Logistics and Transport

We constantly strive to improve our processes in order to avoid unnecessary journeys and reduce emissions from essential journeys. In 2010, our Logistics department introduced a new simulation system to help us analyze the flow of goods. We use this system to calculate carbon dioxide emissions and determine the potential for optimizing transport routes and vehicle capacity utilization.

In 2010, we transferred 715,000 metric tons of finished products from our Burghausen logistics hub to our customers (2009: 600,000 metric tons). The number of journeys rose about 15 percent to just under 43,000. More than 38,000 truckloads (2009: 35,000) and 10,500 overseas containers (2009: 9,900) were required to transport our products. 67 percent of our shipments are by road and 33 percent by rail (22 percent of which are then transferred to ship).

In integrated production, we use by-products from one plant as raw materials in neighboring facilities – transport by pipeline is emission-free. Ethylene, one of our most important raw materials, is piped to our Burghausen site from the adjacent OMV Deutschland site.

Our Nünchritz plant obtains cartridges for silicones from a packaging manufacturer in nearby Großenhain. Burghausen procures all reusable IBCs (intermediate bulk containers), drums and pallets from regional suppliers. Both our Nünchritz-based cartridge supplier and the supplier of IBCs in Burghausen have conveniently relocated close to our plants to reduce journey times.

WACKER’s sites outside Germany, too, procure mainly from regional suppliers to shorten transport distances. We opened new facilities in China in 2009 and 2010, and have managed to avoid transporting raw materials to them from Germany and the USA thanks to our integrated production system. With the new plants, our products are close to our Chinese customers, allowing us to reduce intercontinental transportation.

Until 2008, the external warehouses serving our Burghausen site had been spread over a wide area. We have since relocated to a central warehouse just under 3 kilometers from our site. As a result, the distance covered by truck fell by almost 98 percent in 2009 and 2010 – from around 340,000 to just 10,000 freight kilometers for the same number of trips. We use electronic systems to organize in-plant transportation such that routes are short and wasted empty space is avoided. Our In-Plant Transportation unit is currently investigating alternative transport systems that generate fewer emissions. We monitor the noise emitted from our vehicles, as well as the amount of carbon dioxide.

We exchange electronic data with our shipping agents so that they can plan their trips as efficiently as possible and ensure their vehicles are always fully loaded. Plus, we launched a strategy back in 1996 to help avoid empty runs by focusing on regional shipping agents. It enables a shipper responsible for a particular postal code area to plan return journeys in his region so that trucks are almost never partially laden. Our annual assessment of shipping agents extends to their environmental performance. For example, we ask how their vehicles are rated in European emission standards (such as the Euro 5 exhaust emission standard). The number of Euro 5 compliant vehicles has increased from just under 8 percent in 2006 to over 70 percent in 2010 (equivalent to just under 2,000 trucks).

WACKER has grown significantly in recent years. This is particularly true of production operations at our Burghausen and Nünchritz sites. They rely on good logistics, not least to minimize the impact on the general public. In fall 2010, work started on a bypass at our Nünchritz site to relieve congestion for residents in the nearby village of Roda. Around 2 kilometers of the 2.6-kilometer road has been constructed from scratch. The work is expected to be complete by late 2011.

Wherever possible, we are switching from road to rail transport. Even today, most of the freight containers leaving our German sites to North Sea ports are transported by rail. In 2009, WACKER’s 600-meter long container train, which travels daily from Burghausen to Bremerhaven and Hamburg, celebrated its 10th anniversary. In Burghausen, we now transport almost 100 percent of such container shipments by rail, which means that over 11,000 freight containers a year no longer travel to ports by road. Running at virtually 100-percent capacity, it is one of the most efficiently used container trains in the industry. Deutsche Bahn AG began replacing its diesel locomotives with a new class in 2010. These new locomotives comply with current emission standards and are so powerful that one alone is sufficient to pull the entire container train (two were required previously).

67 percent of our shipments are by truck and 33 percent by rail – 22 percent of which are then transferred to ship. Most of the freight containers leaving our German sites reach northern ports via rail. (photo)

67 percent of our shipments are by truck and 33 percent by rail – 22 percent of which are then transferred to ship. Most of the freight containers leaving our German sites reach northern ports via rail.

The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) has issued guidelines for determining the carbon dioxide emissions associated with logistics operations. We use these to monitor our journeys. In 2009 alone, rail freight from Burghausen to the Munich-Riem handling terminal saved around 700 metric tons of carbon dioxide compared with road freight. Our container trains between Bremerhaven/Hamburg and Burghausen/Nünchritz replace around 18,000 road journeys a year. As a result, we reduced our carbon dioxide equivalent by around 1,600 metric tons in 2010.

Our Nünchritz plant also transports containers by rail to northern ports. Located on the Elbe river, the site transports freight via inland waterways as well, which produces low emissions. Most of the raw materials delivered to our Cologne plant are transported by inland waterways along the Rhine.

When we procure raw materials, they are transported chiefly by rail. Over shorter distances, however, truck transport is still more cost-effective and thus indispensable.

WACKER supports the planning of a new public handling terminal for intermodal freight transport in Burghausen. The aim of this logistics hub is to transfer freight transport from road to rail wherever possible. We have calculated that one extra freight train a week in addition to the five trains currently traveling from Burghausen to the northern ports is enough to transfer around 2,500 truckloads to rail. The planning approval procedure for the handling terminal was started in early 2011; the terminal could be operational by 2013 at the earliest. Prompted by these plans, we are designing a new freight gate at the Burghausen site’s northern end. The gate will improve traffic flow and eliminate the nuisance of heavy freight traffic to residents. It is expected to be ready at the same time as the intermodal terminal. Intermodal logistics involves shipping freight in containers using multiple modes of transport. In this case. freight is transported locally by road and then transferred to rail.

Expansion of the A94 Munich to Passau autobahn – eagerly anticipated by the ChemDelta Bavaria association of companies – is expected to progress well over the coming years. In spring 2009, work started on the section between Forstinning and Pastetten (distance: 6 km), which is scheduled for completion by late 2011. In August 2009, work began on the 4.3-km Ampfing to Heldenstein section, due to be finished by late 2012. The only stretches between Munich and ChemDelta Bavaria that still need to be built run from Pastetten to Dorfen (17.4 km) and Dorfen to Heldenstein (14.9 km). Completion of the autobahn would not only improve the transport infrastructure, but also relieve congestion in villages and towns along the B12 highway and thus reduce the risk of accidents on this heavily used stretch of road.

The ChemDelta Bavaria’s second major infrastructure project is the electrification of the rail route to Munich and its expansion to two tracks. This project is making progress, too. The 8-km Ampfing to Mühldorf section opened in December 2010. However, the section between Mühldorf and Tüßling, where three rail lines meet, is still a bottleneck; around 1 percent of German freight traffic passes over these tracks. This part of the project, funded by German Economic Stimulus Packages I and II, is currently awaiting planning approval. Construction of the twin-track Ehring railroad bridge over the Inn river, also funded by the stimulus package, will be finished at some point in 2011. It is hoped that this congested section of the track will finally be completed in spring 2016.

Ethylene Pipeline South

The Ethylene Pipeline South (EPS) will provide the infrastructure needed for safely and economically transporting ethylene between major southern German chemical sites. The pipeline is to run west from Münchsmünster in Bavaria across Baden-Württemberg to Ludwigshafen in Rhineland-Palatinate. In Bavaria, ethylene is produced in Burghausen (OMV Deutschland) and Münchsmünster (Ruhr Oel).

Ethylene is processed at sites in Burghausen (Borealis, WACKER), Burgkirchen-Gendorf (Clariant, Vinnolit) and Münchsmünster (LyondellBasell). The companies involved in constructing the pipeline have seized the initiative in a bid to maintain ChemDelta Bavaria’s competitive advantage and to safeguard jobs.

Ethylene can be transported emission-free by pipeline and with very low energy costs. Once the construction work is complete, the pipeline will be virtually invisible and have no adverse affect on the landscape. Pipelines may not be laid in protected areas where drinking water is abstracted or mineral springs are located, and may only be laid in significant water management areas if special safety precautions are put in place.

In 2010, Baden-Württemberg’s Higher Administrative Court in Mannheim overruled a local farmer’s objection to the construction of the EPS. As there are no safety concerns regarding the pipeline route, the contract under public law between EPS and the state of Baden-Württemberg is now effective. Despite further objections from four residents, the pipeline is expected to be operational by late 2011/early 2012.