TÜBINGEN. The heating sector offers a variety of options for the energy turnaround. One of them is district heating. This is an efficient energy source that makes an important contribution to sustainability and climate protection, especially when used within heat and energy-intensive companies. The CHT Group for speciality chemicals has opted to utilise the district heating supplied by the Tübingen public utilities (swt) at its headquarters in Tübingen - and thus reduce CO2 and the use of fossil fuels. This also resulted in the district heating network of the municipal utilities being extended by an additional half kilometre.
Until recently, heating, hot water and various process steam applications within the CHT site in Bismarckstrasse, Tubingen were fed from a central steam generation plant fired by heating oil. Now three of four company buildings are connected to the swt district heating network and the process steam applications have been decentralised. The fourth building has already been equipped with a modern CHP system for many years. In the future, this building will be prepared for district heating. The conversion to district heating supply will be made as soon as the CHP plant has reached the end of its operating life. In order to connect the CHT headquarters to the district heating, the municipal utilities have extended their supply network by around 570 metres during a four-month construction period. The heat now flows through newly installed transfer stations where it is measured, regulated, transferred and finally fed into the buildings' heating circuits.
Dr. Bernhard Hettich, Chief Technical Officer of CHT Germany GmbH: “As a company CHT focuses on worldwide sustainability. This not only includes products but also the sustainable use of resources at the individual locations. At our headquarters in Tübingen, our efforts are directed towards reducing energy consumption and optimising it with regard to renewable energies. With this investment we will continue to reduce CO2 emissions and the consumption of fossil fuels for the energy we consume. As a Tübingen company, we are therefore pleased to be connected to the local district heating network and to be able to use its advantages for the benefit of our sustainability strategy“.
“Larger projects with major partners in Tübingen will decisively boost our ambitious targets for the expansion of district heating,“ says Ortwin Wiebecke, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Tübingen. “District heating with an ever-increasing share of renewable energies is a good heat carrier for the future with clear ecological advantages. Our network is to grow. However, this also requires consumers for district heating. Every new project has significant advantages for all the partners involved - especially if more and more attention is paid to a sustainable combination of ecology and economy“.
CHT's heat requirements are high as the three buildings already connected require around 1.3 million kilowatt hours of heat per year. With the fourth building included, the heat requirement is even 1.6 million kilowatt hours. With the conversion to district heating CHT saves about 152 tons of CO2 per year. An investment in the district heating connection is therefore an investment in the future, both from an ecological and economic point of view. CHT has invested 180,000 Euro in the district heating connection.
The Tübingen public utility company swt has invested around 500,000 Euro in the project. swt also advised CHT on the search for funding opportunities. Finally, the application submitted by swt was successful: The German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control supported the project as part of the investment programme "Energy Efficiency and Process Heat from Renewable Energies".
With this project, swt was able to continue the expansion of its district heating network, adding more than half a kilometre of new heat pipelines. In the past two years, swt has laid many hundreds of metres of new heat pipelines in the commercial and industrial area Unterer Wert, in Schaffhausenstrasse and Bismarckstrasse. At the beginning of the year, the textile manufacturer Gerhard Rösch Group had already been connected. New pipelines, which are being built as part of large-scale cooperation projects with local Tübingen industrial companies, are continuously increasing the efficiency of the swt district heating network. Further options are emerging in the vicinity of these projects, as new connections can be realised with relatively little effort because the main line is already in the ground. If companies opt for district heating supply, only the "last mile" of pipeline has to be built to the premises to be supplied.
The cooperation will continue in the future. The new laboratory building and a new office complex, which CHT Germany GmbH is planning, are also to be connected to the district heating network at a later date.
Stadtwerke Tübingen (swt) is a municipal energy and supply company for Tübingen and the region with nationwide sales of electricity and natural gas. So far, swt and its 530 employees have been 100 percent owned by the local authorities. As an expert in electricity, natural gas, district heating, water, telecommunications, swimming pools, multi-storey car parks and city buses, swt provides essential infrastructure services. swt stands for ecological and innovative power supply with a strong focus on the expansion of decentralised and renewable power generation. The total annual turnover is over 200 million Euro.