An industrial park denotes an area where a certain number of industrial and commercial activities are concentrated, with the advantage of synergizing infrastructure and service equipment. The concept of an industrial eco-park slightly modifies this definition: here companies optimize their resources and make significant energy or water savings, thereby reducing their environmental footprint. The Bizzpark Oberbruch and Niederau parks in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, located just 60 kilometers from each other, belong to this second category.
Bizzpark Oberbruch industrial eco-park, spanning some one hundred hectares, brings together a thousand employees. Its traditional activities are the chemical and agro-food industries and, more recently, fuel cell manufacture. Soon, new tertiary activities will be setting up there to create a new business hub. Veolia is responsible for supplying electricity, gas and water to the entire site. It has a steam production plant, a water treatment unit, and a wastewater and sludge treatment plant. “You can think of the industrial park like a microcosm: each company has its own activity but benefits from a set of services with which we provide them. Our goal is to guarantee 100% availability in order to prevent any risk of an interruption in their production cycle. This requires constant technical and operational expertise on the part of our teams,” explains Stefan Langer, Director of the German industrial parks.
Niederau park, which spans a dozen hectares, hosts four chemical companies. Almost 300 people work there. Veolia – with its Dutch partner AkzoNobel, the world leader in powder coatings and the site’s owner – offers largely the same services as those mentioned previously, along with a gas-fired power station with cogeneration equipment and a compressed air system.
An economic model based on trust
The operator therefore needs to have multi-faceted expertise. Depending on the configuration of the premises and the nature of the industrial activities, the service provisions and know-how can vary, but the objectives remain the same: “generating savings to the customer’s benefit and building a win-win partnership. This is the basis of our economic model,” highlights Harald Kunkler, commercial Director.
Staff safety and environmental protection on the premises are also priorities: Veolia and the industrialists jointly monitor regulations and standards and implement constant updates. “Remaining in line with regulations and standards is a constant challenge for our teams,” states Stefan Langer. Dieter Hermanns, AkzoNobel’s National Director adds: “Our collaboration with Veolia has remained as strong as ever over the years. As a supplier not only of energy but of many other services, Veolia shares the same concerns as we do, which is the basis for solid cooperation.”
A Veolia staff of 55 people provides all of the services to BizzPark Oberbruch and Niederau park. They are entirely devoted to the smooth running of the industrial processes developed by their enterprise customers to ensure the excellence of their products. This know-know is even exchanged as far away as Harjavalta in Finland, a 300-hectare park, whose management has also been entrusted to Veolia.