The Volvo Group has the first vehicle plant in the world that is completely free from carbon dioxide (CO2): Volvo Trucks' plant in Ghent, Belgium. Volvo's efforts pertaining to CO2-free plants are fully in line with EU's goal for reducing CO2 emissions by 20% in Europe by 2020.
In 2005, the Volvo Group decided to transform the Volvo Trucks plant in Tuve, Sweden, into a CO2-free vehicle plant. Work is in progress on the completion of the local planning, and an application for environmental permits has been prepared. The Volvo Trucks plant in Umea, Sweden, is also undergoing transformation to become CO2-free.
For Ghent, this will entail investments in wind power and biofuel to provide the plant with electricity and heat that does not add any CO2 to the atmosphere.
The Ghent plant decided to construct three wind power plants on the site, which will cover half of the plant's electricity requirements. The remaining electricity consists of certified green energy supplied by the Belgium energy company, Electrabel. A new pellet-fired biomass plant supplies 70% of the heating requirements for the Ghent plant, and energy for the combustion process is provided by solar cells on the roof. The remaining 30% is provided by an oil-fired boiler that was converted to burn bio oil. The Ghent plant has an annual production of 35,000 trucks. The number of employees is 2,500.