Volvo Penta’s plant in Vara is carbon neutral

Since May, Volvo Penta’s engine plant in Vara in Sweden has been powered without using any fossil fuel whatsoever. As a result, the plant is now operated completely carbon neutral.

The Vara Plant produces Volvo Penta’s world-famous diesel engines for leisure boats and commercial vessels. These innovative, ultra-modern 4- and 6-cylinder engines have won awards all over the world for their performance, comfort and environmental characteristics.

The Vara Plant’s production process for the D4/D6 maintains the same high class as the actual engines – not least when it comes to its environmental characteristics. Together with committed employees, the plant management team have been working systematically to reduce the plant’s environmental impact and energy costs. As part of this work, the plant has accepted the challenge AB Volvo has issued to all its plants to streamline their energy and phase out fossil fuels.

The ventilation system has been replaced, environmental training has been conducted, pneumatically powered tools have been replaced by energy-powered variants, the lighting systems have been automated and so on. A large raft of measures has helped to make the production process increasingly energy efficient.

In 2011, a new boiler room has been inaugurated; the Vara Plant now uses biofuel in the form of pellets instead of the approximately 400 cubic metres of oil it previously used every year. During the spring, a three-year agreement involving deliveries of so-called green electricity (produced using hydroelectricity) has also been signed with Swedish Vattenfall. As a result of these moves, the production process at the Vara Plant is now completely carbon neutral.

“The use of fossil fuel to power operations at the plant has been phased out and that feels really good. During the past few years, we have been focusing very heavily on measures designed to benefit the environment and this has produced results,” says Jens Lauridsen, environmental co-ordinator at the Volvo Penta Plant in Vara.

The total consumption of energy at the Vara Plant has been reduced by around 40 per cent since 2003 and work to bring about further improvements in efficiency is continuing. The next step will include examining the potential for recovering heat from engine testing.

May 25, 2011

For further information, please contact Jens Lauridsen, environmental co-ordinator at the Vara plant, phone: +46 31 322 8191