Volvo Car Group will be heating its Gent manufacturing plant with water from a nearby paper plant in order to reduce its emissions.

Two Nordic region companies, Volvo Car Group and Stora Enso, a global paper products group, have joined forces to reduce carbon emissions at Volvo’s plant in Belgium by over 40 percent. The companies said this underlines both of their long-term commitments to reduce their carbon footprint.

Stora Enso’s plant in Langerbrugge in Belgium is located close to Volvo’s own manufacturing facility in Gent. Volvo explained their close proximity means Stora Enso can install an underground hot water pipeline during 2015 to transport compressed water at a temperature of 125 degrees celsius to Volvo Car Gent. This will be used to heat Volvo’s buildings and paint booths.

Volvo Cars added this will substantially reduce its use of fossil fuels for heating purposes, decreasing its CO2 emissions and also its energy costs. It is estimated that this project will lead to a reduction of 15,000 tones CO2 per year, a net decrease of more than 40 percent of total CO2 emissions.

Volvo Car Group has a stated ambition “to be among the leaders in climate neutral operations and energy efficiency”.

The joint project with Stora Enso will by itself reduce Volvo’s Europe-wide CO2 emissions by 24 percent.

Construction of the pipeline is expected to begin in 2015 and the first hot water to be delivered in the autumn of 2016.

Stora Enso Langerbrugge explained it disposes of two high quality bio Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants where 200,000 tones of internal sludge and 360,000 tones externally delivered bio mass and bio waste are converted into electricity and process heat. The company will use this energy to heat water to 125 degrees celsius and bring this via an underground pipeline to Volvo Car Gent. That heat will be used for bringing the buildings and paint booths up to the desired temperature.

Volvo added having the paint booths conditioned with the exact temperature and humidity is essential to guarantee a high quality paint process.

The pipeline will have a total length (back and forth) of 4 kilometers, including 1 kilometer underneath the Ghent-Terneuzen maritime canal. It will have a capacity of 25 megawatt, equivalent to the energy of 5,000 households. The pipes aresaid to be heavily insulated and the heat loss will be less than a few degrees Celsius when the hot water arrives in the car plant.