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  • Dear Readers!

    “I believe in horses. Automobiles are a passing phenomenon.” These are the words said to have been uttered by the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, at the time when mobility was going through a radical change. No one can say for sure whether he really said this or not but it is a quote that is often used as an example of people badly misjudging the importance of an invention – and not just by futurologists. Today, mobility is once again undergoing a radical change. In some areas of the country, air quality has deteriorated so much that politicians, industrial businesses and consumers are being forced to rethink the way they act, in particular in large cities. The diesel scandal has simply further aggravated the situation. The first councils have begun banning old diesel cars from using the roads where air pollution is highest. At the same time, city planners are focusing almost entirely on creating living space and high quality office buildings. In contrast, tradespeople and commercial businesses, such as recycling firms, are gradually being pushed further and further outside the city. Their work though should continue to be quiet, free of dust and, wherever possible, without CO2 or NOX emissions.

    It’s definitely time to start thinking about possible alternatives. What could be better than using one of the country’s waste streams – i.e. organic waste – as a source of post-fossil fuel and, by doing so, enable waste collections to be carbon-neutral and practically free of fine particulate and NOX emissions? REMONDIS has begun a pilot project near Cologne to do just this and is currently testing six vehicles run on biogas.

    The recycling industry has a new market player: the Schwarz Group (Lidl), which has an annual turnover of EUR 96.7 billion (2017) – bigger than the whole of the German recycling sector put together. Earlier this year, the Schwarz Group’s subsidiary, Green Cycle, purchased Tönsmeier, the fifth-largest recycling company in Germany, acquiring a volume of sales three times bigger than all of the acquisitions made by REMONDIS in 2016 and 2017. Industry experts believe that the Schwarz Group will also enter Germany’s ‘Dual System’ market (kerbside collection of sales packaging) in the not too distant future.

    There is so much happening in the German recycling market at the moment – a market which, according to the “Status Report on the German Circular Economy”, has around 10,800 companies competing against each other. While none of the private sector firms has a monopoly in any area of the waste management and recycling industry, the trend towards councils renationalising waste services continues unabated leading to the creation of regional monopolies. As a result, the private sector’s share of the market is also slowly decreasing. At present, for example, its share of conventional waste collection services lies at around 50% of the overall market. As always, we hope you enjoy reading this latest issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL.

    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf

Complex renovation work

The fluctuations in the amount of energy produced by wind and solar power are getting steadily bigger. One way to even out this rise and fall is to use pumped storage power plants, which are becoming more and more important precisely for this reason. Which is also why ENERVIE’s subsidiary, Mark-E, is currently working together with the Aachen utilities company, Stadtwerke Aachen, on securing the future of the pumped storage power plant in Finnentrop-Rönkhausen. By carrying out extensive redevelopment measures, the partners are looking to ensure that the pumped storage power plant will be able to continue to deliver clean energy whenever it is needed for the next 30 years or more.

Power plant built in the 60s

The Rönkhausen pumped storage power plant is located in the Sauerland region and is one of just two pumped storage power plants in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It was built between 1965 and 1968 and has been used commercially since 1969. The plant has an overall output of 140 megawatts (MW), divided up between two pump turbines, each with an output of 70 MW. The upper reservoir currently has a storage capacity of around 690 megawatt hours (MWh) and can be filled or emptied in just 5 hours.

  • The pumped storage power plant has an output of

Machines also need to be overhauled

  • Having been in operation for almost 50 years, a comprehensive package of measures is now needed to ensure it can continue to be run safely and cost effectively. These measures include replacing the sealing of the upper reservoir, i.e. completely removing the old seal and installing a new layer. At the same time, the storage capacity is to be increased by approx. 70,000m³ by building a protective wall (approx. 1.20 metres high) and raising the overflow edge of the lower reservoir. This will lead to an increase in output of 45 megawatt hours and a reduction in network charges. To enable both machines to be completely overhauled, the pump turbines and spherical valves have been fully dismantled and transported to a factory in the south of Germany. This work is due to have been completed by October 2018. The plant will then be put into operation again and undergo a number of tests.

    • The power plant is being given a new sealing layer and its storage capacity increased by 70,000m³ to prepare it for its future task of cancelling out fluctu-ations in power supplies

“This new investment model opens up long-term energy opportunities for both partners and secures jobs at Mark-E – both in the area of trade and operations.”

Markus F. Schmidt, Chief Restructuring Officer at ENERVIE

Opportunities in the energy sector

  • REMONDIS owns a 19.06% share in Enervie. “This new investment model opens up long-term energy opportunities for both partners and secures jobs at Mark-E – both in the area of trade and operations”, explained Markus F. Schmidt, ENERVIE, who led the negotiations for Mark-E. This customised production of energy, therefore, is not only helping support the switch from fossil fuels to renewables, it is also a success story for the environment, economy and jobs in general.

    (from right to left) Together, Markus F. Schmidt, CRO Enervie AG, Erik Höhne, Board Spokesman of Enervie AG, Dr Christian Becker, Board Chairman of Stadtwerke Aachen AG (STAWAG), and Wilfried Ullrich, Commercial Board Member of Stadtwerke Aachen AG (STAWAG), decided the pumped storage power plant should continue operating

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