01/03/2017STEAG New Energies successfully completes Central Energy Plant for Ford

Five unit-type combined heat and power plants put into operation at Ford’s Saarlouis works ahead of schedule // STEAG subsidiary invests over 20 million euros in combined heat and power // Long-term supply contract // Integration in the Saar district heating system

Saarbrücken/Saarlouis. Only one year after signing the contracts, STEAG New Energies (SNE) handed over the new Central Energy Plant at the Ford works in Saarlouis to Ford during the run-up to Christmas. The new Central Energy Plant with five unit-type combined heat and power (CHP) plants and a total capacity of 20 MW thermal energy for heating and 22 MW electrical power was put into operation ahead of schedule, within the budget, and with the required quality. The construction project, with an investment volume of over 20 million euros, is the heart of an extensive energy strategy with which SNE and Ford are embarking together on the long-term optimization of distributed supplies of electricity and heat to the works. The STEAG subsidiary SNE, based in Saarbrücken, not only took on the planning, construction and financing of the energy supply system in this project, but will also take on responsibility for operation, maintenance and monitoring of the systems by remote control from the company’s control center in Saarlouis.

Saarland’s Minister President Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer congratulated Ford Saarlouis and STEAG New Energies on the handover of the new Central Energy Plant. “This investment in the future delivers more than just electricity and heat. It strengthens a highly important production location in the Saarland and impressively demonstrates our expertise in the fields of industry and energy. The 20 million euro investment not only reduces energy costs, but also drastically lowers the level of CO2 emissions. I regard that as convincing evidence that climate protection and competitiveness are not contradictory, but can even go hand in hand when it is done intelligently.”

Under the terms of the German laws on subsidies for CHP and energy from renewable sources, the Central Energy Plant had to be completed before the end of the year. To accomplish that, SNE was able to draw on expertise from the STEAG Group in this demanding project: STEAG New Energies, STEAG Energy Services, STEAG Technischer Service and Fernwärme-Verbund Saar (FVS) jointly ensured the success of the project. Dirk Klingen, Managing Director of STEAG New Energies, is proud of what his team has achieved: “The deadlines for this complex project required record-breaking performance. It is therefore all the more impressive that our team was able to hand over the finished project to Ford even before the tight completion date. STEAG New Energies, as a reliable, competent and serious partner, has lived up to all its commitments and implemented this tailor-made concept to the customer’s full satisfaction.”

Energy costs and environmental compatibility are important factors in competition and in the selection of locations. With the system which has now been commissioned, Ford can reduce CO2 emissions at the Saarlouis plant by around 20 percent and at the same time make considerable savings in energy costs. The cogeneration system employed in the CHP units makes especially efficient use of the fuel. As soon as the CHP units had gone into service, Ford in Saarlouis was able to cover the vast majority of its electricity demand from its own generation facilities, and in that way cut costs. “This is an investment in sustainable production,” as Karl Anton, Director of Vehicle Operations at Ford Europe, emphasizes. “For our works in Saarlouis it means a significant improvement in carbon footprint. The new CHP system is helping us to achieve our global target of a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per vehicle manufactured from 2010 levels by 2025.”

The region however also benefits from the new energy concept, as the Ford works in Saarlouis employs no fewer than 6,200 people, making it one of the largest employers in the Saarland.

Technical data of the Central Energy Plant:

  • 5 identical engines: total power approx. 22 MWel and approx. 20 MWth
  • Natural gas demand: approx. 365,000 MWh/a
  • Electricity production: approx. 149,000 MWh/a (for in-house supply at the Ford works)
  • Heat production: approx. 138,000 MWh/a
  • Full coverage of the total heat requirement of around 155,000 MWh/a at the Ford works by Fernwärme-Verbund Saar, utilizing the thermal energy produced at the works.

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Dr. Jürgen Fröhlich
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