Local heat network AVG Köln: Generating eco-friendly energy with waste wood

AVG Ressourcen GmbH, subsidiary of AVG Abfallentsorgungs- und Verwertungsgesellschaft Köln mbH, has become a climate-friendly heat supplier at its location in the Niehl district of Cologne. The company has set up a local heat network for two of its operations buildings, the cultural institution “Kantine”, a refugee home and the Society for Labour and Vocational Training (GAB), supplying the buildings with heat for space heating and hot water. The local heat network is operated by means of a wood chip-fired boiler fed with waste wood. This makes the waste management company the first company in its sector to assume the role of energy supplier using waste wood.

AVG acquires 100,000 tonnes of waste wood per year at its recycling centres in Niehl and Heumar. The company usually prepares the wood to be used for wood particle board or to generate electricity and heat in biomass CHP plants.

Since March 2017, the waste company has been incinerating a small quantity of the waste wood, namely 350 to 400 tonnes annually, using a wood chip-fired boiler directly in Niehl to supply the surrounding buildings with heat. This keeps transport routes short and reduces loss caused by heat transport.

Engine for progress:

  • Waste and recycling company becomes heat supplier
  • Energy source from the region for the region
  • Volume of particulate matter 95 per cent lower than the required limit value
  • Saving of 485 tonnes of CO2 emissions by replacing old heating systems

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Photo: AVG Köln mbH

The fuel is produced from untreated waste wood and is characterised by high calorific values and low ash shares.

Exposure to particulate matter remains low

AVG laid around 600 metres of new lines for the new local heat network. The facilities were previously operated with older gas and electric heaters and now benefit from the climate-friendly heat from waste wood. AVG now saves 485 tonnes of CO2 per year after exchanging the heaters. AVG also optimises the dust collector in the system through the use of additional, state-of-the-art filter technology. This has lowered particulate matter emissions in Niehl to 95 per cent below the legally required limit value.

Simple operation thanks to contracting model

Even operating the heating systems is easier. Only small heat exchangers are still installed in the buildings, which require no chimney sweeps or installers during maintenance work. Another advantage: a large boiler room is no longer necessary and investing in new heating systems can also be omitted. AVG will assume all maintenance and repair measures as part of a contracting model.

Foto: AVG Köln mbH

“Our motto is to generate energy for the region from raw materials from the region. We produce wood chips from waste wood, a renewable energy source. We are therefore making an important contribution to climate and environmental protection. Our local heat network is also cleaner than old oil and gas heating thanks to the use of modern filtering and boiler technology.”

Patrick Dowe, Project Manager at AVG Ressourcen GmbH

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