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  • Dear Readers!

    At the end of the year, it is never a bad idea to take a look back at what has been achieved and to try and predict what may happen in the coming year. 2014 was a turbulent year in many ways. The current conflicts in Europe and other parts of the world continue to affect the global economic climate. Chancellor Angela Merkel laconically summed up the situation at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, commenting that it was ‘impossible to overlook the fact that the current geopolitical tensions were not good for growth’. Against this backdrop and despite all the crises, we are very pleased to see that REMONDIS has enjoyed steady growth this year and strengthened its position on the global market. This can, on the one hand, be put down to the realignment and strengthening of our scrap metal activities and our maintenance and services division. On the other hand, REMONDIS has succeeded in expanding its regional presence and extending the reach of its networks both in Germany and abroad. This year, the company has also focused on intensifying its operations in core regions, i.e. in the regions it is expecting to experience long-term growth.

    Since the Solidarnosc era, Poland has developed into a kind of model EU member state with great prospects for growth and a genuine enthusiasm for the European ideal. In this positive economic climate, REMONDIS has not only managed to maintain but also to expand its position on the Polish market – and this can all be put down to the quality of its services and its ability to invest. Examples of this can be found in Stettin, Gliwice and Opole as well as in this issue of the REMONDIS aktuell magazine. Let us attempt to predict what may happen in 2015. Discussions are currently being held in Germany about passing a new recyclables law. We must wait and see just what challenges we will have to face. According to a report published by the Fraunhofer Umsicht Institute, carbon emissions could be reduced by 1.6 million tonnes if absolutely all recyclable waste in the country were to be collected and recycled. This would be the equivalent of a good 6% of the German government’s target to reduce its emissions by at least 40 percent by 2020. REMONDIS, as the biggest water, recycling and industrial services company, is ready and prepared to contribute towards achieving these goals.

    Healthy growth and sustainability will continue to be two sides of the same coin at REMONDIS in 2015. As always, we will drive our business forward to further stabilise and expand our company divisions. Such growth is only possible with well qualified and highly motivated staff and with satisfied customers and partners.

    We would like to use this opportunity to say a big ‘thank you’ to you all and to wish you a very happy Christmas and all the very best for 2015.

    Yours

    Egbert Tölle

Major operation at thermal waste treatment plant

What is waste for one person is a valuable source of energy for REMONDIS. With the world’s supplies of fossil fuels shrinking and the volumes of recyclables and waste growing, one of the big ecological challenges of our times is to make the most of the energy contained in this waste. REMONDIS Thermische Abfallverwertung GmbH (formerly EVZA GmbH) has been operating a state-of-the-art plant in Staßfurt, in which waste is used to produce steam and electricity, since May 2008. The annual inspection of the plant took place in September according to plan in order to ensure that the facility continues to operate at its normal high standards. This involved inspecting and servicing both incineration lines, the waste gas cleaning systems and the steam circuit – a complex process involving a total of around 3,500 individual tasks.

Inspection of generator

There was, however, more work to do this year: the power generator was due for its major service. After 60,000 hours of operation, the generator, gearbox and turbine had to be dismantled, taken apart and sent to the production plant for inspection.

No major problems were discovered during the overhaul of the Staßfurt plant.

An initial assessment of the state of the generator was made whilst it was being dismantled. This revealed that the condition of the individual sections was as to be expected with no major damage. A fact that can be put down to the careful and responsible way the facility is treated by the staff at Staßfurt. “The good condition of the whole of the plant reflects the great way the maintenance and operations departments work together,” explained Dr Jörg von Smuda, managing director of REMONDIS Thermische Abfallverwertung GmbH. 

Operations continue throughout

The generator’s individual parts were sent to the production plant to be inspected and were back in Staßfurt by the end of October. Operations at the waste treatment plant continued throughout the whole of this period. The facility has been set up so that it can continue to supply steam to the neighbouring chemicals business without producing electricity. As a result, the waste delivered to the plant can be processed as normal during the inspection period. Once the generator had been reassembled at the end of October, it was started up again and is now fully operational.

Contributing towards the energy transition

Reduce, reuse, recycle, energy recovery, disposal – this is the 5-step waste hierarchy set out in waste management law. Despite the many and extensive recycling processes available, there are always a few waste fractions left over that cannot be used for materials recycling. More than 50 percent of such fractions contain so-called biogenic substances which have a high calorific value. Residual waste from private households or from commercial and industrial businesses and sewage sludge from wastewater treatment processes are efficiently treated here using state-of-the-art technology and used to generate electricity and steam.  

The biogenic substances in residual waste have a high calorific value.

Each year, a total of 380,000 Mg of waste can be transformed into energy at the Staßfurt plant. Each treatment line can process up to 22.5 Mg of waste an hour. REMONDIS Thermische Abfallverwertung GmbH uses the energy from the waste to generate electricity, with up to 170,000 MWh being fed into the national grid every year. Moreover, up to 360,000 MWh of heat is generated and supplied to a neighbouring plant which uses it to manufacture key chemicals.

Preventing climate change

REMONDIS is, therefore, actively contributing towards preventing climate change at its Staßfurt plant as well. On the one hand, using waste to generate energy means fewer fossil fuels are needed. On the other hand, with around 50 percent of the contents being biogenic, a part of the electricity and heat production process is carbon free. 

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