A dedicated, highly experienced team is responsible for environmental protection, legal conformity, energy efficiency and supply security at AMAG. It includes all AMAG employees whose actions influence the environmental impacts of AMAG’s business activities. Numerous external certifications, awards and transparent reporting all attest to AMAG’s meticulous approach to environmental and sustainability-related issues.
AMAG production facilities were designed and are operated to meet or even surpass the current state-of-the-art technology, comply with all legal requirements and minimize their environmental impacts as far as possible. The final aspect, minimizing environmental impacts, includes making sure the company uses materials, auxiliary and operating materials, water and energy as efficiently as possible. Another crucial factor is continuously optimizing our production processes, and investing in state-of-the-art machinery.
Sustainable development at the site
Continuous improvements in energy performance contribute to the company’s sustainable development - from the smelting and casting processes at AMAG casting GmbH to the rolling, heat treatment and surface finishing processing at AMAG rolling GmbH. The AMAG Group’s integrated site in Ranshofen, which has a number of production facilities in close proximity, provides enormous advantages, as shown by the following examples:
- Use of waste heat from production processes to heat buildings
- Very short transport routes, e.g. rolling bars produced by AMAG casting for rolling mills only have to be transported a few meters for subsequent processing
- Internal scrap, e.g. scrap produced when preparing rolling bars for the rolling process, or when trimming aluminium sheets, is sorted, separated and swiftly returned to the production process at AMAG casting
- Internal recycling of construction material, with any excavation and demolition material generated on site used directly in other construction projects
- Different manufacturing plants share key infrastructure, e.g. transport routes, rail sidings, industrial water supply lines, energy infrastructure, central waste management system, surface water management systems, company fire department
Energy supply at the Ranshofen site
In relation to energy supply, although supply security is the top priority, AMAG also systematically monitors relevant sustainability criteria. The company’s main energy sources are electricity, 100% of which was generated from renewable sources in 2018, and natural gas, which will remain essential above all for the high-temperature processes used by AMAG casting until a CO2-free fuel (green hydrogen) becomes available.
The Austrian Power Grid (APG) is currently rebuilding the transformer station that supplies electricity to the site in order to safeguard supply. The company’s electricity supply is now supplemented by self-generated solar electricity from Austria’s largest roof-mounted photovoltaic installation.
In 2022, two key measures were implemented to ensure a secure gas supply. The first was a circular connection for the gas mains on the site, which will prevent supply interruptions in the event of a fault or damage to one part of the pipe, as the gas can now be supplied in two directions. The second measure was the decision to store enough natural gas for two months of full operation.
The air separation plant operated by Tyczka directly adjacent to the AMAG site produces oxygen and nitrogen. Pipelines transport these technical gases directly to AMAG rolling and AMAG casting, where they are used in the production process, e.g. in heat treatment systems and in the oxygen burners of special smelting furnaces. The air separation plant’s location immediately adjacent to AMAG and the pipelines between the two sites saves around 800 truck transports per year. This translates to a saving of roughly 200,000 kilometers and around 200 tons of CO2 emissions.
The path to climate-neutral AMAG
AMAG outlined its route to climate neutrality in its decarbonization roadmap, published in 2021. The roadmap states that climate neutrality will be technically and logistically feasible for AMAG when green electricity and green hydrogen are available in sufficient quantities and at competitive prices, and therefore focuses on five fields of action:
- Extensive research, e.g. into the use of hydrogen in aluminium smelting
- Even higher energy efficiency
- Necessary adjustments to site infrastructure to accommodate future energy and heating supples
- Detailed examination of the supply chain in relation to Scope 3 emissions
- Replacing fossil fuels - the final, decisive step
The basis of a future, climate-neutral AMAG will be its leading expertise in aluminium recycling. Producing secondary aluminium only requires 5% to 10% of the energy used in primary aluminium production and thereby represents the most significant contribution to creating a climate-neutral product and a climate-neutral industrial site.
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