ABB transforms waste heat to clean energy

CO2-free power production improves energy efficiency at Jura Cement's Wildegg plant

Baden, Switzerland, July 19, 2012 – ABB, EKZ GETEC and Jura Cement have signed an agreement to install an ABB system at the Wildegg AG cement plant, which generates power from waste heat. The advanced solution is based on *ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle), a thermodynamic process that enables waste heat to be converted to ecologically sound electricity. Once the system is in operation, the plant energy costs at the Wildegg plant are reduced dramatically. Jura Cement will have to purchase about twenty percent less electricity. EKZ GETEC is financing the system. It is also supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Energy within its program «EnergySwitzerland» as an energy strategical project.

ABB has the expertise required to integrate the power plant completely into the cement production process. The turnkey power station order includes design, project management, delivery, installation and commissioning and is scheduled to be started up in November 2013.

Marcel Bieri, production manager at Jura Cement, says: "We will be able to generate 14,400 MWh of electric power using ABB's waste heat recovery system. That's enough to satisfy the power demand of about 3,600 Swiss households."

Cement production is very energy intensive. The temperature in the kilns where the clinker is produced reaches 1,500° C. Although the waste heat from the cement process is largely reusable at this modern plant; for example, to dry raw materials, a substantial amount of low-temperature gas goes up the stack. ABB's ORC power station is an integrated system that allows low-grade waste heat in industrial plants to be utilized efficiently. A business case can be made for utilizing stack gases hotter than 200° C to produce power. The generator ratings range from 500 kW to the double-digit megawatt range.

Companies using ABB's system have lower operating costs and are less exposed to rising energy prices thanks to the CO2-free power produced at their sites. Customers' capital costs are low because the system uses standard components, which can be quickly and efficiently installed by ABB's professional planning and project teams.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. ABB Group operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145 people.

*ORC process
The ORC process (Organic Rankine Cycle) is a thermodynamic process that makes use of an organic fluid with a boiling point lower than water, which enables low temperature energy sources to be used effectively to generate electric power.

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