In the context of the revision of product benchmarks for the fourth period (2021-2030) of the EU Emission Trading System (ETS), the Lower Olefins Sector Group (LOSG) created a taskforce to ensure that steam crackers provide the right data. LOSG urges every chemical industry sector concerned by a product benchmark to create a similar task force and is eager to provide advice if needed. The benchmarks are crucial, as they will determine the free allocation of emission allowances to industrial installations until 2030.

The task force should send the questionnaire to all cracker operators in Europe in September. Cefic will then analyse the plants’ feedback to detect potential erroneous data and calculate the new benchmark value (average of the 10 % plants with lowest CO2 emission factor).

The European Commission has recently decided to review all product benchmarks for the fourth EU ETS period. The formula to define the product benchmarks will remain the same as the one used during the third period, but will be based on 2016-2017 operational data. Although it is not yet fully clear how the data will be collected, the Cefic ETS Issue Team advised all industry sectors concerned by a product benchmark to prepare for the data collection.  It is essential for every industry sector to determine upfront how the benchmark value has changed over time, since it will not only set the benchmark value in 2021, but also the rate at which this benchmark value will decrease afterwards. Moreover, the calculation of product benchmarks is rarely a plain division of direct CO2 emissions by production, but involves complex steam balances, feed corrections, electricity corrections etc.