Trelleborg installs advanced biomass boiler at Sri Lanka plant

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Trelleborg Wheel Systems is completely re-engineering the steam production process at its Sri Lanka plant and introducing an advanced biomass boiler. This major investment will not only reduce the facility’s environmental footprint, but it will also improve production efficiency.

Located in Makola close to Colombo, the facility employs over 850 people and produces solid tires for the materials handling and port industries, as well as pneumatic tires for light agricultural applications.

Production of steam is essential in the tire curing process and is traditionally done by a furnace oil boiler in a process that creates a substantial amount of CO2 as a bi-product. The new boiler will reduce CO2 emissions by over 90%.

The traditional tire manufacturing process used at the facility currently produces over 11,000 tons of CO2 and consumes 3,500,000 liters of furnace oil per year. With the biomass system the factory’s carbon footprint will be reduced to less than 1,000 tons of CO2 per year.

Supply of biomass needed for production will be entirely fulfilled by local producers, thus shortening the supply chain – further reducing the company’s carbon footprint and supporting the local economy.

Paolo Pompei, president of Trelleborg Wheel Systems, said, “This investment is in line with the company’s target to address its environmental impact across the entire tire lifecycle, from design to the end of life, to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of production processes and products.

“The introduction of a new biomass-fired boiler will also improve transformation cost efficiency, reducing the impact of raw material fluctuation for customers, while maintaining product competitiveness in the market.”

It is scheduled to be installed and fully operational by June.

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the ground-breaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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