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28/06/2024 | Press release

Rheinmetall stands for sustainable change: St. Leon-Rot site receives district heating system and saves up to 800 tonnes of CO2 annually

Key facts
  • Win-win-win project at the Rheinmetall site of KS plain bearings in St. Leon-Rot
  • District heating system will save 800 tonnes of CO2 per year in future
  • Cooperation with neighbouring foundry to use process-related waste heat via underground circulation system
  • Commissioning planned as early as 2024

By installing a district heating system at the KS Gleitlager site in St. Leon-Rot (Rhein-Neckar district), the Rheinmetall Group will save up to 800 tonnes of CO2 per year in the future. The measure is significant for the reduction of harmful carbon dioxide emissions and for increasing the sustainable use of resources - valuable contributions to achieving the Group's sustainability goals of CO₂-neutral operations by 2035.

This is made possible by the cooperation with the neighbouring SLR Giesserei (foundry), which was signed at the beginning of 2024. At the initiative of the foundry, which can only partially utilise the waste heat generated by the process itself, a closed, underground circulation system with two water pipes is being created between the foundry and KS Gleitlager. In one pipe, water at a temperature of around 80 degrees flows from the foundry to the KS Gleitlager technical centre. There, the water releases the heat again - as energy for various production processes and, in future, also for heating. The now cooled water returns to the foundry through the second pipe, where it is reheated in the production process. Commissioning is already planned for September 2024. The project costs will be amortised after just a few years.

This project alone will save Rheinmetall up to 800 tonnes of CO2 and gas costs in the low six-figure range every year. It is a win-win-win project: where the neighbouring foundry previously had to cool down the excess waste heat and release it into the environment, this company will also benefit financially in future. A win for both sides of the cycle, and not least for the environment.

The SLR Group produces over 130,000 tonnes of machine parts in high-quality nodular cast iron every year. The German foundry St. Leon-Rot GmbH, the main plant and headquarters of the SLR Group, was founded in 1981. A foundry is located at the production site in St. Leon-Rot.

The Rheinmetall subsidiary KS Gleitlager is known for its high-precision plain bearings, which are supplied worldwide from St. Leon-Rot. In addition to primary material production with its own aluminium foundry and sintering facilities, production also includes highly complex forming processes through to fully automated testing facilities for the final quality inspection. The batch sizes that can be produced economically range from 1 to millions. Around 560 people are employed at the St. Leon-Rot site.

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