CLERMONT-FERRAND, France—Michelin has entered a 10-year contract with low-carbon utility company Engie to optimize energy consumption at its Cataroux tire factory in Clermont-Ferrand, central France.
In addition to utilities management, the contract provides for the design and operation of new energy facilities and the installation of a waste heat recovery system at the site, Michelin said in a news release.
The "untapped energy source" will meet the site's heating needs along with those of 4,000 homes through a connection to the city heating network.
As part of the deal, the 100-year-old plant's production will be modernized with "low-consumption and efficient equipment."
The upgrade also will lower natural gas consumption by 50 percent and water consumption by 13 percent, Michelin said.
A major part of the contract involves installing a system to recover waste heat from the industrial process and then re-inject it into the Clermont-Auvergne-Métropole heating network, to which the site will be connected.
Through its subsidiary, ECLA, Engie has held the public service concession for the management and operation of this heating network since 2010.
With the planned connection, Michelin said it would decarbonize its own energy consumption as well as that of the heating network.
During winter, the heat recovered from tire manufacture will allow self-sufficient heating of the site.
Furthermore, surplus heat—representing the annual heat consumption of 4,000 homes—will be injected into the ECLA network throughout the year.
This will reduce the emission of 7,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, Michelin said.
The project is part of Michelin's "all-sustainable" commitment, which will see the group's water intake lowered by 33 percent compared with 2019 and CO2 emissions of industrial sites halved compared to the 2010 levels.
The French group aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
"With this environmentally friendly project, Cataroux ensures its energy and ecological transition in the long-term while contributing to the region's decarbonization," said Frédéric Lorphelin, director of the Cataroux site.