Last week Friday saw the inauguration ceremony for the new Graf Competence Centre for Raw Materials in Herbolzheim, Germany.
The new centre represents a €35 million investment made by Otto Graf GmbH, to set up plastics processing and recycling facilities that will ensure a constant and consistent supply of raw materials to the company. Otto Graf, headquartered in Teningen, is a leading family-owned and operated manufacturer of rainwater management and wastewater treatment solutions. Although it already makes use of recycled materials in the production of its products, the company says that using the recycled materials produced at the new facility will save 100,000 t of CO2 emissions per year compared to the use of new raw materials.
The new facility spans a floor area of around 23,000 square meters and boasts twelve raw material silos, each with a height of 30 metres. It was built on a 6.3-hectare lot in the commercial area on the Autobahn in Herbolzheim, near the company’s current production locations.
“We create jobs close to our existing production locations, thereby minimizing emissions during transport, producing environmental products from recycled plastics and using these products to use rainwater as process water and coolant in the treatment of our raw materials, ” said Otto P. Graf, owner and managing director of the Graf Group at the inauguration ceremony.
Attention was paid to sustainable design in building the facility, as well. A Graf Tank stores 52,000 l of rainwater for operational processes. This is used as process and cooling water, for washing work clothing and for flushing the toilet. In addition, 188,000 litres of rainwater are stored as fire water in four Graf fire water tanks. Unused rainwater is fed into an open infiltration trough. Conventional paving has been eschewed – the company opted for the use of gravel or eco-paving for ecological and drainage purposes.