Copper producer Aurubis Bulgaria has recognized the advantages of the Energy Scout trainings. Every year since 2019, young professionals from the company have taken part in the qualification program offered by the AHK Bulgaria – either as Energy Scouts or as mentors for prospective Energy Scouts.
The range of practical projects that save energy and greenhouse gas emissions in the company is remarkable: Shifting transportation to rail, a large ground-mounted photovoltaic system, and reducing disposable cups at employee beverage dispensers.
As the company’s first Energy Scout team, Veselin Valkov, Irina Valtcheva, Georgi Minov, Yanka Zaharieva-Koleva, Radoslava Nikolova, Hristo Semerdjiev and Yanko Bonev designed a more energy-efficient concept for intermodal mobility in 2019. Two trains now replace the former 40 trucks for transporting copper cathodes from Bulgaria to Turkey (see best practice on this).
The energy of the sun was tapped by the eight-member team of Dimitar Nedelev, Eduard Stefanov, Petio Cholakov, Asen Tashev, Ivan Stanchev, Evgenia Delcheva and Stojan Durchev from Aurubis, which took part in the Energy Scout training courses in 2020. Their practical project “Aurubis Pirdop Blue Lagoon” envisaged the installation of a photovoltaic system with a potential energy saving of around 11,160 MWh of electricity and thus 9,541 tons of CO2 per year. Common for practical projects this type, the measure had a payback period of 7.5 years, a very attractive value for photovoltaic projects.
The construction of a 10 MWpeak photovoltaic plant finally took place in 2021 with an energy saving of 11,700 MWh per year and represented the largest photovoltaic plant for own use of a company in Bulgaria. A total of 20,000 solar panels have since covered 2.5% of the plant’s electricity consumption. Currently, expansion is planned with a second and third solar plant at the factory. Together, the three photovoltaic systems are expected to generate 6% of the annual electricity consumption at the plant once they are completed.
In the third year of YEE participation, the seven-member team Eva Hadjiiska, Irena Arnaudova, Tsvetan Vartanov, Nikolay Filipov, Neofit Dylgerov, Teodor Todorov and Zyanka Zaharieva dedicated themselves to recycling PET bottles and plastic cups in 2021. The measure entails savings of 10,325kg of plastic per year, which is accompanied by an annual reduction of CO2 emissions by 15.49 tons.
Former Energy Scout Martin Katinov, who in 2020 designed a practical project for the construction of a photovoltaic system for the BILLA store’s own needs in the city of Kazanlak is convinced by the qualification: he recently supported Energy Scouts in 2022 as a mentor while being in his new position as Manager “Energy Projects” at Aurubis. With the Energy Scouts of the 73rd School “Vladislav Gramatik” he shared his experience on photovoltaics and supported the team in the collaborative work of their visionary project on floating solar plants.
This example shows how new teams of Energy Scouts can repeatedly launch successful projects within a company. In addition to broadening awareness of corporate climate protection among the workforce, this approach has enabled the young employees to continuously develop approaches and various areas for energy and resource savings.