The innovation of exploiting waste heat from industry for district heating in the commercial area and in the town of Ravne na Koroškem, developed jointly by the SIJ Group, or more exactly, by its company Metal Ravne and Petrol Energetika, is the winning project and recipient of the Environmentally-Friendly Service Award at today's traditional Environmental Meeting of Finance newspaper. The project has great potential for further development and extensive implementation, since it is the first of its kind in Slovenia to successfully seek out and connect the users of waste heat, as well as to develop the necessary technical and organizational solutions, which is the greatest challenge for such projects.
With this award-winning waste heat utilization project, the SIJ Group and its affiliate Metal Ravne, in cooperation with Petrol Energetika, d.o.o., have set the foundations for the future successful exploitation of waste heat as a supplementary or even as a primary source of district heating in towns close to steel plants or other major users of energy.
Metal Ravne is one of the leading producers of tools and special steels in Europe, and Petrol Energetika offers comprehensive energy and environmental solutions, as well as producing, supplying and distributing various types of energy and services, customized to the individual needs of consumers in the area of Ravne economic area and at the regional level. The award-winning project entails the use of waste heat from the cooling of the electric arc furnace at Metal Ravne, which up to now has been unexploited and released into the environment via cooling towers. The steel industry is one of the most energy-intensive industries, since the major transformation processes are carried out at high temperatures (melting, forging, rolling, heat treatment). The electric arc furnace at Metal Ravne is a major consumer of electricity, and the furnace is used to melt waste iron. When the steel temperature in the electric arc furnace exceeds 1600oC, cooling is necessary or the furnace structure is not able to endure such a thermal load.
This joint project enables the utilization of part of the waste heat for a district heating scheme which is used to heat hot water for industrial companies on the economic area and other consumers in the municipality. The project is the first in Slovenia to exploit industrial waste heat for district heating. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 1500 tons per year, and Metal Ravne will also save some electricity as the burden of the cooling system will be less.
The project enables a long-term, reliable supply of heat, the beginning of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the Ravne area, and makes a significant contribution to sustainable development and the quality of life in the municipality. The impetus of the project is an indicator of successful cooperation between the industry, the energy supplier and, last but not least, of the local community, which will become a more active user of the system by developing a waste heat exploitation system and increasing the proportion of waste heat in the heat production structure, especially in the future. Metal Ravne and Petrol Energetika will strive to turn the town of Ravne na Koroškem into a sustainable steel production town which can be a model for developing smart cities of the future by integrating industry-intensive companies into searching for new business models and increasing the quality of life in the local environment.
Slavko Kanalec, Director of Technology, SIJ Group
In accordance with the changes and the development of the Slovenian energy market and European market trends, SIJ Group has recently significantly reduced energy costs. We see challenges and opportunities in managing the entire life cycle of energy, so we do not only focus on optimal purchasing but also on the use of modern technologies in the consumption of primary energy and the use of "waste" water, which is actually not waste, but technological heat that can be beneficially exploited as can be seen in this award-winning project.
Samo Lečnik, Head of Energy Department, SIJ Group
We see major potential in the steel industry, i.e. in the re-use of waste heat for the generation of electricity or for district heating. Slovenian steel plants are located near or in towns, so we expect that the industrial waste heat in those towns will become a supplementary or in certain cases even the primary source of district heating in the coming years. A partnership between Metal Ravne and Petrol Energetika is no longer a vision, but an active and creative local process of establishing solid foundations for the further sustainable development of Ravne na Koroškem. This cooperation will enable the exploitation of the full potential of the local urban environment, especially in competitiveness and economic growth, as well as in reducing negative environmental impacts.
Mojca Kert, Director of Petrol Energetika
In the Koroška region we are aware of the importance of linking local community interests and industry interests in searching for sustainable solutions to becoming a low-carbon society. Petrol Energetika, which is part of PETROL Group, in cooperation with Metal Ravne from SIJ Group, has successfully conceived the model of a beneficial use for waste heat from the steel melting process, which has become one of the sources for district heating of the town of Ravne and the economic area of the former Ravne steelworks. This year, the highly efficient co-generation of heat and power, introduced in the Ravne heating plant in 1999, is being upgraded with technological heat, thus reducing the use of primary fuel. Similar strategic partnership scenarios between businesses and local communities will be expanded to other regions, where communities strive to increase the proportion of self-sufficiency in the local environment.
The SIJ Group is the largest Slovenian vertically integrated metallurgist group, ranked among the top market positions in the European and world niche steel markets. The Group comprises five business areas, has 23 affiliated companies in Europe, the USA and Asia, and employs some 3,200 people.
In 2014 the SIJ Group generated EUR 707.8 million in revenues, a 7% increase in comparison with 2013. Profitability also significantly increased, since the EBITDA increased by 91% reaching EUR 77.8 million. The 11% EBITDA margin that was achieved put the SIJ Group among the most successful world steel producing groups in 2014. The EBIT amounted to EUR 39.6 million and increased by 18 times in comparison with 2013, and net profit was slightly less than EUR 25 million.
T: 01 242 98 84
Skupina SIJ d.d., Ljubljana
M.A. Aleksander Salkič
T: 01 47 14 581
Petrol d.d., Ljubljana