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.
Around 300 guests attended the opening ceremony and were able to take a tour of the plant. They included representatives from political and municipal bodies, the media, the project team, and the Heidelberg management team. 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.
Untersteller, who was in the Wiesloch electoral district at the invitation of state parliament member Dr. Kai Schmidt-Eisenlohr, commented: "My visit to Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG today has given me an initial, impressive insight into the company's wide-ranging commitment to the environment and sustainability. We need companies that invest in advanced resource-conserving technology and plants and always take the issue of sustainability seriously. It's the only way to ensure the energy revolution is a success."
Energy requirements at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site
With 36 production halls and office buildings occupying some 860,000 square meters of land, the world's largest printing press factory in Wiesloch-Walldorf requires around 60 gigawatt-hours of power each year. Total annual energy costs at the site are in the low tens of millions of euros. One out of every five euros spent to operate the site goes on heat and power. To optimize energy and resource efficiency at Wiesloch-Walldorf, the company worked with external engineering consultants to devise an advanced energy concept. This revolves around building and operating a cogeneration plant with an electric power output of 2 megawatts that will generate 12 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. Now that it has been commissioned, the plant can cover around 20 percent of the current electricity requirements by burning natural gas, the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel, as its primary energy source. Measured against the average power generation mix in Germany, this will reduce the amount of CO 2 released into the atmosphere by 3,700 metric tons a year. Energy costs at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site will also be around ten percent lower.
Over 40 percent of local heating requirements met
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.
Comprehensive sustainability concept