“It was like open-heart surgery,” recalls Michael Stauber, one of the engineers responsible for maintaining infrastructure at the WACKER site in Burghausen. He was describing the late-2016 renovation of the roughly 17-kilometer Alz Canal – the lifeline of the largest WACKER plant in the world. “We use the water for cooling our chemical plants, for example, which allows us to cover 70% of our cooling needs,” the engineer explains. The canal also delivers 10% of the electrical energy consumed at the Burghausen plant: before plunging into the Salzach river some 60 meters below, the canal water passes through the Alzwerke hydroelectric power plant. The difference in height between the Alz and the Salzach – and thus the ability to generate hydroelectric power – was actually the reason why WACKER decided to build its chemical production facility in out-of-the-way Burghausen in 1916. The average annual output of the Alzwerke remains impressive to this day: this on-site hydroelectric power plant generates 266 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year – enough to power about 90,000 households, or a medium-sized city. If needed, the Alz Canal also provides the plant fire department with water for firefighting. The site’s hydrants are supplied with water from the canal as well.
- WACKER at a Glance
- Research & Development
Find specific WACKER products for your applications:
- Product Search
- Press & Media