Environmental Protection at EUROGATE
Protecting the environment and Earth’s resources takes high priority at EUROGATE. In the past years, several measures have been taken to continuously reduce the company’s ecological footprint. And in the future, too, we will constantly work on improving our environmental impact.
You can find information on our specific achievements here:
EUROGATE uses container bridges which feature a smart system for saving energy. When the load is lowered or the driver’s cabin comes to a halt, energy is set free. Since the middle of the 1980s, engineers have been working on finding a way to use this energy. Today, EUROGATE employs a technology that returns 20–25% of the total energy back into the power mains system – making it available to other consumers. The result is a reduction in CO2 emissions of about 4,000 tonnes every year.
Efficiently winning energy
At conventional power plants, 67% of the energy used to create energy is lost in the form of heat. Of course, it is more efficient to immediately use this heat waste for heating and hot water. That’s why EUROGATE installed a combined heat and power plant at the Bremerhaven terminal as far back as 1987 – providing heat and electricity for office and factory buildings. Thanks to an efficiency of 90.6%, EUROGATE saves half (57%) of the energy which would otherwise be needed from a primary source.
Since 2006, EUROGATE has been operating a woodchip heating plant in Bremerhaven. Hackled wooden dunnage is transformed into useful heat. Dunnage is used to protect large, bulky machines from damages during transport in containers. Once the goods have safely arrived at the port, the wood would unfortunately be discarded, as it has a unique shape and thus cannot be used again. But not at Bremerhaven. EUROGATE not only uses wood as a renewable resource, it also re-uses what would otherwise be a waste product.
Since 2008, the terminal in Hamburg has also featured a woodchip heating plant.
Moreover, 14 heat pumps have been installed in Bremerhaven by EUROGATE Technical Services. These pumps deliver hot and cold air for small remote buildings at the terminal which can not be supplied by the district heating system.
Energy efficiency in the office
When it comes to saving energy, office buildings are called on to do their bit too. Thanks to a consolidation of the servers in Hamburg, two large servers have now replaced 50 small ones. Thus, EUROGATE better utilises the available computer capacity as well as saves 80,000 kg of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere every year.
Soon, this concept will also be implemented in Bremerhaven.
In areas of the EUROGATE Group, namely at REMAIN, we have gone even further and implemented virtual desktops. With this system, the computer capacity for all employees is concentrated on just a few highly efficient computers – reducing energy consumption enormously. The installation of a modern air conditioning in our data centre in Hamburg will further reduce CO2-Emissions by 110t annually beginning in 2010.
Transport within the port
When handling containers, EUROGATE uses straddle carriers at all its terminals, also known as gantry lifts. These vehicles are able to lift containers and stack up to four of them on top of each other. Of course, this requires a lot of energy. But the Profitcenter Fahrzeugtechnik by EUROGATE, in close cooperation with the manufacturers of straddle carriers, has managed to continuously decrease the carriers’ average petrol consumption. Today, consumption for an hour of operation has decreased by one-third compared to what it was 15 years ago. Originally, the vehicles were powered by diesel-hydraulic, and now they have been replaced bit-by-bit with diesel-electric vehicles. In this way, petrol consumption has been reduced and the danger of petrol accidents minimised.
However, EUROGATE does not rest on its laurels. Our goal is to further reduce petrol consumption in the coming years by another 15% per hour of operation. To achieve this, we firstly work on a stepwise downsizing of the engines and secondly have initiated research in the area of hybrid motors and hydrogen propulsion. Since September 2009 two vehicles using SuperCaps are already running in Bremerhaven.
For another research project, EUROGATE is working on the development of a cable car transport system. Where earlier long truck journeys with high petrol consumption were needed, this eco-friendly system would allow containers to be transported more efficiently on certain routes: through the air.
Also for passenger transport at the terminal, EUROGATE applies innovative technology. Already thirteen passenger cars in Bremerhaven are fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and ten further vehicles will follow soon. LNG causes distinctively less emissions compared to petrol or diesel. The CO2-release is reduced by 15% and NOX-emission is lowered by even 500%.
Since June 2009, EUROGATE has switched to recycled paper for all of its internal communications. That means hundreds of trees can continue to grow and take in almost half a million kilograms of CO2 emissions. But most importantly: a habitat for animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms is kept in tact, the Earth’s soil is protected, a stable water cycle is maintained and the air is filtered of harmful substances. Plus, the manufacturing of wood pulp requires an abundance of chemicals and energy. When recycled paper is used as a basis instead, this part of the process is made redundant – saving eight to ten times the energy, drinking water and chemicals that would otherwise be needed. Add to that the fact that the “recycled paper” resource is basically right at our doorstep, while 80% of the wood for paper comes from Russia, Canada or Scandinavia. That means using recycled paper virtually eliminates long transport routes and the use of precious resources – preserving our climate and atmosphere. Simultaneously the overall paper consumption will be reduced by approximately 30% as EUROGATE IT Services as converted the majority of printers to duplex-printing.
Since 23 March 2009, the EUROGATE container terminal in Hamburg has been an Environmental Partner of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The Ministry for City Development and Environment awards this recognition to companies which demonstrate voluntary engagement in protecting the environment. Like the Hamburg terminal, which employs innovative technologies for container bridges and straddle carriers. But also building modernisation and energy-efficient IT are key to environmental protection. In total, CO2 emissions at the terminal have been reduced by almost nine million kilograms annually over the last three years.