GP JOULE partners with Lech-Stahlwerke to supply waste heat for an entire region
Herbertshofen and Meitingen to get a heating network fed by waste heat from a steelworks
Buttenwiesen, 2. November 2023
Steelmaking is one of the most energy-intensive forms of industry. Lech-Stahlwerke GmbH, Bavaria’s only steelworks, needs about as much electricity a year as a city of 300,000 people. However, the plant in Meitingen – a town in the Augsburg rural district – also gives off energy in the form of waste heat. GP JOULE is planning to feed this energy into a heating network for local towns and villages, thus enabling it to provide a sustainable and affordable supply of heat to both residents and businesses.
GP JOULE and Lech-Stahlwerke are hoping to forge a long-term partnership for heat with a project that they are working on together. The project is geared towards recovering the waste heat from Lech-Stahlwerke’s Meitingen site and feeding it into a heating network in order to cut carbon emissions and give customers a supply of heat that is not dependent on fossil fuels.
“We’re delighted that the people who live near the steelworks will be able to benefit directly from the large company in their local area as a result of this industrial waste heat recovery,” says Felix Schwahn, Managing Director of GP JOULE Wärme. Martin Kießling, Managing Director of Lech-Stahlwerke, adds: “This will enable us to make an even bigger contribution to conserving resources and boosting sustainability in the region.”
It has not been possible up until now to harness the heat produced in the steelmaking process, but this is on the verge of changing. Theoretically speaking, the waste heat can supply over 10,000 homes – enough to do the job of some 4 million litres of heating oil a year. GP JOULE will thus be pressing ahead with its plans for the first few stages of the heating network’s construction in the coming months. “Although we’ll probably start in Herbertshofen, in the next step we want to offer the people of Meitingen and other towns and villages inexpensive and climate-friendly heat as well,” Felix Schwahn explains. If all goes to plan, work on laying the heating network could begin as soon as early 2025.
Supplying homes and businesses with climate-friendly energy has been a priority for municipalities for some time now, not least as a result of the German Buildings Energy Act and the Heat Planning Act. Supplying heat accounts for a large part of Germany’s carbon emissions, and municipalities will be relying on renewable energy and waste heat recovery in the future to ensure a reliable, affordable and future-proof heat supply. The project to harness waste heat from Lech-Stahlwerke and the plans for a heating network should put the neighbouring municipalities a big step ahead even at this early stage.
About GP JOULE
GP JOULE is an integrated energy supplier that covers the entire energy value chain, from generation to use – and from consulting and financing through to project planning, construction and service. GP JOULE produces and sells wind and solar power, green hydrogen and heat and makes use of it where it is most effective: in electric and hydrogen-based mobility, in households and in industry. From its base in Germany, GP JOULE has been shaping the future of energy in Europe since 2009. For a secure, independent and sustainable supply of energy. For 100% renewable energy for everyone.
GP JOULE won the 2022 German Mobility Award for its eFarm hydrogen mobility project.
Based in Meitingen near Augsburg, Lech-Stahlwerke (LSW) is Bavaria’s largest recycling company. With around 800 employees, LSW produces about 1 million tonnes of high-quality structural steel, high-grade steel and rebar each year. Over 40 million tonnes of scrap have been recycled since the company smelted its first iron on 19 March 1972. This equates to more than 4,000 tonnes of scrap recycled every day or almost 50 million scrapped cars in total.
LSW is part of the Max Aicher Foundation’s Steel & Production Division, making it a key component of the Max Aicher Group.
GP JOULE Group
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