Company partners with LS Electric to install solar panels at its Changwon facility in South Korea
VOLVO Construction Equipment have signed a purchase agreement with power provider LE Electric for the implementation of solar panels and a Factory Energy Management Solution (FEMS) at their Changwon facility in South Korea. Volvo CE have committed to buy the green electricity for a span of 20 years – from 2024 to 2043. It is expected to provide approximately 55GWh of renewable energy a year.
The move will allow Volvo CE in Korea to reduce around 21,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually – equivalent to planting 1.5 million pine trees or saving about 10 million litres of petroleum from a thermal power plant. This site is expected to be running 100% renewable energy by 2026.
Renewable energy provision is an important part of Volvo CE’s global Science Basted Targets commitment, which targets net-zero value chain greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, with significant reductions as early as 2030. With a long-time focus on environmental care and driving industry transformation to combat climate change, the company’s interim 2030 goals are to not only achieve a 30% reduction in carbon emissions across the use of their products through their electrification roadmap, but to cut emissions in half across their own operations, facilities and manufacturing processes.
Andrew Knight, head of excavator strategy and managing director, Volvo CE Korea, says: ‘We are dedicated to sustainable growth and establishing pioneering partnerships to help accelerate that growth. With this agreement, Volvo CE aim to transition all electric consumption to renewable energy at the Changwon plant. Through this holistic approach, we are leading our industry’s transformation towards a carbon-neutral future.’
The Changwon facility is the company’s biggest excavator production site and also specializes in the manufacturing of demolition equipment and pipelayers, as well as having a Research and Development department.
As well as this investment, the facility has already begun to introduce electric forklifts and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) into its operations, with plans also under way to gradually phase out the usage of kerosene for heating, starting in 2026, and implement a conversion to LNG fuel electric energy by 2028. Through these efforts, the Changwon Plant has so far achieved a saving of 10,616MWh of total energy consumption and a 20% increase in energy efficiency since 2014.
In the future, Volvo CE in Korea plan to ensure a stable supply of renewable energy by establishing their own power grid and entering into a direct power purchase agreement (PPA) with LS Electric, allowing them to procure electricity from external power generation facilities.
Volvo Trucks Korea have also announced their own partnership with LS Electric for the procurement of solar energy to supply the Dongtan, Gimhae, and Incheon offices in South Korea.