The three waste bins at the Ludwigshafen waste-to-energy plant run around the clock and throughout the year. The flue gas cleaning process never stops and neither do the filter dusts. Plant operator GML has relied on K+S for pick up and underground recovery services for many years.
The waste-to-energy plant’s inner-city location has the advantage of getting the energy to the consumer via the shortest route possible. However, there is only limited space for the residuals. ‘If the silo with the filter dust were full, we would have to shut down the whole plant’, explains GML’s Managing Director, Dr. Thomas Grommes. ‘Only a partner with multiple recovery sites can handle regular transports.’ For this reason, K+S has been safely disposing of this portion of GML’s residual waste for many years.
K+S guarantees that only state-of-the-art, low-noise vehicles are used. The use of large silo trucks also reduces the number of trips that are needed through the city.
Although the business relationship has existed since 1997, its strength was highlighted in October 2010. A large fire forced the shutdown of the waste-to-energy plant. The collection and recycling of filter dust came to a standstill or at best was well below the contractual agreement. ‘A business partner could have sought damages or contractual penalties’, remembers Dr. Grommes.
‘But such discussions have never come up at K+S. Instead, they immediately offered to help us bridge the gap. We added the outage period to the end of the contract. This is a good example of a service offering that is collaborative and solution-oriented.’
More to follow …
This section is an ongoing series with more “Insights” to come.