Study of electrical flexibility at the INEOS chemical sites in Belgium (FLEX)


Enhancing electrical flexibility is a focal area of interest in the process industry for staying tuned with the current redesign of the electricity market in Europe. The FLEX project fits within the fields of energy efficiency (EED) and new energy market design (NMD), adding a strong link to the related economic and ecological aspects. In Europe, and by extension worldwide, the increase of electricity generation from decentralised renewable sources and the fading out of large fossil fuel plants will require a radical change in the electricity trading and market rules, imposing a stress on the system stability. Threats as well as opportunities arise from this change, which fuel extensive research in a solution-minded setting.


FLEX aims to proactively explore the electrical flexibility and electricity buffering/storage potential (demand side response, DSR) at the Belgian INEOS sites, both individually and in an INEOS cluster (virtual power plant, VPP). It is investigated how to use this potential in a viable economical way, defining the business opportunities, quantifying the added value and generating a company strategy.


The FLEX project is funded by a VLAIO O&O grant for the duration of three years and is a collaboration between UGent EELAB and INEOS. All ten Belgian INEOS sites join forces, with the pan-INEOS Carbon and Energy Network acting as the backbone for shared learning within the company and in the chemical industry as a whole.

UGent role

Within EELAB the expertise in electrical power engineering, energy efficiency and control of electrical power systems is used.
Doctoral research, done by Jens Baetens, focuses on the optimisation of electrical flexibility in petrochemical industry. The dissertation can be freely downloaded (Electrical flexibility in the chemical process industry).


prof. dr. ir. Lieven Vandevelde
prof. dr. ir. Greet Van Eetvelde
ing. Jens Baetens, FLEX PhD student
dr. ir. Jeroen De Kooning