Continental tyre plants on energy saving drive

Continental tyre plants on energy saving driveThanks to 160 energy-saving projects, Continental Tires reduced its annual energy requirements by around 150 gigawatt hours in 2023. This was achieved, for example, through the increased use of renewable energies and thermal insulation.

The firm adds that 150 gigawatt hours equates to powering about 12,500 family homes for a year, with an average consumption of 12,000 kilowatt hours per year. Energy in the tyre industry is used, for example, to generate steam, which is required for tyre vulcanisation. In this production step, a rubber compound is converted into flexible, elastic rubber. With more efficient steam generation, Continental adds it has reduced its CO2 emissions by 31,000 tonnes in 2023 alone.

“We are generating more and more of our own electricity thanks to the massive expansion of photovoltaic systems. At the same time, we are driving a wide range of projects to make our operations even more energy efficient. In 2023, for example, we have saved a total of 150 gigawatt hours of energy. Each of our tyre plants is working on individual and company-wide solutions to achieve climate-neutral production by 2040 at the latest,” said Dr. Bernhard Trilken, Head of Manufacturing and Logistics at Continental Tires.

With its global energy-saving projects, Continental is actively taking responsibility for its carbon footprint. This has been confirmed for the sixth time in a row by the international non-profit organization CDP (previously known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). For its efforts in the past year, the CDP has included Continental in what is known as the Climate A List 2023. This makes Continental one of the world’s leading companies in climate protection. Continental has participated in this important environmental ranking for 12 years. Last year, the company achieved the grade “A-” in the area of climate protection.

Also, Continental Tires adds it already consumes 22% less energy per tonne of tyres produced than the industry average. This is the result of an internal benchmarking against average energy consumption of the world’s leading tyre manufacturers, as reported by the Tire Industry Project under the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Further, Continental Tires achieved a total newly installed photovoltaic capacity of 26.2 megawatts peak. This will enable Continental to generate up to 27.9 gigawatt hours of additional green electricity per year. The facilities at Continental’s tyre plants in Hefei (China), Rayong (Thailand), Hanover (Germany), Korbach (Germany) and Lousado (Portugal) were expanded. A new installation was built in Alor Setar (Malaysia).

Additional energy savings were achieved by installing insulation that reduces heat losses to the atmosphere. The insulation was fitted to pipes, hoses and tire presses, for example. Around a quarter of the 150 gigawatt hours saved in 2023 were achieved in this area. In 2023, Continental installed insulation in the Camacari (Brazil), Púchov (Slovakia) and Timisoara (Romania) tyre plants. A heat pump was installed in Otrokovice (Czech Republic).

Continental is also reducing its electricity consumption by converting to LED lighting. In all of the company’s tyre plants, all conventional light sources and safety lighting, such as emergency exit lighting, are gradually being converted to energy-saving LED technology. By using LED lighting, Continental saved a total of 9 gigawatt hours in 2023.

The ambition of Continental Tires by 2030 is to reduce its energy consumption by 20% versus 2018. Continental is aiming to achieve climate-neutral production by 2040 at the latest.