Coal, gas, and electricity—voestalpine strategically plans its energy requirements.
Just like ores, coal, and additives, energy is a basic raw material which the voestalpine Group sources for hundreds of sites worldwide. They include the four major consumers in Linz, Donawitz, Kapfenberg, and Corpus Christi, as well as many other production locations. Total energy consumption across the voestalpine Group amounted to over 37 TWh in 2016.
Strategically planning energy
It should be simple to calculate the quantities needed: demand minus in-house production (e.g., electricity generated from process gases in the blast and LD furnaces) = quantity to purchase.
However, the requirements vary constantly, as do the market conditions for purchasing.“For that reason, it is particularly important that we ensure our energy supplies on a very long-term basis,” explains René Matscheko, coordinator of the Energy Committee and CEO of the voestalpine Rohstoffbeschaffungs GmbH. “At a strategic level, scenarios are regularly modeled which offer us a highly flexible solution at all times when it comes to energy purchases, irrespective of our foreseeable level of demand and the specific external conditions.”
Group-wide energy procurement
The energy flows extend far beyond the borders of the voestalpine divisions. Every effort is made to use energy as efficiently as possible. This involves not only forward planning but also close collaboration between consumers and the employees responsible for energy purchasing.
- For example, the in-house gas balancing group forms a flexible supply network of consumers within the Group so that gas can be supplied without the involvement of intermediaries.
- A shared energy pool, including electricity consumers at the German voestalpine sites, amongst others, negotiates better energy prices and allows fluctuations in demand to be rapidly balanced.
"We generate more than 80% of the power we need from our process gases. The highest levels of efficiency, supply reliability, and dynamic participation in the energy markets are factors in our success."
Employees with energy
Just as in daily operations, the voestalpine employees involved in strategic planning understand the market conditions in detail, and know how to turn them to the company’s advantage.
"Today, as in the future, it is our employee know-how which guarantees highly efficient energy use"
More on environment at voestalpine: www.voestalpine.com/environment