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AMAG presents path to climate neutrality and sets into operation Austria's largest rooftop photovoltaic system

Above: With an area of 55,000 m² (equivalent to eight soccer fields), the AMAG photovoltaic system is the largest roof-top system in Austria.

September 16, 2021 - In the presence of owner representatives, the chairman of state government, Thomas Stelzer, and guests from the region, the AMAG board of directors presented the path to climate-neutral production by 2040 on September 15, 2021. As a major milestone on this path, the largest rooftop Photovoltaic system in Austria was set into operation at this event.

AMAG strategy for climate neutrality

For many years, AMAG’s strategy has relied on special products and sustainability based on innovation. On this basis, a plan of initiatives has now been drawn up for the next 20 years, which describes the path to climate-neutral production by 2040 based on extensive R&D activities and investments in plants and infrastructure. The core topics are circular economy and recycling, energy efficiency and the replacement of fossil energy sources.

Recycling

The Ranshofen site has been recognized as a world leader in aluminum recycling for many years. Having a 75-80 percent share, aluminum scrap is the most important raw material. The recycling activities are to be expanded accordingly and accompany the growth path at the location. This also makes a valuable contribution to the implementation of the EU's Green Deal with a focus on the circular economy.

Energy efficiency

Thanks to extensive energy efficiency measures, the legal requirements in this field were significantly exceeded. Around 30 GWh of energy have been saved each year since 2014. Starting from an already very advanced level, further energy-saving measures will be implemented in the coming years.

Substitution of fossil energy sources

With an annual total energy requirement of 750 GWh, AMAG is a large energy consumer. Two thirds of this energy requirement are being covered today by fossil fuels (natural gas) and one third with electricity from renewable sources. For climate-neutral production, fossil fuels are being replaced by renewable energy sources.

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Presentation of the largest rooftop photovoltaic system in Austria. (from left to right) Stefan Lindtner, CCE Managing Director, Helmut Kaufmann, AMAG COO, Herbert Ortner, AMAG Supervisory Board Chairman, Governor Thomas Stelzer, Gerald Mayer, AMAG CEO, Victor Breguncci, AMAG CSO

AMAG's path to climate neutrality has been defined – the political support is called upon to ensure framework conditions

Initial preliminary studies show the technical feasibility of converting to climate-neutral production at AMAG by 2040. However, extensive preparations and numerous research projects are required in the coming years before starting with the implementation and the investment in systems and infrastructure in Ranshofen.

In return, politicians are called upon to create appropriate framework conditions and set the course for making Austria's climate goals achievable. This includes the timely supply of green energy at competitive prices.

“Since we have been working consistently and successfully on our sustainability program for many years, we are convinced that we will be able to manage the transition to climate-neutral production in the specified period up to 2040. An essential prerequisite for this, however, is the availability of green energy at internationally competitive costs and an efficient infrastructure,” says Gerald Mayer, CEO of AMAG Austria Metall AG.

AMAG sets into operation Austria's largest rooftop photovoltaic system

After only five months of construction, the system was officially put into operation on September 15, 2021. With 55,000 m² of collector surface, this system will generate 6.7 GWh of electricity annually on the roofs of the new rolling mill. This roof system is supplemented by ground-level solar fields. The capacity of the system would be sufficient to supply around 1,800 households with electricity. However, the electricity generated is used exclusively at AMAG and complements the electricity mix that consists already of 100% renewable energy sources for some years now.

“With our new solar power plant, we are taking another step on the way to decarbonizing our site and thus to climate neutrality, which we want to achieve by 2040. We would like to thank everyone involved in the project for their commitment over the past few months and for the on time completion, despite the occasional difficult weather conditions,” said Gerald Mayer, CEO of AMAG Austria Metall AG. The governor of Upper Austria Thomas Stelzer, praised the achievements of the Austrian industry in the field of tension between international competition and the increasing demands for environmental services and referred to the "Upper Austrian Photovoltaic Strategy 2030", which aims to increase solar power generation tenfold in the state.

“In hardly any other country in the world manufacturing companies produce as cleanly as in Upper Austria. With its measures in the field of sustainability, and particularly with the unique solar power project, AMAG is sending another strong signal that Upper Austria is a climate pioneer: through new technologies and a spirit of innovation - and not through taxes and bans. AMAG's plans are also a clear commitment to the region, which is more important than ever in these challenging times,” said Thomas Stelzer, Govenor of Upper Austria.

The photovoltaic expert CCE - Clean Capital Energy from Garsten near Steyr (Upper Austria), as a leading company, completed the challenging project on schedule in just five months of construction. With over 16,000 solar panels on an area equivalent to about 8 soccer fields, this system sets a new national record. CCE will operate the plant for the next 25 years and supply AMAG with electricity from its own roofs in a contracting model.

"With our many years of experience in the development, implementation and operational management of photovoltaic systems, we were able to implement this unique project in Ranshofen together with our customer AMAG in excellent cooperation,” said CCE Managing Director Stefan Lindtner, praising the achievements of those involved.

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