German energy expertise on three continents

In future, countries in Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin American will benefit from the new knowledge and experience on energy efficiency in industry that the seventeen managers bring home with them from their four weeks at GICON®-InTraBiD GmbH as part of the Manager Training Programme.

One of the company visits arranged for the participants from Egypt, Mexico, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine was to the Feralpi Stahl steelworks in Riesa. Every year, the company supplies German customers with around 800,000 tonnes of construction steel in the form of rods, wire and mats. Construction companies from Austria, Benelux, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden also obtain reinforcement steel materials from Riesa. Melting recycled scrap in the electric arc furnaces, the ladle furnaces and the rolling mill require around three-quarters of a billion kilowatt hours of energy (power and gas) every year, which equates to the power consumption of around 200,000 three-person households.

Plant manager Frank Jürgen Schaefer explained in detail how new approaches and innovations – combined with investments totalling €20 million – have not only helped to save energy but also to conserve our environment: “By using the waste heat in the flue gas generated in the electric furnace, we today obtain thirty tonnes of steam per hour. This is partly converted into electricity for the plant and partly used externally.” Thus process heat is sold to the local utilities company, Stadtwerke Riesa GmbH, and used to power the neighbouring tyre factory.

The €20 million investment has moreover helped to reduce the electricity consumption of the melting furnace by five per cent and to avoid 26,260 tonnes of climate-damaging carbon dioxide every year. A further 27,000 tonnes per year are saved through innovations in the steel rolling process; what’s more, 22,600 tonnes of slag and 2,800 tonnes of dust less will be produced in future. Not only Ramy Abd Elghany from cement producer Lafarge based in Suez and Oleksii Kovalov from the Ukrainian steel company ISD gained ideas for their own companies. All participants were able to relate to the motto of Feralpi founder Carlo Nicola Pasini to “Produce and grow with respect for humankind and the environment”.

A number of participants also agreed preliminary business deals with companies from across Germany. Dmytro Melnyk from the Ukrainian water and wastewater company VODSERVIS – KHARKIV will in future sell technology by WaterSam GmbH & Co. KG in his home country. In collaboration with Krumbach-based Hans Lingl Anlagenbau und Verfahrenstechnik GmbH & Co., Khaled Abdelhalim will replace his furnaces in the Egyptian city of Cairo to reduce energy consumption. And in Mexico, Rafael Cuellar intends to introduce energy storage solutions by Riello Power Systems GmbH based in Neufahrn. Following their business meetings, several participants announced plans to source equipment and services worth a total of around €1.2 million from Germany in the coming months.

By Peter Rösler GICON®International Training and Business Development GmbH, Dresden