The sustained extraction of raw materials is carried out with consideration for the existing habitats with their flora and fauna. It gives targeted support for protection of species and biotopes during and after the extraction of the raw materials.
Research in recent years has shown that operational quarrying sites by no means have to necessarily look like “deserts in the landscape”; indeed they can have a networking function contributing towards greater biodiversity.
Knauf has repeatedly proved this.
Raw materials supplies and energy saving
Worldwide Knauf has at its disposal a reserve of 1.1 billion tons of raw materials. The company’s 53 stone quarries and 12 mines are located in 23 different countries.
Over 5.0 million tons of raw gypsum stone are quarried each year in the quarries and mines owned by Knauf. To ensure the production site in Iphofen for the future, the largest of Knauf's gypsum sites was converted from natural gypsum to FGD gypsum. Since then 700,000 tons of FGD gypsum are being consumed in Iphofen and other plants in the region; 90% of these are transported by rail to Franconia. The REA gypsum comes from the brown-coal-fired power plants Schkopau belonging to PreussenElektra Kraftwerke AG & Co. KG in Central Germany und Schwarze Pumpe (“Black Pump”, VEAG Vereinigte Energiewerke AG in Lusatia.
To ensure that production is supplied without difficulty and in an environmentally acceptable manner, a new rail connection and an FGD gypsum unloading station have been installed at the main production site, Iphofen.
A highly efficient and economical logistic system has been implemented in collaboration with the power plant operators and Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railways). It is possible for a complete train consisting of 20 special carriages containing 1,200 tons of FGD gypsum to be loaded in the power plants and to cover the distance of 300 to 500 km and to then be unloaded within half an hour in Iphofen. German Railways has several fleets of special carriages for these transports, lined with plastic and with side flaps that can be opened automatically by means of remote control.
The conversion to FGD gypsum has brought a saving 50% of the primary energy used in production, and by concentrating the transportation onto the railway a 10 million litre cut in the consumption of diesel oil.