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  • Dear Readers!

    2018 has been an extraordinary year for our group. There have been some great business opportunities around – in the area of recycling as well as in the global market for mobility, both in the private and public transport sector. We have been able to make the most of these opportunities by taking steps to acquire DSD (Duales System Deutschland GmbH) – as has the RETHMANN Group, which is intending to purchase shares in Transdev, a leading global operator of mobility solutions based in France. Both transactions must still be approved by the rele-vant authorities.

    As an operator and global integrator of mobility solutions, Transdev – “the mobility company” – provides eleven million passenger trips every day, connecting people and places with its efficient and environmentally friendly transport services. Transdev advises and collaborates with public authorities and private sector firms providing sustainable, safe and innovative transport solutions.

    82,000 employees serve the company’s customers and passengers in 20 countries. In 2017, it generated a turnover of 6.6 billion euros. Transdev’s operations, however, not only include trains, trams and buses. People using the ferries in Sydney to get across Sydney Harbour are also Transdev’s customers. And the company’s portfolio also has cable car networks and auto-mated minibuses. With Transdev being so important for our family-run company, it makes absolute sense for the mobility group to become the RETHMANN Group’s fourth main field of business alongside REMONDIS, Rhenus and SARIA.

    This past year has been one of the driest since records began in Germany. This has, on the one hand, led to the water levels of our rivers being much lower than normal – quite possibly the lowest levels ever – causing huge problems for inland shipping companies and their customers. On the other, it has once again turned the spotlight on the subjects of climate change and resource conservation. The Vatican is also worried about “our Common Home”. Pope Francis made it clear just how worried he is when he wrote his “Laudato si’” encyclical. REMONDIS joined a number of other family business owners to attend the first Roman Forum, which was held in the Holy City and organised by the BDE [Federal Association of the German Waste Management Industry]. During the event, the participants had a moving meeting with the Holy Father who was impressed by the initiatives of these privately run businesses to promote sustainability.

    Talking about sustainability: Meyer Werft, a shipbuilding business in Papenburg, is also focusing on sustainable production activities – and on building environmentally friendly ships having recently launched its first gas-fuelled cruise ship. This traditional company is also being supported by REMONDIS. Heading for new shores together, so to speak.

    May we take this opportunity to thank you for your great support and collaboration over the last twelve months and wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful New Year.

    Ihr Ludger Rethmann

Around 100 guests

  • At the end of October, REMONDIS Aqua Stoffstrom GmbH & Co. KG officially opened their TetraPhos® pilot facility on the grounds of WFA Elverlingsen’s incineration plant in Werdohl. Around 100 politicians and business leaders were invited to attend the event and take a tour around the facility built on the area that had previously been home to Mark-E’s decommissioned coal-fired power station in Werdohl.

  • Official opening ceremony

    Since 2013, REMONDIS has been using a patented process, which it developed itself, to produce phosphoric acid from the ash generated by sewage sludge incineration plants – a cost-effective system which is able to be run on an industrial scale. In 2016, the process won the GreenTec Award, Europe’s most prestigious sustainability prize.

Praise from a German MP

One of the guests of honour was Michael Thews (SPD), member of the German parliament and vice chairman of the Committee for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. During his short speech on “The modern circular economy and resource conservation – using sewage sludge recycling as an example”, he praised this new technology, emphasising how it will become increasingly important to recover raw materials in the future. Johannes Remmel, former minister of the environment of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and a member of the NRW parliament, was impressed by REMONDIS’ plans: “I can only welcome this pilot project. We need more like it.”

  • Sewage sludge ash as a source of raw materials

    WFA Elverlingsen, a joint subsidiary of the Ruhrverband and Mark-E, recycles up to 180,000 tonnes of dried sewage sludge every year. The leftover sewage sludge ash can be used as a valuable raw material for the TetraPhos® process – with the phosphorus content being recovered to produce phosphoric acid (brand name: RePacid®). “By recovering phosphorus, we are actively helping to conserve natural resources and reduce the impact humans have on the environment. Phosphorus is a vital raw material and supplies are becoming increasingly scarce,” explained Ralf Czarnecki, managing director of REMONDIS Aqua Stoffstrom. Almost 100% of all phosphate used in Germany has to be imported from abroad. This status quo, however, must have changed by 2029 at the latest. The German government has stipulated that large sewage treatment plants must recover the phosphorus from their sewage sludge ash from this date onwards. REMONDIS has, therefore, taken a big step forward with its facility in Elverlingsen and is acting as a role model for many large German cities.

    (from left to right) Michael Thews, German MP, Ralf Czarnecki, REMONDIS Aqua, Katrin Brenner, REMONDIS Aqua, and Johannes Remmel, a member of the NRW Parliament, during the opening ceremony

Europe’s first industrial-scale phosphorus recovery plant

Europe’s first industrial-scale phosphorus recovery facility (located on the grounds of the sewage treatment plant in Hamburg) is due to be commissioned in 2020 and will be run as a public private partnership between HAMBURG WASSER (60%) and REMONDIS (40%). It is being supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as well as by the BMU’s Environmental Innovation Programme.

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