A trend-setting project on climate protection has now been launched by three traditional companies along the Rhine and Ruhr. It is planned to supply industrial waste heat from thyssenkrupp Steel to the König brewery through a new steam transfer line managed by E.ON, in order to provide the thermal energy required for the brewery processes. For this purpose, waste heat steam from steel production at thyssenkrupp Steel's Ruhrort power plant is to be used. E.ON is building the pipeline and will take over the energy management. The three companies have now signed a corresponding agreement on long-term cooperation. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the energy efficiency competition.
Since the end of 2020, the Bitburger Braugruppe, to which the König Brewery belongs, has been brewing climate-neutrally at all its locations. It has achieved this by, first and foremost, avoiding and reducing emissions. The residual emissions that are currently technically unavoidable are compensated. "In the future, we will reduce the CO2 emissions currently generated at the König brewery by the energy supply with waste heat by approximately 75 percent." says Jan Niewodniczanski, Managing Director of technology and environment at Bitburger Braugruppe. The special feature: All processes for beer production, in which energy is required in the form of heat, are then 100 percent emission-free. Jan Niewodniczanski: "This massive reduction makes the König Brewery one of the most sustainable breweries in Germany."
The project is also exemplary for Germany's largest steel manufacturer thyssenkrupp Steel. "Think globally, act locally," emphasizes Arnd Köfler, Chief Production Officer of thyssenkrupp Steel. "This is a project created in the area, on which we are working together to achieve very concrete climate protection locally. The König brewery as a medium-sized partner, within sight of our plant, can become a role model for this. We together have thought beyond company boundaries. We are pleased that some of our waste heat is being used in this innovative way."
For E.ON, the project is ground-breaking. The energy supplier takes over the waste heat steam from thyssenkrupp Steel, is building a new pipeline to the brewery, thus creates the necessary infrastructure for the project: "We are very pleased to become an energy partner for this project," explains Karsten Wildberger, who is responsible for customer solutions on the E.ON Board of Management. "Together, we are launching a showcase CO2-saving project with three traditional companies, for the city of Duisburg and the Ruhr region. This is a trend-setting project for heat transition and a concise example of more sustainability through sector coupling. This way, the energy transition becomes visible locally."
The starting point of the cooperation is thyssenkrupp Steel's Ruhrort power plant, as part of the steel manufacturer's integrated energy network. Various producers, such as steel plants, put steam into the pipeline network. Some of this waste heat can now be diverted and made available to the König brewery via a new pipeline. As an energy partner, E.ON is taking over the construction of this pipeline infrastructure. The Emschergenossenschaft provides a plot of land for the construction of a transfer station to thyssenkrupp. The steam is then taken over by the König brewery and used as process steam in operation. Now the contract has been signed, the next step will be to build the pipelines and build a new steam forming plant in the König brewery. The brewery's new energy supply is scheduled to start in spring 2022.
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