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Vienna International Airport plans to become CO2 neutral in 2023

Vienna International Airport plans to become CO2 neutral in 2023

Thanks to a partnership with OMV to use waste heat from fossil fuel production to achieve massive energy savings

Yesterday, Schwechat Airport (Vienna International Airport) announced they would team up with OMV to implement a new central heating project that will use waste heat from diesel production. The move is part of the airport’s push to become CO2-neutral by 2023.

According to OMV General Director Alfred Stern, the new system should be able to generate 21,000 tons of CO2 savings for the airport. Executive Director of Schwechat Airport, Günther Ofner, explained that that the new system would reduce the airport's carbon footprint by 85% compared to 2012.

The equivalent of 3.5 million trees

The project was born from OMV’s desire to cut energy losses during fossil fuel production and make the process as clean as possible. They were looking for a place where they can channel all that wasted energy and Schwechat Airport was the perfect candidate as it consumes the rough heating equivalent of 1,500 households.

The project was presented yesterday at an online press conference where OMV Director Alfred Stern explained that the project could very well achieve carbon savings of up to 46,000 tonnes annually. That is the equivalent of around 3.5 million trees in terms of CO2 storage capacity.

Günther Ofner, the Executive Director of the airport was a bit more modest in his estimates and put the estimated savings at 21,000 tonnes. But, he also stressed that that is no small number and it would bring the airport’s emissions down by a whopping 85%, compared to 2012 levels. He also stressed that the airport plans to become carbon neutral by 2023.

Building a sustainable airport  

Building a sustainable airport is no easy task, considering Schwechat is a big travelling hub and tourism is a major industry for nearby Vienna. Furthermore, there are a lot of logistical factors that have to be considered, so there are no bottlenecks and the flow of people and goods can go on unhindered.

Airport Authorities have been planning and working on various projects and systems to reduce, convert or offset emissions. One of them is the largest photovoltaic system in Austria, currently under construction on the airport grounds. The solar farm should, however, account for just 30% of the electricity demand.

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