The topic of energy efficiency has become increasingly important for the paper industry in general and WEIG in particular, and not just because of the current developments on the energy market. As part of an energy-intensive industry, we are constantly working on steadily reducing our energy requirements. The mutual exchange about innovations, technologies and their areas of application provides a good basis for this.
Since April 2021, WEIG has therefore been a member of the Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection Network of the Rhine-Ruhr Chemical and Paper Industry. As part of this initiative, WEIG meets regularly with other companies from these two industries. The focus is on energy efficiency, climate protection and sustainability.
The “ChePap Rhine-Ruhr” network is part of the “Energy Efficiency Networks Initiative”. The project was initiated by the German government and leading business associations and organisations and, in addition to the above-mentioned topics, aims to increase the competitiveness of the participating companies and to develop new business models.
Basis of the initiative are the various regional sector-specific networks, each consisting of 8 to 15 companies. Over a period of two to three years, their representatives meet at regular intervals to exchange experiences and ideas, current developments, new regulations and innovations. The presentation of practical measures is just as much a part of the programme as discussions about Germany’s current energy policy. By the end of 2025, nine to eleven terawatt hours of final energy and five to six million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions are to be saved through the combined measures.
At the beginning of the network period, a qualified energy advisor takes stock of the situation for each company and examines the existing potential. Then the network jointly sets a savings target, which summarises the measures taken by the companies. The ChePap Rhine-Ruhr III network has set itself the goal of saving 219,322 MWh/a of final energy and 165,383 t CO2 e/a of greenhouse gas emissions over the course of two years.
The regular meetings take place on site at the participating companies. At the beginning of February 2023, we had the opportunity to host the other members of the network at our plant. The agenda included updates on the current energy supply situation, discussions on Germany’s energy and climate policy, and a tour of our board mill and the so-called “Kessel 5”, our own residue incineration plant at the power station. An expert presentation by Jonas Witt from EnergyNest on the industrial use of heat storage completed the agenda.
Martin Drews, Managing Director of the Rhineland-Westphalia Paper Producing Industry Association, which is a network sponsor together with the VCI NRW, emphasises the special added value of the cross-industry initiative: “It is precisely through cooperation with the chemical industry, which has similar production processes to the paper industry, that a view beyond one’s own industry emerges which creates new horizons and insights,” says Drews.
You can read more about our sustainable measures and initiatives in our Sustainability Report.
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