6/ Infrastructure development for decarbonisation
Reducing carbon emissions calls for the development of extensive infrastructures around which institutional and industrial stakeholders will rally.
In the local area, infrastructures supported by the LowCarbon Industrial Area (ZIBaC) scheme are based on 6 major pillars: electricity, water, hydrogen, CO2, waste heat and gas (see page 14).
At the announcement of the winners of the “Low-Carbon Industrial Area” project, Roland Lescure, Deputy Minister for Industry, referred to Dunkirk as a “pioneering” territory, saying : “In the future, the region’s appeal will be measured by infrastructures essential for the low-carbon industry: electricity, green hydrogen and CO2 capture. I’m sure that the creation of low-carbon industrial areas across all of France’s large industrial basins will help us make it one of the most attractive countries in the world for green industries.”
If we are to reach CO2 emissions reduction targets, we will need to make massive use of hydrogen. Renewable and low-carbon hydrogen can substitute fossil fuels, improve air quality and lead to the emergence of a new industrial sector in France. Following a feasibility study initiated in September by GRTgaz, 11 companies from the Dunkirk basin stated their interest in a hydrogen transport infrastructure in the port and industrial area. Whether we’re talking about consumers or producers of hydrogen, the need to develop a public transport infrastructure makes perfect sense. GRTgaz and the territory’s decision-makers are working to commission a H2 Hub in Dunkirk, which would eventually be connected to the network in neighbouring Belgium. The hydrogen cluster around Dunkirk will benefit from renewable and low-carbon energies as well as the nearby European Hydrogen Backbone, a specific gas pipeline transport network, largely reusing the already existing gas infrastructures.
In order to reduce the use of fossil energies, Dunkirk’s industrial basin will be relying more and more on electricity, thereby increasing its electricity consumption considerably. Additional needs are estimated at 3,500 megawatts in 2030 and 4,500 megawatts in 2040 (according to RTE). Renewable and low-carbon production of electricity will also see significant growth. Solar parks built in the port area should provide 40 MW of additional electricity and an offshore wind farm will produce 600 MW by 2027. Finally, two new EPR2 will produce 3,340 MW extra by 2038-39. In order to meet the demands of industrial clients and the increase in production means while maintaining optimum power quality, RTE must strengthen its electrical network by optimising its facilities or building new infrastructures such as substations and power lines to supply the area. By 2030, RTE plans to invest 1.3 billion euros in this territory
In France, 70% of industrial energy consumption (around 230 TWh in 2021) is used to produce heat, including around 1/3 for low temperatures (<100°C), 1/3 for temperatures between 100°C and 400°C and 1/3 exceeding 400°C. Some processes use heat in excess of 1,000°C, for example, the steel and construction industries (in the production of clinker and manufacture of clay bricks). *In order to complete the already well-developed urban heat network in the local area, the Grand Port Maritime of Dunkirk is working with Euraénergie on a heat superhighway project to recover 635 GWh. This 20 kilometre-pipeline should become the largest network in France shared by industrialists. By 2025, it would transport waste heat emitted by industrialists such as Befesa, Comilog and Ferroglobe and redistribute it among others such as Verkor, thereby avoiding the consumption of energy and emission of CO2.
*Source: Pôlénergie et je-decarbone.fr
Industry often needs water for its processes. Plus, to limit its use, particularly drinking water, Dunkirk has been building an industrial water network since the 1970s with a capacity of 22 million m3 of non-drinking water. In addition to that, the territory is supporting the development of “district water”, an infrastructure enabling the reuse of industrial water discharged in neighbouring industry processes, and studying the reuse of used water from urban water treatment plants as well as the use of seawater instead of canal water for certain functions.
The Dunkirk territory and its hinterland have set the target of reducing emissions by 30% by 2030 (compared to 2021) and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. To do so, large-scale community infrastructures are currently being developed. By activating numerous resources (energy efficiency, sobriety, the circular economy, fossil energy replacements, transformation of processes, etc.), we will be able to reduce 3/4 of carbon emissions while the remaining 1/4 will be avoided thanks to techniques for the capture, transport for storage or use of CO2 (CCUS). As part of this framework, the territory is working together to set up an open CO2 Hub.
- 75% reduction in emissions thanks to process decarbonation
- 25% residual emissions capture for use or storage