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  • Dear Readers!

    Even after just a few months, 2019 is already panning out to be a year full of uncertainty. We are all having to face a variety of challenges. With many of these linked to climate change and the environment, they are automatically affecting the environmental services sector as well. The impact of climate change could be felt all around the world last year with countries being struck by floods, forest fires and drought – and experts are expecting more of the same this year. Both industrial and political decision-makers and consumers across the globe are well aware that urgent measures need to be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – something that has been further highlighted by the young Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, who has inspired schoolchildren to take to the streets on Fridays to get adults to finally tackle this problem. This will be a mammoth task as it involves nothing less than halting the loss of biodiversity and ensuring there are sufficient supplies of natural resources for future generations. And this is precisely what REMONDIS does by recovering high quality raw materials from waste. Indeed, there is no other individual measure that is so successful at cutting greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources. And this is why we see it as our task to extend the reach of our services and pass on our know-how to others – especially to other countries – to promote resource-friendly recycling activities.

    Our industry is currently undergoing a technological change that will alter the way many things are done. As the world becomes ever more digital, it is inevitable that this technology will have an impact on our everyday lives as well as on the way we do business. The spread of digitisation, however, is creating its own new set of challenges. The political environment in many regions around the world is also changing which could hamper our cross-border efforts to promote sustainable development. This, of course, also includes the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the growing tensions between the so-called superpowers. We need the support of our politicians so that we can make the world that little bit more sustainable – whether it be the implementation of a Europe-wide landfill ban or the creation of an Ecodesign Directive that takes raw material efficiency into account as well as energy efficiency. All in all, the upcoming European Elections will be an important political milestone for Europe.

    REMONDIS is doing its utmost to turn these challenges into opportunities and to navigate through these stormy seas safely. We are marking out the way for sustainable success by investing in technology and growing our portfolio.

    You can find out more about our plans for the future by taking a look through this latest issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL – and discover how our customers can benefit from our strong and stable services in these volatile times. 

    Yours

    Egbert Tölle

Perfectly coordinated boiler cleaning work

  • One of the best ways to speed up shutdowns and get a plant up and running again in as short a time as possible is to deliver tailor-made services. As could be seen at the large-scale turnaround carried out at the waste-to-energy (WtE) plant in Essen-Karnap in 2018. By tailoring its services to meet its client’s precise needs, BUCHEN KraftwerkService was once again able to show just how flexible it is at planning and performing such projects, especially when it comes to cleaning boilers.

The plant is one of the largest of its kind

Over 740,000 tonnes of throughput material a year, 130 megajoules of district heat a second and around 50 megawatts of electricity – the waste-to-energy plant in Essen-Karnap is one of the largest of its kind in Germany. Three towns – 1 million local residents in all – benefit from the plant’s services. It is, therefore, very important for the region.

BUCHEN KraftwerkService provides services for conventional power stations, waste-to-energy plants and industrial boilers.

The operator of this facility, RWE Generation, has been working together with BUCHEN KraftwerkService for many years now to ensure the technology at the WtE plant runs smoothly. The focus of this work is on industrial cleaning tasks – both when the plant is online and offline. During the 2018 turnaround, which involved the whole of the plant being shut down for several weeks, BUCHEN KraftwerkService was in charge of all cleaning work needed for the four lines as well as the services involving the flue gas cleaning system.

Customised services required

It became clear while planning the work that a number of tailor-made services would be needed to complete the project – especially for cleaning the boilers. Two tasks, in particular, required special solutions: on the one hand, other tradespeople had to start carrying out their jobs in boilers 1 and 2 before the cleaning work had been completed owing to the tight schedule; on the other, an alternative had to be found for removing the dust so that the ID fan could also be overhauled.

Working at two levels

  • Detonative technology was used to perform the safety cleaning work in boilers 1 and 2 to speed up the whole process. This allowed large volumes of deposits to be dislodged from the walls and broken up while the boilers were still cooling down. The dislodged material was also able to be extracted while it was still hot. Two parallel extraction points and a special skip delivery system helped to further cut the time needed.

    Over a dozen blasting specialists worked side by side every shift

    A special work platform was set up for the subsequent sandblasting work to partition the area off. Pulled into the industrial furnace horizontally, it was then erected so that it had two separate work areas. Other specialists were able to carry out their work in the lower section where the boiler had already been cleaned. At the same time, BUCHEN KraftwerkService continued its own work cleaning the upper section of the boiler. The dislodged residue was collected on the upper platform, protecting those working below. With the different teams working like this for a week, several days were able to be shaved off the time needed for the shutdown.

  • operatives worked around the clock in two shifts – and in both boilers at any one time

Heavy-duty vacuum units in action

Heavy-duty vacuum units are a must for extracting dust from boilers. Which is why the plant’s own ID fans play an important role during shutdowns. This time, however, BUCHEN KraftwerkService took over this job itself to free up the WtE plant’s own fan. The company’s unusually large stock of specialist equipment had everything needed for this task so that four dust extraction units (output: up to 35,000m³ per hour) could be placed above and below the work platform.

Advice, cleaning services, remediation work and waste management – BUCHEN KraftwerkService’s portfolio covers all tasks and all plant sections.

All in all, BUCHEN KraftwerkService needed three weeks to carry out their tasks during this particular shutdown at the waste-to-energy plant. The teams worked around the clock in two shifts – with up to 60 operatives present in boilers 1 and 2 at any one time. Over a dozen blasting specialists worked side by side every shift – several hundred tonnes of blasting media was used during this short period. The project had been preceded by months of meticulous planning and preparation work and three weeks were also needed before and after to set up and dismantle the equipment. The bespoke solutions were drawn up during the planning phase and added to the schedule straight away to ensure everything went smoothly during the turnaround.

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