CLERMONT-FERRAND, France — Group Michelin has converted a car and motorcycle tire plant in Les Gravanches/Clermont-Ferrand to a zero-emission facility, powered completely by renewable energy.
Michelin CEO Florent Menegaux called this development the "first of its kind" in the world during a conference call covering the firm's annual results.
Built in 2001, the plant makes ultra-high performance car and motorcycle tires.
The plant is run by 100% electric machines, and workshops are heated by the "residual heat" emitted from the machinery, Michelin confirmed to European Rubber Journal.
Michelin started the conversion process in 2017 and completed it last November; The site has been CO2-emissions free since then, Michelin added.
The plant produces 5,500 tires per day, with output going predominantly to high-end car makers such as Audi A.G., BMW A.G., Ferrari S.p.A., Porsche A.G. and Mercedes AMG.
In 2020, the factory is set to manufacture 1.8 million units, according to Michelin.
Already in place at many of its plants, Michelin said the strategy helped reduce CO2 emissions by 22% from 2010-18 throughout the company's European operations, where 85% of factories are powered by electricity from renewable sources.
"In the future, we will pursue these efforts by improving the energy-efficiency of our industrial tools, using more renewable energy and eliminating coal," Michelin said.
Five of the group's 70 sites around the world still are coal fired, the company added.