Trelleborg Wheel Systems is planning to adopt renewable energy sources in its Sri Lanka tire manufacturing facility through the introduction of an advanced biomass boiler.
The Trelleborg facility, located in Makola, close to Colombo, employees over 850 people and produces solid tires for the material handling and port industries, as well as pneumatic tires for light agricultural applications.
While the production of steam is essential to the tire curing process, it is traditionally carried out by a furnace oil boiler, which is responsible for substantial CO2 emissions. Now, Trelleborg is investing in an advanced, biomass-fired boiler which reduces CO2 emission by over 90%. The project has been kicked-off and the new process will be fully operational starting from June 2019.
Paolo Pompei, President at Trelleborg Wheel Systems, says: “The investment is in line with the company target to address the environmental performance across the entire tire life cycle, from the design to the end of life, to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of production processes and products. The introduction of a new biomass-fired boiler will also improve transformation cost efficiency, reducing the impact of raw material fluctuation for customers, while maintaining product competitiveness in the market. The initiative is in line with Trelleborg’s Blue DimensionTM approach to sustainability, which focuses on combining environmental benefits with benefits for the customers in terms of higher efficiency and productivity.”
The traditional tire manufacturing process at the facility is currently responsible for over 11,000 tons of CO2 equivalents and 3.5 million liters of furnace oil consumption per year. With the introduction of the biomass system, the carbon footprint will be reduced to less than 1,000 tons of CO2 equivalents per year – signifying a 90% reduction. The supply of biomass needed for the production output will be entirely fulfilled by local producers, thus shortening the supply, further reducing the carbon footprint and supporting the local economy.
The company also added in its press release that there investment will not only reduce the plant’s environmental footprint, but it will also improve production efficiency.