Trainee at fair: an electrifying green beer town – Murau part II

In their last blog posting, the two trainees Daniela und Michael began to report on their exciting trip to Murau, where, investigating the issue of sustainability, they were familiarised with the shared project completed by Krones AG, the Murau Cooperative Brewery and the municipal utilities Murauer Stadtwerke GmbH. But it’s not just the Murau Brewery that has nailed its colours to the mast when it comes to environmental sustainability – the entire village of Murau has put this into practice. Daniela and Michael report:

Trainee at fair MurauAs we’ve already explained, its cooperation with Krones and the Murau Municipal Utilities has enabled the Murau Brewery to make significant energy savings by changing over from fossil fuels to regeneratively obtained district heat. So it was really interesting for us to visit the cogeneration plant as well, so as to better comprehend how it interacts with Krones’ technology. We got a wonderful guided tour from Kurt Woitischek, the Managing Director and Plant Manager of Murau Municipal Utilities, through the cogeneration plant and a hydro-electric power plant:

Guided tour of the cogeneration plant

The energy that is required in the Murau Brewery is obtained in a regenerative, CO2 -neutral process at the nearby biomass cogeneration plant, where trees from an area extending for 10 km around are incinerated in the form of wood chips, so as to heat water up to 120°C.

This warm water, however, supplies not only the brewery, but also the hospital, the schools and many private households. Herr Woitischek showed us the entire facility, from the wood chip silos to the burner. Every detail has been fully automated, and features state-of-the-art technology.

Trainee at fair Murau

 A holistically harmonised concept

We asked ourselves, of course: is it really a good idea to cut down so many trees? The answer becomes clear when you actually visit Murau: all around you, all you see is trees, which despite the high level of consumption grow faster than they are felled – a definite regional advantage. Many landowners are even pleased to pass on parts of their felled tree stock (which would otherwise be left to rot) for a useful purpose.

Trainee at fair MurauCare has also been taken to ensure that the air stays clean as well. No fine dust, no ashes are emitted. The exhaust air is filtered through a multi-layered system. The ashes are scattered on their fields by the region’s farmers, and the fine dust, separated using electrostatic attraction, is eco-compatibly disposed of in the local cement plant.

We comprehended all this as a holistically harmonised project, since thanks to the cooperation between Krones, the brewery and the municipal utilities each and every detail has been fine-tuned. We think it’s really great that here everything’s been taken into due consideration and that the environment is genuinely the paramount focus. It is indeed a flagship project!

Hydro-electric power plants: electricity for the region

The municipal utilities, moreover, operate several hydro-electric power plants, generating sufficient electricity for the village. Here, too, due attention has been paid to environmental considerations and appropriate priority given to getting the details right. For instance, the hydro-electric power plant located in the centre of the village has been so effectively insulated that the neighbouring residents are not exposed to any noise pollution – as we can confirm from our own auditory experience!

See you at the Brau!

Our meetings with both Brewmaster Christoph Lippert-Pagany and Kurt Woitischek were exceptionally harmonious, and we immediately felt we were in good hands. We were given truly unique guided tours, which provided plenty of fascinating insights. Which is why we’re looking forward even more to the BrauBeviale, since we’ll be seeing them again there on the Krones stand. They will be showcasing the project, which will indubitably interest many other clients and breweries as well.