Environmentally friendly: from production to the product – that is how the concept of power and heat supply to the factory of Mercedes-Benz engines in Jawor in Lower Silesia could be summarised. The plant will be fully neutral in terms of CO2 emissions. The basis of environmentally friendly energy supply will be renewable sources: wind and biomass. Jawor will thus become a model for all 30 factories of the Mercedes-Benz Cars network in the world. In line with the company’s promise, by 2022 all Mercedes factories in Europe will consistently develop environmentally friendly production.
Works related to the construction of the Mercedes-Benz factory in Jawor are progressing according to plan. After the stage of construction, the investor is entering the subsequent project phase and starts furnishing the production halls with machinery and devices. Since mid-2019, a one-thousand-men strong team will be producing here modern engines for Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles with hybrid and conventional drive. Mercedes Benz Manufacturing Poland, the company managing the factory, has an ambitious goal in mind: to start production compliant with the principles of sustainable development, CO2-neutral.
‘The power of innovation of our factory is proven not only by highly technologically advanced production methods but also resource- and environmentally-friendly concept of electricity and heat supply. We are trying to act sustainably, from production to the final product. Whole energy demand will be covered only from renewables’ said dr Andreas Schenkel, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Poland. ‘Emission-free factory has been our goal from the very beginning. I’m very happy that we are a synonym of modern, and at the same time environmentally-friendly production in the automotive sector’, adds Andreas Schenkel.
Emission-free character of production means that the factory in Jawor will completely give up energy sourced from fossil fuels and will in the long-term use electricity and heat produced from renewable energy sources – wind and biomass. Green electricity will be supplied by EWG Taczalin Sp. z o.o. directly from the wind farm Taczalin, 12 km away from Jawor.
The farm, operating since 2013, is composed of 22 wind turbines with installed nominal power of 2.05 MW each and hub height of 100 m. The total nominal power of the farm is 45.1 MW. With annual electricity production at the level of around 109 GWh, the Taczalin farm is able to cover the whole yearly demand of the Jawor plant. The wind farm is located close to the A4 motorway, which ensures quick servicing of the turbines and uninterrupted production of electricity for the factory.
‘Selection of the electricity provider was driven by ecological and economic factors, and proximity of the windfarm to the engine factory in Jawor. The contract signed is unprecedented – it is the first contract of that type in Poland concluded directly between a producer of electricity from wind and its user, that is our company’, emphasises Schenkel.
Electricity generated by windfarms is transported from the source through underground cables with a total length of approximately 20 km to the “Górka” transformer station, from where (already at 110 kV through industrial lines) it will reach the newly created engine factory in Jawor.
Modernizing the energy infrastructure, the wind park investor did not forget about inhabitants of neighbouring localities. Upon request of local authorities it also built a cycling patch and other facilities for them.
Green heat for the factory in Jawor will be produced from biomass (pellet) i.e. woodchips coming mostly from a plantation of so called energy willow. Getec Heat & Power, with experience in this type of installations, will be responsible for that part of the project.
The most modern factory in the network
The Polish Mercedes factory will be one of the most modern in the world. Apart from energy supply from renewable energy sources, the factory plans to be completely paperless in terms of its documentation. Pilot solutions from Jawor will be tested in other factories of the company.
Mercedes-Benz factory in Jawor is part of the so called fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), entailing the use of superintelligent machinery allowing to manage information in real time, or digital production management. Augmented Reality (AR) and Big Data analyses will, among others, be used in the production process, significantly supporting production and assembly workflows.
Production of modern four-cylinder engines for vehicles with hybrid and conventional drive is planned to start in mid-2019. These will be used in Mercedes factories all over the world. Due to rising demand for new drive units, the company decided to increase the employment level – from 500 to 1000 people.