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Features Zurich, Switzerland 05-06-2020

3 min read

ABB Power Grids and Stena Recycling in circular cooperation around transformers

ABB Power Grids and Stena Recycling, Sweden, have signed a long-term cooperation agreement on recycling of transformers. The collaboration, which also includes joint design work for smart recycling of new transformers, is an important step on the road to circular economy in a sustainable society

ABB Power Grids in Sweden took another step on the road towards a more circular way of working, when together with Stena Recycling it extended its holistic approach for design and recycling of transformers.

“At ABB Power Grids, we are committed to sustainable development. We are happy that with our collaboration with Stena Recycling, we are able to offer our customers a sustainable solution for transformer recycling with a much reduced carbon footprint,” said Bruno Melles, Managing Director of ABB Power Grids Transformers Business Line.

Each year around 200 power transformers are sold on the Swedish market. Most of them replace an old transformer. With Stena recycling, ABB Power Grids will undertake the disposal of old transformers, reusing or recycling about 99 percent of the material as per Stena’s recycling guidelines. This will comprise 64% material recycling, 35% clean, low carbon incineration for energy and the balance 1% as scrap. Almost all the recycling will be done locally in Sweden itself.

“We can recycle all types of transformers; size, brand, oil filled or dry, it does not matter. Through our large network of facilities and specialist knowledge, we offer professional help in waste issues across the country. Thanks to our geographical spread and local presence, we create the conditions for efficient logistics and handling with the least possible environmental impact,” says Fredrik Pettersson, CEO Stena Recycling.

However, the collaboration between ABB Power Grids and Stena Recycling does not stop at recycling of old transformers, but also includes designing new ones. A circular approach is important in product development, and the agreement therefore includes joint design work to ensure that the transformers of the future are designed with the right conditions for recycling and reuse.

“A transformer has a long-life span, so it is important that we think long-term about recycling when we design it," says Tobias Hansson, Site Manager in Ludvika and Senior Vice President  Power Transformers in Europe, at ABB Power Grids.

For ABB Power Grid's customers, the new partnership agreement with Stena Recycling means a total solution: When investing in a new energy-efficient transformer with low losses, they are now ensured of dismantling and recycling of the old transformer with the least possible environmental impact.

“ABB Power Grids is a world leader in transformer technology, and sustainability is a cornerstone of our business. By offering our customers new, modern transformers, while Stena Recycling can locally recycle the obsolete transformer, we are taking an important step towards a circular economy,” says Jenny Larsson, Managing Director of ABB Power Grids Sweden AB.

Fredrik Pettersson, CEO, Stena Recycling and Jenny Larsson, Country Managing Director, ABB Power Grids Sweden. Photo: Jonas Bilberg