Responsible Care Awards 2016: Special commendation in Energy Efficiency category for HCS Group
27 Октомври 2016

New energy concept at the Haltermann Carless site at Speyer (DE)

The HCS Group identified a potential use for unused vent gas produced during the storage and transfer of naphtha into tanks at its Speyer site in Germany. The HCS Group and GETEC heat & power AG joined forces to seek a solution, which resulted in the development of burner technology that integrates the vent gas in the combustion process of HCS's thermal oil plant, thus saving heating oil previously used as a supplementary fuel.

The company


HCS Speyer plant in Germany.

The HCS Group is a global provider of hydrocarbon specialty products counting 480 employees in 5 countries. Overseen by an Executive Committee, the HCS Group is divided into 7 business lines:

  • Automotive Products
  • Middle Distillates
  • Oil & Gas Products
  • Pentanes
  • Performance Fuels
  • Performance Solvents
  • Specialty Aromatics

In addition to its recently acquired Manvel production facility in Texas (US), the company also has other state-of-the-art installations including three in the UK, two in Germany and one in Bourgtheroulde in France. In Germany, the HCS Group is participating in the German industry initiative Chemie3, which aims to create a broader understanding on how to achieve long-term economic success coupled with environmental responsibility and social equity.

The solution

With its C4/C5 hydrocarbon content, the vent gas from HCS is highly calorific but has a fluctuating calorific value. The vent gas produced the storage and transfer of naphtha into the tanks was previously unused in the production process. The challenge was to develop the gas potential and integrate it into a holistic energy concept that not only ensured economic efficiency, but also preserved both resources and the environment.

The joint project between HCS and GETEC combined the expertise of a European manufacturer of specialty chemicals and solvents with that of a developer of tailor-made energy concepts. This partnership led to the creation of a highly efficient heating plant which is unique and tailored to the specific needs of HCS.

GETEC created an individual and innovative complete package for the facility in Speyer: from developing the supply concept and financing, designing and constructing the plant facility to its service and maintenance. GETEC provides the required heat based on a heat supply contract. Remote monitoring of the plant is undertaken from GETEC’s control centre in Magdeburg, but also on-site monitoring is carried out from the control room in Speyer, so that specialists can respond quickly to error messages. Emergency services are also secured through GETEC Industrieservice GmbH.

The heart of the investment in Speyer comprises the thermal oil plant. Thermal oil is required at a constantly high temperature level during the production process. It is heated in two natural gas-fired boilers, each with a nominal heat output of 8.65 MW, to 340°C and then directly fed to the production loads. In addition, a steam generator indirectly heated with thermal oil provides up to 13 tonnes of saturated steam per hour with a vapour pressure of 21 barg. A natural gas-fired boiler from HCS provides the redundancy. The use of cutting-edge burner technology has enabled the company to integrate previously unused vent gas in the combustion process for the thermal oil plant. The process gas is used to generate heat in a safe, environmentally- and resource-friendly manner.

This, therefore, eliminates thermal post-combustion of the vent gas. The heating oil previously used as a supplementary fuel is saved. Although the calorific value of the process gas is significantly lower than the one for natural gas, it has nonetheless considerably reduced the natural gas consumption at HCS. The associated cost savings as well as the reduced environmental impacts are important competitive factors for an energy-intensive chemical company.

In addition, as part of the project a boiler house was built in which the complete measurement and control technology as well as auxiliary units are installed. A completely new connection to the factory site was provided for the energy centre, which was newly built next to the company site. From the moment the contract was signed, it only took 15 months to get to the initial commissioning, after which the thermal oil plant was built within just four months.

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