Strategy & Management

Expert Statement: Frank Hyldmar, Currenta

CO2-Neutral Chemical Industry - The Challenge of an Industry Transformation Expert Statement:

10.03.2021 - The European Chemical Industry has set out on an ambitious path to become carbon neutral.

Germany, as one of the major chemical manufacturing nations, has committed to achieve this goal by 2050. But companies need to translate this industry vision into their specific context.
System changes of the scale of CO2 neutrality for a whole industry sector require a new mindset. Major transformations command long lead times and require consistent and persistent follow-through. It is all but clear whether enough value is created to justify the huge investments and how new value generated is distributed among critical players and investors.

CHEManager asked executives and industry experts to share their opinions on this industry transformation, which is a multi-stakeholder challenge and comprises economical, technical, societal and political aspects. We proposed to discuss the following aspects:

  • What is your strategy / timeline to become carbon neutral and what are the key challenges on the path to achieve this goal?
  • What political / regulatory mea­sures are needed to encourage companies to invest in carbon neu­tral technologies?
  • What economical / societal benefits do you expect or hope for by decarbonizing your business?
  • How do you plan to involve external stakeholders critical for achieving CO2 neutrality?


Frank Hyldmar: Currenta is part of the „European Alliance for Clean Hy­drogen“. The initiative, ­founded by the European Commission, supports the development of a clean and globally competitive hydrogen industry. It aims to contribute to the EU‘s goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050. The goals of the alliance fit perfectly with our ideas and convictions on sustain­ability. We want to make a substantial contribution with our know-how and infrastructure to establish the market for green hydrogen in the long term: as a basic material for the chemical industry, energy storage or fuel.
We want to play a pioneering role in the global energy transition. As a sustainable company, we are convinced of this and are playing our part in making the economy in Europe CO2-neutral in the future. Clean hy­drogen technology is one of the key technologies for the energy transition. Especially in the chemical industry, green hydrogen is seen as one of the alternatives to fossil fuels and can completely decarbonize production processes.
Currenta manages and operates three Chempark sites, in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen. We can draw on a wealth of experience and in-depth knowl­edge in operating industrial plants and managing complex approval processes. The Chempark sites also have the necessary land and infrastructure such as electricity and gas grid connections. We therefore offer ideal conditions for establishing a regional hydrogen hub in the future.
In addition, hydrogen is already produced on site by steam reforming and chlor-alkali electrolysis and used in production by Chempark companies. In the future, climate-neutral hydrogen will continue to gain importance as a key raw material for a greenhouse-gas-neutral industry - also in other areas, for example in the mobility and logistics sector. The technical and investment challenges are huge. We operate one of the largest chemical parks in Europe. For us, one thing is certain: We will do our part to ensure that production there can be climate-neutral in the future.