Plans are underway to construct a new power plant fuelled by waste material on the premises of Rondo Ganahl AG as part of the Initiative “Energy Autonomy Frastanz”. The new plant in Austria’s most western province will cover the future thermal energy demand of the Rondo paper mill and corrugated board plant and will also supply other businesses and private households.

Achieving independence from fossil fuels

The challenging situation in the energy and gas market persisted during summer and autumn, and prices continued to rise. The demand for gas is expected to increase again in Austria and Europe in the coming winter months. The project “Energy Autonomy Frastanz” was launched at the end of June 2022 to counteract soaring prices and take a big step towards independence from natural gas, particularly from Russia. Its core element is the construction of a waste material power plant on the premises of Rondo Ganahl AG. 

Project progress on schedule

The plans for the project were finetuned during the last months for submission as scheduled at the beginning of 2023. At the same time negotiations are being held with the Municipality of Frastanz and the Federal State of Vorarlberg to rezone the company car park as part of the project. Hubert Marte, Chairman of the Board of Rondo Ganahl AG, highlights the significance and necessity of the project: “It is high time that we put our energy supply on a new footing and assume responsibility for our employees and customers. The new power generating plant is our response to the uncertain supply of gas. More importantly, it will make us self-sufficient with regard to energy and will boost our gas independence.”

Energy Autonomy Frastanz_Rondo Ganahl AG

Clean energy for paper manufacturing and local heating

“Energy Autonomy Frastanz” is a joint initiative of Rondo Ganahl AG, the community of Frastanz, the Frastanz Brewery and the E-Werke Frastanz Electricity Company. The parties involved in the project are creating new impulses for the local energy supply. Rondo’s new in-house power generating plant will supply the paper mill and corrugated board plant with process heat. Until now, the required thermal energy, could only be obtained from gas. In addition, the power generating plant provides the opportunity to expand the local bio-heat network of Biowärme Frastanz. The recyclable and residual waste resources available in the Federal State of Vorarlberg can be used as valuable sources of energy directly in Frastanz itself. “The time has come to no longer rely on oil and gas for heating, which is why we want to offer private households and businesses a sensible alternative”, says Walter Gohm, Mayor of Frastanz.  

Other companies besides Rondo should also benefit from heat from the power generating plant, such as Frastanz Brewery, Rondo’s closest neighbour and project partner. Up to 500 private households could receive thermal heating once the Frastanz local heat network has been expanded and the new power plant integrated into the network. 

Turning valuable residual waste products into energy

Currently, Rondo requires approximately 14 million standard cubic metres of gas or 150 GWh of thermal energy every year. This corresponds to the average annual demand of about 10,000 households in Vorarlberg. The waste material power plant, fuelled by waste products from commercial production, has been designed for an annual volume of around 200 GWh of thermal energy. A total of 35,000 tonnes of waste material can be converted into energy every year. A good third are residues from Rondo’s own paper manufacturing that can no longer be further processed into recycled paper but may still be used as a source of energy. The remainder comes from local waste disposal specialists. At any rate, approximately 100,000 tonnes of such residual waste products accrue in Vorarlberg every year.  Currently these products are processed into energy in neighbouring countries.

Risk Management

The power generating plant in Frastanz will be built according to state-of-the-art technology standards and will benefit from the high quality plant and filter systems used to limit emissions. An area on Rondo’s premises currently used as a car park has been earmarked as the location for the plant. During planning attention has also been given to the objective to smoothly incorporate the new building into the cubature of the current buildings and blend it harmoniously into the townscape. According to current plans, the power generating plant will be completed by 2025.

Fact box
Frastanz waste material power plant
Capacity: 35,000 tonnes of residual waste (material input) each year
Share of Rondo paper mill:11,000 tonnes
Total performance (output):200 GWh of thermal energy each year
Required area: 3,600 square metres on the company premises of Rondo
Height of building:approximately 32 metres
Planned investment sum:  80 million Euros
Realisation:   by 2025

About Rondo Ganahl
Rondo Ganahl AG, headquartered in Frastanz (Vorarlberg, Austria), is specialised in the manufacture of corrugated board raw paper, paper recycling and the production of individual external packaging made of corrugated board and customised moulded pulp internal packaging. The roots of this modern family-owned industrial company date back to the year 1797. Today, Rondo employs a workforce of about 1,800 at various locations in Austria as well as in Germany, Hungary, Romania and Turkey. The company promotes the sparing use of resources and collects, sorts and presses recycled paper and cardboard packaging as raw material for its own corrugated board raw papers. This is how Rondo succeeds in closing the recycling chain within the group of companies.

Udo Nachbaur_Rondo Ganahl AG

Udo Nachbaur

Rondo Ganahl AG

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