INEOS Inovyn has today announced investment in HELIOS, a 90,000 panel solar farm spanning 30 hectares, to provide renewable electricity exclusively to its site at Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, Belgium.
Through an exclusive power purchase agreement, the solar farm will provide over 57,000 MWh of renewable electricity every year to the INEOS Inovyn site, from 2024. Equivalent to the size of 56 football pitches it will be one of the biggest solar farms in Belgium and ‘the’ biggest ever to be built in the Wallonia region.
HELIOS is expected to produce renewable electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of around 16,000 households in Belgium.
Julien De Meersman, Energy Manager of the INEOS Inovyn site in Jemeppe-sur-Sambre said, “HELIOS will replace around 10% of our electricity requirement at Jemeppe, saving more than 14,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.”
Towards carbon neutrality
HELIOS is part of INEOS Inovyn’s plan to reduce the CO₂ emissions across all its activities by more than 30% by 2030, and net zero by 2050. The plan, which was announced in 2021, will enable INEOS Inovyn to provide its customers with low carbon products and contribute to a more sustainable economy.
“Our roadmap to net zero goes way beyond the use of renewable energy”, said Philippe Taranti, Site Director at INEOS Inovyn in Jemeppe: “We are improving our processes, electrifying our systems and replacing old equipment with much more energy-efficient alternatives. We are also involved in CCS projects which are conducting research into permanent CO₂ storage.”
As Europe’s largest operator of electrolysis which is the technology necessary for the production of green hydrogen, INEOS Inovyn has also announced ambitious plans to invest more than €2bn to produce green hydrogen at INEOS sites in Norway, Koln, Antwerp and UK.
The need for energy savings
“In 2018, energy costs accounted for around 20% of our production costs, today, it represents 40%, which puts energy savings at the top of our priority list,” said Philippe Taranti.
INEOS Inovyn is a leader in the field of chlorovinyls, a sector many industries rely upon. “Our products are used in construction and automotive sectors, but also essential in the production of wind turbines and healthcare. If we want to keep this expertise and industrial activity grounded in Europe – and in Belgium in particular – it is essential for us to keep energy costs in a competitive range.
An underground cable will directly connect the solar park to INEOS Inovyn’s internal electricity grid in Jemeppe. The site is self-sufficient in terms of energy generation, but it remains connected to the Belgian high-voltage network. “In recent years, we have become flexible enough to serve the Belgian electricity network to manage demand through peak periods and provide flexibility to the network operator“, Philippe Taranti concludes.