STENA RECYCLING AND ABB WORK TOGETHER FOR A MORE

SUSTAINABLE SWEDISH INDUSTRY

Replacing all the old electric motors in Swedish industry with new ones would result in energy savings equivalent to 900 wind turbines. At the same time, the old motors contain large amounts of valuable metals that can be used again. The transformation can begin: ABB and Stena Recycling recently signed a long-term agreement on the recycling of old industrial electric motors.

Large parts of Swedish industry are presently characterized by old low-voltage motors, which are neither energy efficient nor dimensioned for their tasks. This creates major energy losses. At the same time, industry needs more electrification to phase out fossil fuels and become carbon dioxide neutral. ABB and Stena Recycling want to resolve this flawed equation through long-term collaboration on recycling old electric motors and replacing them with modern motors.

This collaboration is a result of the Circular Initiative for sustainability, launched by Stena Recycling in the spring of 2019. The goal is to create concrete solutions for circular material flows in Swedish industry. ABB has been a partner from the start.

“We will be sustainably recycling end-of-life motors in a separate flow to obtain material that is as clean as possible,” says säger Fredrik Pettersson, Managing Director Stena Recycling AB. “Recycling of aluminium, copper and iron alone produces energy savings of between 75 and 95 percent compared to new production of the metals. Sales of the recycled metals will be conducted as locally as possible in order to further reduce environmental impact. The metals will gain new life in new products.”

The potential energy savings if all old motors in Swedish industry were to be replaced are substantial.

“With properly dimensioned and energy efficient motors, less energy will be required in the future to do the same mechanical work in industry,” says Ulf Hellström, head of ABB’s business unit Motion i Sverige. “If we upgrade all the old motors in Swedish industry, this would create conservation opportunities of at least four terawatt hours, which corresponds to the output from 900 wind turbines, or a reduction of industry’s electric energy consumption by eight percent.”

FACTS – CIRCULAR INITIATIVE

The Circular Initiative is a collaborative arena where decision-makers meet to discuss and develop concrete measures for more circular material flows in Swedish industry. The initiative was launched by Stena Recycling in the spring of 2019. ABB, Combitech, Electrolux and Stora Enso have been partners since the start.

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