OPTERRA continues to pursue environmentally friendly cement production
Published by Emily Thomas,
The Wössinger cement works has been part of the region around Walzbachtal for more than 70 years. Around a third of the employees come from the Walzbachtal community.
With OPTERRA’s trade tax payments, the company makes a significant contribution to the budget of its local community.
In addition, the company supports associations, schools and kindergartens in their projects and cooperates with schools. OPTERRA always lives the principle of open ears and doors for all interested parties. As part of the community, the company is actively involved in improving the quality of life in Wössingen and Jöhlingen.
OPTERRA is constantly reducing the ecological footprint of cement production through a large number of investments and projects.
With the construction of the preheater tower a few years ago and the associated fundamental modernisation of the manufacturing process, the annual consumption of water was reduced by around 40%. The company has also succeeded in reducing CO2 emissions by 20%.
In 2012, OPTERRA was the first cement plant in Germany to install a metering device for activated carbon to reduce mercury emissions. The Wössinger cement plant was thus mentioned as Best Practice in the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). Even today, the cement plant is the plant with the strictest emission limit values for mercury in Germany.
In 2017, the emissions of NOx (nitrogen oxides) were significantly reduced with the construction of a facility for selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR). Wössingen was the first cement plant in Germany to meet emission limit values, which only became legally binding in 2019.
OPTERRA is currently planning to set up a new filter system on the clinker cooler in order to further reduce dust emissions.
The technology used to reduce emissions follows the recognised concept of best available technology (BAT). Which technologies are among the best available technology is determined at European level at regular intervals and published in Germany in so-called BVT leaflets by the Federal Ministry of the Environment. 1
OPTERRA is consistently pursuing the path it has taken towards an environmentally friendly cement plant. To this end, investments in the three-digit million range in technologies to reduce emissions – especially with regard to CO2 – will be indispensable in the coming decades. In order to be able to raise the necessary financial resources, the plant needs investment security. Specifically, this requires secure access to limestone reserves – the primary raw material for cement. It is not without reason that the new green-black state government under the leadership of Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann has set itself the goal of securing the state's natural raw materials and recycling them.
The quarrying of limestone is always a time-consuming process. OPTERRA’s quarries are already biotopes for numerous protected species such as eagle owl and natterjack toad during the renaturation process. Hundreds of visitors were able to convince themselves of the new life in old quarries during tours of the specially created nature trail and organised excursions in recent years. The last time this happened was on 07 May 2021, during a tour of the almost complete Walzbachtal municipal council together with Mayor Timur Özcan.
At this point, OPTERRA renews its invitation to an open, and gladly critical, dialogue. The company has one request: it should always be fair. All sides benefit from a discussion that is based on the will to find out facts and backgrounds.
1 The legal basis is Directive 2010/75 / EU on industrial emissions.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/27052021/opterra-continues-to-pursue-environmentally-friendly-cement-production/
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