ZF’s first zero-emission factory is model plant for global production network

New plant in Klasterec in the Czech Republic, which will manufacture e-mobility products, uses 3,400 solar modules to generate electricity; heating system works without fossil fuels; Model plant for global ZF production network.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 05 Mar 2024 Views icon4312 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
ZF’s first zero-emission factory is model plant for global production network

ZF has opened its first zero-emission factory at the production site for power electronics in Klášterec in the Czech Republic, after a renovation period of just under a year and a half. The plant, which is part of the Electrified Powertrain Technology division, supports the company’s efforts to achieve climate neutrality across all value chains by 2040. It will be used as the blueprint for all ZF plants worldwide.

The technology company is gradually shifting to sustainably generated energy at all locations, increasing the energy efficiency of processes, electrifying a significant proportion of its products and using recycled materials.

One of the primary challenges is to convert existing ZF plants around the world so that they can be operated with climate-neutral energy from now on. "The sustainable transformation at the Klášterec location is ground-breaking for our entire production network and helps us to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Stephan von Schuckmann, member of the ZF Board of Management.

To build strong, sustainable foundations it’s important to equip plants with the ability to generate electricity. In Klášterec, this was accomplished by installing 3,400 solar modules on the campus, meeting roughly 20% of the plant's annual electricity requirements.

Any electricity that isn’t generated internally is purchased from renewable sources - mainly wind and hydroelectric power. "Klášterec is our benchmark," emphasizes Dhanashree Kad, Head of Sustainability at ZF’s Electrified Powertrain Technology Division.

As early as 2025, five years earlier than initially planned, all ZF locations will be fully powered by green electricity, which will be generated in-house or obtained through contracts with renewable energy providers. Additionally, the Czech e-mobility plant's fossil fuel-dependent gas heating system has been replaced by heat pumps, reducing the plant's overall annual heating costs by 50%. During colder months, the plant uses the natural cold of the outside air (free cooling) to cool down the technology within the facility. Various measures for improved thermal insulation and heat recovery round off this local climate concept.

ZF has operated a plant in Klášterec – which is roughly 100 kilometers northwest of Prague – since 1992. Today, the newly remodelled plant has nearly 700 employees and produces power electronic components for electric motors produced by ZF plants in Germany and Serbia. Customers include international car manufacturers.

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