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Volkswagen: Heat recovery feeding into a municipal district heating network

Veolia has been supplying heat to Volkswagen’s plant in Poznan, a Polish city of 520,000, for many years. The plant is Europe’s largest manufacturer of cylinder heads and it produces approximately 4.5 million components a year, consuming 30,000 metric tons of aluminum.
Veolia also manages production and distribution of heat on behalf of the city of Poznan.
Volkswagen was looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of its plant, which stands in the city center.
Teams from Volkswagen and Veolia worked together for two years and in 2016 they put in place a solution to recover heat from air compressors. The recovered heat is then fed into a specially designed substation before being injected into Poznan’s district heating network.
Using this solution, Veolia supplies zero-emission heat to around 30 buildings located near to the factory. And the factory emits 1,070 fewer metric tons of CO2 annually.
Benefits:

  • CO2 emissions reduced by almost 1,070 metric tons annually
  • 17,000 cubic meters (17 million liters) of water saved in the cooling process
  • efficient management of 37,000 gigajoules of residual heat per year (improved heat availability)

(contract length: three years from 2017)
Developed as part of a three-year partnership between Veolia, Volkswagen and the city of Poznan that started in 2017, the project has seen the emergence of a true circular economy local loop, bolstering cooperation between actors located in the same area. Veolia and Volkswagen will continue to build on their long-term collaboration to roll out further innovative sustainable projects of benefit to the city as a whole.