On the path towards a circular economy -
Celebrating 150 years of EEW
Starting with brown coal …
On 26 January 2023, we celebrated 150 years of EEW Energy from Waste (EEW). At the festive event, we could see how the company has transformed over its long journey from Braunschweigische Kohlen-Bergwerke AG in 1873 to today’s EEW. Energy was and is the common thread throughout the entire history of the company and its transformation – from coal mining to energy from waste to a sustainable company in the circular economy.
Being able to celebrate a 150-year anniversary is by no means a given for a company with its roots in brown coal mining. We can do this because our employees’ willingness and ability to embrace change have enabled a constant process of transformation.
Waste as a resource
As a fuel, waste is very similar to brown coal. When Germany decided to ban the climate-harming landfilling of untreated waste, we were able to grow our thermal waste treatment business. Today, we are the market leader in Germany with 15 plants. We utilise the energy contained in waste that cannot be sent to landfill or recycled. With it, we produce process steam, district heating and electricity for industry and households. Energy from waste has now become an established pillar of an environmentally compatible energy supply and accounts for 4% of Germany’s electricity production.
The path into the future
... is clearly set out for EEW. A core focus of our activities is and will continue to be: recovering more waste streams more effectively and efficiently to protect the climate, environment and resources. To do so, we have invested around €2bn in forward-looking projects in recent years and we will continue to pursue further sustainable growth. One particular focus area is projects to capture and utilise carbon dioxide (CO2). We want to capture carbon dioxide from our flue gas so it can be used as a raw material for producing basic chemicals or synthetic fuels. The permitting process for a pilot plant at our site in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, has already started.