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AGC Glass Europe and E.ON deepen their partnership to improve energy efficiency and decarbonisation

Like all energy-intensive industries, the glass industry faces the challenge of producing more energy efficiently and reducing CO2 emissions. Hence, energy company E.ON and glass manufacturer AGC now strengthen their existing partnership with a joint project for waste heat recovery and production of green power at AGC’s float glass plant in Seingbouse, France. The project will be developed, implemented, financed and operated by E.ON.

E.ON and AGC Glass Europe launched their partnership back in 2019 and have already implemented energy efficiency projects in various European countries. In addition, the construction of further photovoltaic plants with up to 20 megawatts (MW) capacity is planned in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Waste heat is the world’s largest unused energy source. Around half of the heat used in industry is lost. It goes to waste, even though it is valuable. The heart of the glass production process is the float glass furnace which operates at high temperatures above 1,000°C. About 30 per cent of the heat needed for the production process at the end is lost in the flue gas and remained so far unused. E.ON and AGC Glass Europe want to change that. At AGC’s production site in Seingbouse, this heat will be recovered to generate CO2-neutral electricity by implementing an innovative Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) plant with a capacity of 1.3 MW.

To further decarbonise, E.ON is also installing a photovoltaic power plant with a capacity of 2.7 MW on the factory’s premises. It will generate renewable electricity on a total of 27,000 square meters.

Combining the photovoltaic panels with the ORC power plant, E.ON will annually provide AGC with around 10 gigawatt hours (GWh) of decarbonised electricity from 2023 on. This electricity is fully produced and consumed on AGC’s site and covers a large part of the electricity needs. On this basis, around 595 tons of CO2 are annually avoided.

Both parties have agreed to structure the project as PPA (Power Purchase Agreement), where E.ON will produce and sell electricity to AGC on a long-term basis at fixed price. This will allow AGC’s site to become largely independent of volatile energy markets. Additionally, the project does not require any investment from AGC, as it is financed by E.ON and supported by the French Government as part of the France Relance plan set up by ADEME.

“Our plant is one of AGC’s larger production lines for the building sector with a yearly production of 240,000 tons of float glass. Our goal is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent and our energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2030. To achieve this, we are constantly working to improve the environmental performance of our production sites. The project in Seingbouse here in France is a perfect example of how E.ON can help us to not only achieve our sustainability goals but also to secure the site’s long-term competitiveness,” said Marc Bartheld, Plant Manager of AGC Seingbouse.

Guenther Schneider, Managing Director of E.ON France added that besides decarbonisation, security of supply and independence from volatile commodity prices are becoming more and more crucial for E.ON’s industrial customers in the current market environment.

“These targets can be achieved by consequently combining energy efficiency measures with the reuse of waste heat and locally produced green energy. Thanks to E.ON’s international presence, we can help AGC to implement this sustainability strategy in an efficient way across their European sites,” he underlined.

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