Waste to chemicals

Setting a new global standard in biofuels, chemicals and waste management

Air Liquide, Enerkem, Nouryon, Shell and the Port of Rotterdam are developing an advanced 'waste to chemicals' (W2C) plant in Rotterdam. The aim is that this will be the first plant of this type in Europe that make valuable chemicals and bio-fuels out of non-recyclable waste materials.

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Facilitating the transition from linear to circular economy

This W2C-project is an important step towards a sustainable chemical industrial cluster in Rotterdam. The project can help the Netherlands deliver upon its ambitious target to completely eliminate its reliance on raw materials by 2050. Environmental benefits are found in less CO2 emissions, less SOx and NOx. The plant will be able to process 360,000 tonnes of waste into 220,000 tonnes or 270 million litres of sustainable methanol. This is more than the total annual waste from 700,000 households and reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 300,000 tonnes.

The technology

Non-recyclable mixed waste, including plastic, will first be processed using Enerkem’s innovative and proprietary thermochemical technology into synthesis gas and then into clean methanol for the chemical industry and the transport sector. Currently, methanol is usually produced from natural gas or coal.

Employment opportunities

W2C will create about 250 jobs during construction of the plant, resulting in roughly 50 permanent jobs in the Botlek area.


The Rotterdam plant will benefit from the excellent industrial infrastructure at the Port of Rotterdam, and from partnerships with Air Liquide and Nouryon for the supply of the required oxygen and hydrogen. The current aim is that the facility’s sustainable methanol output will be purchased by Nouryon and Shell. The plant will be equipped with two production lines. This is double the capacity of the large-scale Enerkem plant in Edmonton, Canada. The aimed location for the plant is Port of Rotterdam’s Botlek area.

The project realisation is being supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, which aims to promote new mechanisms and the scale-up of new technologies and, in doing so, stimulate the transition to a low-carbon economy. There is also support from the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Province of South Holland and InnovationQuarter, the regional development agency.
The project is also co-financed by the European Union: the European Regional Development Fund.


Do you want to know more about the Waste to Chemicals project? Please contact:

Stijn Effting
Business Manager Chemicals and Biobased Industry

Energy in transition

The Port of Rotterdam Authority is committed to combating climate change and wants to play a leading role in the global energy transition. The reduction of CO2 emissions and efficient use of raw and residual materials are important tasks for the Port Authority.

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