ATLANTA — The Fire Retardant Additives (FRA) division of Huber Engineered Materials (HEM), a portfolio business of J.M. Huber Corp. (Huber), is preparing a plan for a major sustainability project and investment in a new power plant at its Martinswerk facility in Bergheim, Germany.

The project consists of a proposed replacement of the current lignite power plant with a natural gas-fired co-generation power plant to produce 100% of the required steam (thermal energy) and electricity demand for the production site. Doing so should result in significant sustainability benefits, including a 40% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, a 100% reduction of ash by-products and the elimination of daily lignite truck traffic to the site, which also decreases traffic and emissions throughout the local community.

The current lignite power plant was built in the 1950s and is still reliably producing the required steam and electricity for the Bergheim site. Because Germany is phasing out coal-fired power plants by 2038, it is no longer economically viable to make significant investments in the current lignite power plant required to support its long-term operation.

The next step would be to collaborate with the Works Council to develop a common strategy for the 32 employees working in the current power plant. The projected start-up of the new power plant is planned to be in 2023.

“This proposed substantial investment would further the company’s commitment to its corporate sustainability goals, including the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions for the entire Huber enterprise by approximately 11% and is aligned with our strategy to strengthen our global halogen-free fire retardant and specialty aluminas business,” said Victor Dean, Senior Vice President and General Manager of FRA.

“For Martinswerk, this proposed strategic investment would be another milestone following significant investments made in Bergheim during the last five years under Huber ownership and a strong commitment to the long-term future of the site and business,” added Martin Schulting, Managing Director of FRA Martinswerk and Europe, Middle East, Africa & India.