scale methyl methacrylate plant at OQ Chemicals’ production site in Bay City, Texas. The compounds can be used to make viscosity modifiers for lubricants, among other applications. Since 2013, OQ Chemicals – formerly Oxea – has been part of OQ, an integrated energy company with roots in Oman.

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