This afternoon, Baden-Württemberg's Environment Minister Franz Untersteller and Gerold Linzbach, CEO of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), officially opened a cogeneration plant at the company's Wiesloch-Walldorf site.
The power and heat generated by the new plant will enable Heidelberg to reduce total energy costs at the site by around ten percent.
Linzbach, who took over as Heidelberg CEO on September 1, 2012, underlined the importance of the new plant for Wiesloch-Walldorf and the region as a whole as a contribution to responsible environmental practices. "Ecological and environmental objectives do not need to be mutually exclusive. In the ideal case scenario, as here with our cogeneration plant project, it is possible to combine the two. In this way, Heidelberg is also actively contributing to the energy revolution in Baden-Württemberg," he explained.
Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach, Baden-Württemberg's Environment Minister Franz Untersteller and Heidelberg management board member Stephan Plenz (from left to right) press the button to start up the cogeneration plant at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.
The new cogeneration plant at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.
In addition to electric power, the cogeneration plant's two generators will produce 15 gigawatt-hours of heat each year. Waste heat from the engines and generators will be accommodated in a storage buffer and will meet over 40 percent of the site's total local heating requirements - for heating the halls, for manufacturing processes, and for the hot water in the sanitary facilities.
The plant represents an investment of some EUR 2.4 million and will pay for itself in just two years thanks to its high efficiency levels.
The new cogeneration plant is part of the comprehensive sustainability concept that Heidelberg has firmly established in its strategic agenda. "Ideally, we would like to avoid resource consumption and the associated CO2 emissions altogether. The next best thing is to reduce consumption and emissions or - if that is not possible - to compensate accordingly. This approach applies to everything from development and production through to machine operation at the print shops," explained Heidelberg Management Board member Stephan Plenz, whose area of responsibility includes sustainability. The waste recycling rate at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site, for example, is currently 99.2 percent - an impressive figure that is only possible with the full commitment of all staff. Other projects that aim to minimize the company's environmental impact include lead-free soldering, dry processing without cooling lubricants, and the switch to returnable containers for material deliveries.
A cogeneration plant is based on the principle of combined heat and power generation for simultaneous provision of electrical energy and heat. Plants of this kind are particularly energy efficient, because they require up to 40 percent less fuel/primary resources than for conventional, separate generation of power and heat. The (waste) heat is normally used directly on site or fed into a local heating grid there. This on-site power generation and usage relieves the pressure on public power grids.
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