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The Škoda Auto plant in Vrchlabi has become carbon neutral

The Škoda Auto plant in Vrchlabi has become carbon neutral

As the world’s first ŠKODA Auto production plant, it has been producing a component production plant in Värtläby with CO2 neutral emissions since the end of 2020. Thanks to the savings in electricity consumption and the use of renewable sources. Thus, the plant was ranked among the seven factories within the Volkswagen Group.

In addition to moving to renewable sources and energy savings, the measures at Freshlaby also relate to reducing the amount of waste transported to landfill to zero. The plant has reduced CO2 emissions from 45,000 tons in the previous year to the current level of 3,000 tons. The plant offsets the remaining emissions by purchasing offset certificates, with which other climate protection projects are supported.

Last year, the Frchlabi plant consumed 47,000 megawatt-hours of energy, 90 percent of which came from renewable sources. Through various measures, the plant saved more than 2,000 megawatt-hours of thermal energy and about 1,500 megawatt-hours of electricity last year. Since this year, the Vrchlabí plant has been using carbon-neutral methane from the biogas plant instead of natural gas.

Procedures at the Škoda Auto plant in Vrchlabi

Photo: Škoda Auto

“Production has shut down unused heating circuits, introduced intelligent room temperature control and introduced special control over supply air flow. In many areas, lighting has also been linked to working hours.”

The plant switched to producing less energy-intensive compressed air, replaced lead-acid batteries in handling machines with lithium batteries, and reduced water and detergent consumption by sequestering condensate from washing machines.

The cost of the environmental measures leading to carbon neutrality at the Vrchlabí plant has cost about 13 million kroner since 2010. During that time, the entire Škoda Auto invested 34.5 million euros (about 870 million kroner) in environmental measures, said Tomasz Kotera, head of communications at company.

The plant began production of the DQ 200 dual-clutch gearbox after complete reconstruction and expansion in September 2012. Investments in new halls and introduction of gearbox production amounted to 6.5 billion crowns. Before the introduction of gearbox production, cars were assembled at the factory, most recently the Roomster and Octavia models.

The plant produces about 2,300 gearboxes per day. By the end of 2019, the plant produced three million gearboxes. Almost two-fifths of production ends up in Škoda Auto models, and the rest is assembled in other Volkswagen Group cars.