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Glencore`s Nordenhamer Zinkhütte relies on waste heat solutions from Orcan Energy

Four efficiency PACKs of the type eP I 150.200 connected to the roasting plant of Nordenhamer Zinkhütte GmbH, where they produce over 5000 MWh of electricity per year from excess heat.


Munich, 25.5.2021 - The waste heat specialist Orcan Energy has won a new major customer: The CleanTech company is now installing its waste heat solutions at Nordenhamer Zinkhütte GmbH, a subsidiary of the raw materials group Glencore and a company with a long tradition in zinc production. "With this new cooperation, our products are being used in zinc production for the first time," says Andreas Sichert, founder and CEO of Orcan Energy.

At Nordenhamer Zinkhütte GmbH, four modules of the eP I 150.200 type now convert the previously unused waste heat from energy-intensive zinc production into more than 5,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity per year. At the same time, they reduce CO2 emissions by around 2,800 metric tons. The company is thus achieving a significant reduction in electricity requirements and a considerable improvement in its eco-balance.

Nordenhamer Zinkhütte GmbH produces around 165,000 tons of zinc and zinc alloys annually in the north of Lower Saxony. Usable waste heat is available as a result of the process. Part of this waste heat could not be used economically until now due to the low temperature level. In order to make good use of this part, the company decided to convert the heat into electricity using the ORC-based efficiency packs from Orcan Energy.

In principle, the ORC plant works like a steam power plant. Instead of the working medium water vapor, an organic, for example carbon-based liquid with a low evaporation temperature is used in the ORC process. Waste heat at a relatively low temperature level can therefore be used to generate electricity. In this specific case, the previously unused condensed part of the steam is now passed through four efficiency packs, which generate electricity from it. The electricity produced is either consumed directly on site or fed into the power grid (NZH).

"We are continuously working to reduce and optimize the energy consumption of our processes. With the Orcan modules, we now succeed in making better use of existing waste heat potential. We can use the self-generated electricity directly on site. In this way, we relieve the burden on the power grid and protect the environment in a profitable way," says Waldemar Klink, operations director at Nordenhamer Zinkhütte.

Andreas Sichert: "Our goal is to play a major role in decarbonizing the global energy system with our waste heat solutions. For this reason, we are primarily targeting energy-intensive industries for the operation of our solutions. The application example at Nordenhamer Zinkhütte GmbH shows that waste heat solutions are now very diverse and that the use of waste heat can be a complementary instrument in the German energy transition. It is therefore worthwhile for every industrial company to take a targeted and detailed look at the sources of waste heat in order to be able to use its potential optimally and thus make its contribution to climate protection".


The waste heat project at Nordenhamer Zinkhütte GmbH was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy through a funding competition. The funding enabled the payback period of the project to be reduced to less than four years.


About Nordenhamer Zinkhütte GmbH

Nordenhamer Zinkhütte GmbH, is a subsidiary of the raw materials group Glencore and a company with a long tradition in zinc processing. At the site in Nordenham in the Bremerhaven area, raw materials (primary and secondary) are delivered and processed from all continents. Around 400 employees ensure the production of approximately 165,000 tons of fine zinc and zinc alloys per year, which is mainly used for industrial applications in the steel and die casting industries.


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